It's been more than two years, but the NCAA finally issued its punishment on the University of Miami following an investigation into the school's athletic department.
According to the NCAA, "The University of Miami lacked institutional control when it did not monitor the activities of a major booster, the men's basketball and football coaching staffs, student-athletes and prospects for a decade."
The Hurricanes football program will lose nine scholarships over three years, but will not miss any additional postseason games. Miami sat out of three postseason games (two bowl games and the 2012 ACC Title Game) over the past two seasons as part of a self-imposed punishment. Miami's men's basketball program will lose one scholarship in each of the next three years, and the entire athletic department will be on probation for the next three years.
The punishment comes in the wake of a scandal surrounding improper benefits provided by booster Nevin Shapiro. In 2011, Shapiro, who was arrested for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, told Yahoo! Sports he provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 Hurricane athletes and recruits from 2002 to 2010.
The NCAA has been investigating Miami since 2010. According to the AP, Miami will accept its punishment from the NCAA and move on.
Also caught in the fray are several former Miami coaches. Former men's basketball coach Frank Haith, who is now entering his third year as the head coach at Missouri, will be suspended for the first five games of this season for his role in the scandal. Former UM football coaches Clint Hurtt (now on staff at Louisville) and Aubrey Hill (no longer coaching college football) will get two-year show cause penalties.
The NCAA has been told Miami accepts its sanctions. No appeal from Hurricanes. This saga, by and large, ends today.- Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 22, 2013
While Miami moves forward, several other schools are left wondering why Miami's punishment wasn't harsher.
After an investigation into benefits provided to former USC student-athletes Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo, the NCAA forced the USC football program to vacate the final two wins of its 2004 national championship season and all of its wins in 2005. The Trojans also received a two-year bowl ban and lost 30 scholarships over three years.
Then there's the punishment against Penn State. While Jerry Sandusky's crimes were undoubtedly horrible, they did not give Penn State a competitive advantage. The NCAA hit PSU with an unprecedented $60 million fine, a four-year postseason ban and limited Penn State to offering just 15 football scholarships per year until 2017. That punishment was recently reduced.
USC AD Pat Haden on NCAA's Miami decision: "We have always felt that our penalties were too harsh. This decision only bolsters that view."- USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) October 22, 2013
With Miami accepting today's ruling from the NCAA, this investigation is finally over. Here's a sample of opinions on the matter from the Twittersphere:
This ruling will become the ultimate example of what we already knew. There's absolutely no incentive to follow NCAA rules.- Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) October 22, 2013
Drawn out process of something started in '10 makes NCAA look worse: #UM in limbo/punishes itself 2 YRs so it appears NCAA didnt do anything- Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) October 22, 2013
Miami went from Death Penalty to work release program.- Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) October 22, 2013
For the NCAA's complete ruling against Miami, click here.
Not sure why people think Miami got off here. They already served a two-year bowl ban.- Tyler Duffy (@tyduffy) October 22, 2013