Miami Hurricanes vs. Maryland Terrapins: Latest News, Notes, Analysis & Opinion
The Miami Hurricanes (0-0) will try to silence the non-football talk surrounding the program when they kick off the 2011 season in College Park against ACC rival Maryland (0-0).
The Terps will look to continue their 2010 success under first-year head coach Randy Edsall, who coached Connecticut to the Big East title last season.
The Canes are coming off a disappointing year in which they went 7-6, but are doing so having just ended one of the most scrutinized offseasons in recent memory.
In mid-August, Yahoo! Sports broke news about a massive scandal at Miami involving a convicted felon and a plethora of impermissible benefits.
Nevin Shapiro, a "renegade" Miami booster who was sentenced to prison for his involvement in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, admitted to providing thousands of illegal benefits to more than 70 players from 2002 to 2010.
The news even gave new life to the term "death penalty," which is the blunt definition of the NCAA's hardest punishment against offending programs.
Southern Methodist University was given the "death penalty" in the late 1980s and has just recently revived its football program, perhaps making NCAA officials hesitant to pull the trigger on the punishment a second time.
The NCAA has yet to make a decision on the projected 13 Hurricane players who have been ruled ineligible by the university, one of which is starting quarterback Jacory Harris (pictured above).
As more news comes out and the Miami's season opener approaches, join Bleacher Report for the latest.
Patrick Clarke is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow on Twitter @_Pat_Clarke
Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris, along with seven other players, has been suspended by the NCAA for accepting improper benefits from former Miami football booster Nevin Shapiro.
Sophomore signal caller Stephen Morris will no doubt be called upon on Labor Day night to help get the Canes off to a hot start in 2011.
The second-year quarterback took over for Harris late in 2010, winning just two games as a starter but leading the Hurricanes to a comeback-win over Maryland in South Beach last November.
Morris threw for 1,240 yards, seven touchdowns and nine interceptions last season in six games which included a 33-17 loss to Notre Dame in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
The concern for Miami fans and first-year head coach Al Golden will be how Morris responds as the season-opening starter, after all he only managed to throw for no interceptions in one game last season.
Morris also failed to complete more than 48 percent of his passes in three of his six games in 2010.
There is no doubt that Maryland's Danny O'Brien will be the best sophomore quarterback in Byrd Stadium Monday night, but will he have the better team?
That's still to be determined.
According to a report from ESPN, Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris, one of the players ruled ineligible by the university after determined involvement with extra benefits, expects to play in the team's season opener at Maryland.
Harris seemed awfully confident when answering reporters' questions about the likelihood that he will start on September 5.
But should Harris and the 11 other Canes players accused of the accepting extra benefits be cleared to play so soon?
The NCAA is expected to make a decision on Harris and the rest of the ineligible players shortly, but one has to suspect that the given the current landscape of college football and the controversy surrounding the topic of players and benefits, that officials will be looking to make an example out of Miami.
Talk of a "death penalty" has quieted recently and seems a bit extreme for a program that gives so much back to the NCAA financially, but a long-term suspension of key players would be the next logical step in the punishment cycle.
Miami fans will argue every other high-profile university is just as dirty, but proof is proof, and Harris and his accused teammates have been caught.
Harris could very likely play another game with the Hurricanes, but in my opinion it won't be Monday night against the Terps.