CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes are relieved one of the darkest chapters in program history is finally over.
Citing a lack of institutional control spanning a decade, the NCAA stripped the football program a total of nine scholarships and the basketball program a total of three scholarships during the next three years. Sanctions also include three years of probation and some limits on recruiting.
But the football and basketball teams avoided further postseason bans.
Self-imposed sanctions prevented Miami from playing in bowl games after the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Hurricanes (6-0) are ranked seventh in the nation.
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“I want to sincerely thank our student-athletes and their families, who not only stood with the University of Miami during this unprecedented challenge but subsequently volunteered for the mission,” football coach Al Golden said Tuesday in a statement released by the school. “They shouldered the burden, exhibited class and exemplified perseverance for Hurricanes everywhere.”
Felon Nevin Shapiro, a former booster serving a 20-year term for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme, contacted the NCAA from prison more than 2½ years ago and described his role in rampant rule-breaking by those involved in football and basketball.
In a 102-page document and accompanying news release, the NCAA Committee on Infractions detailed how multiple coaches and staff members at Miami “had a poor understanding of NCAA rules or felt comfortable breaking them.”
Committee chairman Britton Banowsky said, “This case was among the most extraordinary in the history of the NCAA and the Committee on Infractions. It is extraordinary in size and scope of the record and overall number of violations and individuals involved, the significant length of time it took to investigate the case, the unfortunate public attention it received during that time and the inappropriate conduct by the NCAA staff to gather information that was ultimately determined to be improper, resulting in exclusion from the record.”
Ex-Hurricanes basketball coach Frank Haith, who is the Missouri coach, was suspended for five games by the NCAA.
Miami will not appeal any of the sanctions.
Donna Shalala, the university president, said, “We’re going to move on. We’ve got a lot of work to do in the compliance area. We’ve obviously put a lot of new things in place over the last three years. But making sure that we reduce the risk — significantly reduce the risk — of this happening again is an ongoing, continuous improvement strategy.”
• Bobby Bowden, the NCAA leader in all-time victories, retired as Florida State coach after the 2009 season and planned to stay away from the program for five years. He said he wanted to give coach Jimbo Fisher time to establish his own foundation.
But Bowden has changed his timetable and will plant the Seminoles’ flaming spear at midfield before Saturday’s home game against North Carolina State. Florida State (6-0) is ranked third in the AP media poll and is second in the BCS standings.
“Jimbo’s got control real good now and has established himself,” Bowden said. “It’s probably time for me to get back.”