CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami has declared a number of its football players ineligible until they are reinstated by the NCAA, a source close to the team confirmed to ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich.
The source said Miami declared up to 13 players under investigation by the NCAA ineligible to allow the NCAA to make a ruling by the season opener.
ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich writes about all things ACC in the conference blog.
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Miami’s internal investigation has determined some players, including quarterback Jacory Harris, are believed to have committed NCAA violations by associating with booster Nevin Shapiro and have been declared ineligible, said a person with knowledge of the process told the Associated Press.
Shapiro is a convicted Ponzi scheme architect serving a 20-year prison sentence for bilking $930 million from investors, and his claims have cast a long shadow over Miami’s season before it even begins.
Simply being declared ineligible now does not necessarily mean a player would miss any time this season.
Under NCAA rules, when a school finds violations have occurred, the athlete typically is declared ineligible and the NCAA begins a reinstatement process. The NCAA will also decide if that player needs to miss any games. And the clock is running: Miami opens the season at Maryland on Sept. 5.
“The school must declare the student-athlete ineligible and then can seek reinstatement,” NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn said.
Earlier Thursday, Miami coach Al Golden suggested that the depth chart might not be announced until Tuesday. All of the players implicated by Shapiro in a story published by Yahoo Sports were practicing Thursday, and have been on the field throughout the process.
“We’ll make sure we practice enough guys because we really don’t know what the future brings,” Golden said. “Hopefully we’ll find out pretty quickly here in the near future if there are any penalties or suspensions, and we’ll adjust accordingly.”
Golden said he has a plan for which personnel to use against the Terrapins. And another plan, just in case. And, well, another plan, in case things change some more.
“All of the above,” Golden said.
Harris and all other Miami players implicated by claims that Shapiro provided dozens of Hurricanes with extra benefits like cash, cars, gifts and sex for the better part of a decade returned to the practice field Thursday after a brief break for the start of the academic year.
University officials haven’t commented publicly on the specifics of the process. Miami President Donna Shalala said this week that 15 student-athletes — she did not specify names or teams — were being investigated by university compliance personnel. Shapiro told Yahoo Sports that he provided benefits to 72 athletes, 65 of whom played football for Miami. Of those, 12 are current football players, and one is a member of the men’s basketball team.
“We’re going about our business,” Golden said. “Obviously some of the players that are alleged to have done something are guys that have played a lot of football for us, so obviously there’s going to be some adjustments if there are suspensions. Other than that, we’re just moving forward and the kids have been great.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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