After 22 long months, there was finally a breakthrough in the investigation into University of Miami athletics.
Rumors galore appeared across the Internet that the school was to receive its Notice of Allegations (NOA) from the NCAA within weeks—maybe even days. Former football and basketball coaches were reportedly close to seeing their own copy, too.
But stop the presses.
Or, conversely, fire them up.
NCAA President Mark Emmert dropped a proverbial bomb last week citing the organization used flawed tactics in its investigation of Miami.
Long story short, some evidence cannot be used as factors in determining the sanctions, but more importantly, the NOA will not be given to the university for a couple more weeks.
Greg Couch of FOXSports says the NCAA should simply throw out the case against Miami.
Yes. You read that right.
Gone. Sayonara. Hasta la vista.
Now, this latest development does not mean the former Hurricanes players did no wrong, it means that the wrong done was wrongly discovered.
But as ESPN's Robert Smith said, "not guilty by technicality is still not guilty."
So is this news good for the Canes? Or is it bad?
Recruiting-wise, this could either be fantastic news or temporarily disheartening.
On one hand, head coach Al Golden can use this development to his benefit as he can tell recruits with more certainty that Miami does not expect any surprises in the NOA.
On the other hand, it is possible the coaching staff would have known the specifics of the potential sanctions before national signing day on February 6. Unfortunately for them, gaining that knowledge currently looks doubtful at best.
Bleacher Report's David Mayer believes this news will aid Miami's efforts on the recruiting trail.
I cannot say with any certainty, however, that it will be beneficial in the short-term for the Canes because it delays the delivery of the sanctions at the most crucial point of the recruiting season.
Any recruit who has doubts about any possible penalties—though there seem to be few to none at this point according to CaneInsider's Jon Bastian—will not be in the loop, either.
For the current team moving forward, though, this is definitely an outstanding situation.
After the NCAA slip-up and ultimately serving three postseason bans by forgoing the 2012 ACC Championship Game, it is highly unlikely that the Hurricanes will endure yet another bowl ban.
Instead of playing 2013 for moral victories and imaginary championships, Miami and its 20 returning starters begin as early division favorites according to Athlon Sports.
Golden will work to have his Canes ready to prove they are worthy of that status when the season begins August 31 against Florida Atlantic.
But remember, nobody cares about preseason championships—just ask USC.
That said, Miami won't be playing for that ever-elusive imaginary championship trophy; the team gets a chance at a Coastal Division title and maybe even more.
Besides, the real one looks so much better.
Thanks for messing up, NCAA. Hurricane fans truly appreciate it.
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