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Report says Miami, Al Golden continued recruiting violations

Did Al Golden knowingly violate recruiting rules at Miami? Photo: Getty Images

Miami staff used Sean Allen, who is tied to Nevin Shapiro Ponzi scheme, to assist in recruiting

Did Al Golden knowingly violate recruiting rules at Miami? Photo: Getty Images

Miami was already under investigation for one of the most egregious recruiting scandals we have seen in college football in recent memory. Now it looks as though Al Golden and the new coaching staff may not have been playing within the rules after taking over the program last year.

According to Charles Robinson’s report on Yahoo! Sports;

Less than one week after the University of Miami hired Al Golden as coach, members of Golden’s coaching staff began using Sean “Pee Wee” Allen – a then-equipment manager and onetime right-hand man of convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro – to circumvent NCAA rules in the recruiting of multiple Miami-area players, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

Golden, hired by Miami in mid-December 2010, had direct knowledge of Allen’s improper involvement with Miami recruits, according to a former Hurricanes athletic department staffer and federal testimony given by Allen in Shapiro’s bankruptcy case. Additionally, multiple sources interviewed by NCAA investigators have told Yahoo! Sports that Allen has become a focal point in the association’s probe into Miami athletics. The sources said investigators focused on Allen’s role in providing impermissible benefits to Hurricanes players, as well as his contact with Miami recruits.

So, if the report is accurate, Miami was knowingly committing NCAA recruiting violations while under investigation for recruiting violations?

Golden released a statement Friday night denying any involvement in potential recruiting violations. As provided by Miami Athletics;

“I have been a college football coach for more than 18 years and I am proud of–and I stand by–my record of compliance over that span. As my colleagues and players on all of my teams can attest, I believe strongly in doing things the right way with the best of intentions. The inferences and suggestions in the Yahoo! Sports story that my conduct was anything but ethical are simply false.  I, like all of us at UM, have cooperated fully with the joint NCAA-UM inquiry and will continue to do so, so that our program and our University can move forward.

 Because the process is on-going, I am unable to address any specifics or answer questions on the matter.”

– Al Golden, July 20, 2012

Honestly, Miami would be lucky to get away with a paddling if this is all accurate. The school continues to be under investigation and this could be added to the mix. As if the sanctions at Miami were not already going to be steep enough, this would figure to take things up to another level, would it not?

And how about the timing of all this? The ACC Football Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday and Monday. I will be on the scene in Greensboro, ready to see what is said about this (don’t expect much).

As for my initial reaction, I was surprised. Golden always seemed to me as though he as a guy who did things the right way at Temple. Having the opportunity to cover the Owls and Golden in person and watch what he did with that program as close as I did, there was never a real suspicion of any questionable or illegitimate team activities or recruiting tactics. Of course, I have been fooled before over the past year so I feel as though it has become a little easier to ask some tougher questions about what I have witnessed.

Was Temple’s recent success legitimate under Golden’s time in Philadelphia? I think it was, although this certainly raises an eyebrow for me as the Owls have enjoyed more success for a sustained period of time than ever before. Temple brought in some talented products that have gone on to the NFL, the program returned to the postseason two out of the last three years and now the program is back in the Big East after working their way back from the literal bottom of the college football world.

I want to believe Golden when he says this report is false. Hopefully that is proven to be true, for his sake.

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.
2 comments
John Smart
John Smart

it's very odd that this site has never touched the biggest scandal in college football history... Save our kids! Kill Penn State Football!

Kevin McGuire
Kevin McGuire

John, I have been covering the Penn State story since last November on our sister site, Nittany Lions Den, as well as Examiner.com. Give me a follow on Twitter and you will see plenty of PSU-related coverage.