Miami Hurricanes Football Scandal: A USC Fan's Defense of the "U"

Paul PeszkoSenior Writer IAugust 17, 2011

MIAMI - NOVEMBER 20:  The Miami Hurricanes student section cheers during a game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Sun Life Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Outrageous! Unbelievable! Hypocrisy!

These are a few of the typical comments from USC fans after they read the investigative report by Yahoo’s Charles Robinson on corruption within the University of Miami football program.

Their ire was not directed at the University of Miami per se, but at its former athletic director (1993–2008) Paul Dee, who was allowed by the NCAA to preside over the investigation of the Reggie Bush violations at USC.

How could the NCAA allow Dee, who was Miami’s AD during the Pell Grant scandal of the mid-1990s, remain at his post during the time of the alleged violations, as reported by Robinson?

USC fans are outraged at Dee’s response to these latest charges.

"We didn’t have any suspicion that he was doing anything like this," Dee told the Palm Beach Post, referring to former Hurricane booster Nevin Shapiro.

Those words were like rubbing salt into the wounds of anyone who bleeds Cardinal and Gold. It was Dee himself who pronounced the stiffest sanctions in college football on USC since the SMU death penalty by stating that USC "should have known" that Bush and his family were receiving benefits.

New Miami Heac Coach Al Golden in limbo
New Miami Heac Coach Al Golden in limboJoe Raedle/Getty Images

If Mark Emmert is at all serious about cleaning up college football, he should start with his own administration and fire Dee—not next week, not tomorrow, but immediately!

In light of Robinson’s report, Emmert must also bring up for review all cases and sanctions presided over by Dee whether they have been already reviewed or not.

But unlike some college football fans gloating over the possibility that Miami could get the death penalty, I personally hope that never happens.

I think the death penalty would be a disaster for the ACC and college football in general.

It is completely unfair for their new head coach, Al Golden, and the current players to be penalized for violations committed by former players and staff. It is also unfair to their current and future recruits.

So, what about Reggie Bush and USC? Why should the current staff and players be penalized for what happened before they arrived?

I agree. That is unfair as well. 

And it would be just as unfair to penalize the new head coaches and players at Ohio State and North Carolina, as well as Auburn and Oregon should those allegations prove correct.

Then what’s to be done? Nothing?

No, of course not. Kick these programs where it really hurts—right in the wallet.

Former Hurricanes quarterback Gino Torretta, in an interview on ESPN Radio, had the best solution I have heard on how to handle violations:

Fine the university!

That’s right. It is so simple. 

The NCAA fines the school tens of millions for major infractions. They do not impose bowl bans either, but allow the schools to participate and confiscate their portion of the proceeds for the duration of the probation period.

As for current and former coaches and athletic directors who have committed violations, they should be fined as well. Their violations and fines, as per a clause in their contracts, will follow them should they move on.

What happens to all the revenue from these fines? The NCAA will share it among all schools that are not on probation.

Think about it—it’s the perfect solution.

Players and fans will get what they want—college football at full strength. No diluted teams or diluted conferences, and no diluted conference championships. 

Let’s not punish the current players and recruits. The school itself must pay up for lack of institutional control while the staff pays for a failure to monitor.

If you like this solution, let Emmert know; email him or tweet him.


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