In a word, Mississippi State's NCAA probation means "nothing'' to Miami. Nothing at all, folks.
The NCAA accepted the Mississippi State's self-imposed sanctions and like that, the case was closed. A case that started in the summer of 2012 is wrapped up heading into the summer of 2013. By the NCAA's standards, it an open and shut case.
In other words, nothing like the saga that has taken place at Miami.
Miami's case is unique, and wholly dissimilar to Mississippi State on so many levels. The Hurricanes have alleged NCAA violations spanning several years, involving several players and rooted in the word of a convicted felon. There is reported investigator impropriety, the NCAA strong-arming players into talking and Miami firing back at the NCAA.
The lone plus that Miami might take away from the Mississippi State ruling is that its self-sanctions just might work. Even if that is the case, with Miami's self-imposed postseason ban and player suspensions, it would not actually be anything more than coincidentally related to Mississippi State.
Miami's in a class by itself, and as the days count off, attempting to link past or current NCAA rulings to the Hurricanes is akin to taking a shot in the dark. What's happening in Coral Gables, from an investigation standpoint, is not like UNC or Ohio State or USC or Mississippi State or any of the recent NCAA cases.
For Miami fans, the smart move is to simply hope for the best, hope that the NCAA recognizes this is a battle it cannot win, and to take its ball and go home. Hope that time served is the compromise. Most importantly, hope that the NCAA does not continue its crusade against the 'Canes despite the public missteps that have tainted the findings.
The NCAA is a strange beast. Often, none of its rulings appear to follow much in the way of a pattern. In the case of something as unique as the Miami situation, this becomes even more true. There is nothing to learn about Miami from Mississippi State situation. But this Miami case is teaching all of us plenty about how the NCAA operates.