Miami asking for reinstatement
Golden: “We’ll fight through this, Hurricanes always have”
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami has sent paperwork to the NCAA asking that football players declared ineligible for associating with booster Nevin Shapiro be reinstated in time for the Hurricanes' season-opener at Maryland.
University officials would not confirm the number of reinstatements being sought.
"They're eligible to practice," Miami coach Al Golden said Friday morning. "We have filed paperwork to the NCAA as of late last night, which is part of the normal process. ... The only entity that can reinstate them is the NCAA. So now we've done our part. We're waiting. Of course, there's going to be follow-ups from the NCAA standpoint. We've done our part from this end, and it's up to the NCAA to reinstate them."
Being declared ineligible now doesn't necessarily mean a player would miss any time this season. Golden said he wasn't allowed to discuss specifics about the players who have been declared ineligible.
"It's an ongoing investigation," Golden said. "I'm not allowed to comment on that. Again, we've been most respectful to the process here from the NCAA and been extremely cooperative, so I'm not going to deviate from that path right now."
The NCAA will decide not only if the players can be reinstated, but what penalty they need to serve, if any. Being suspended for games is a common penalty in eligibility-related matters, though if the violations are deemed to be small, sometimes players receive sanctions that do not include missing any time.
To say Miami is anxiously awaiting the NCAA findings is an understatement: The Hurricanes open at Maryland on Sept. 5.
Besides Harris, the other football players named by Shapiro for a story published by Yahoo Sports last week are Sean Spence, Vaughn Telemaque, Ray Ray Armstrong, Travis Benjamin, Aldarius Johnson, Marcus Forston, Olivier Vernon, Marcus Robinson, Adewale Ojomo, Dyron Dye and JoJo Nicholas.
For the portion of practice open to media Friday, neither Dye nor Nicholas was seen on the field. The reason for Dye's absence is unclear. Nicholas has been dealing for several days with the death of a prematurely born child.
"We'll fight through this," Golden said. "Hurricanes always have."
Shapiro is a convicted Ponzi scheme architect serving a 20-year prison sentence for bilking $930 million from investors. He was a Miami booster for much of the past decade and says he provided dozens of Hurricanes, and some recruits who went elsewhere, with extra benefits from 2002 through 2010.
"We're just worrying about this 'U', worrying about what our goals are and just focusing on that first game," offensive lineman Joel Figueroa said. "We're definitely going to be ready."