The 2013 Miami Hurricanes football season has arrived.
....and still not a peep from the NCAA.
While the University of Miami has patiently waited for the NCAA to render their decision, they have excluded themselves from going to two consecutive bowl games and an ACC Championship game in 2012. The thought process behind self imposed sanctions was obviously in hopes of softening the expected punishment from the governing body of college football. Miami has fully cooperated during an investigation that has taken entirely too long. Even the biggest University of Miami skeptics feel like enough is enough.
Frankly, so do I.
In August of 2010, convicted felon and shyster Nevin Shapiro began crying about how Miami had violated NCAA rules. One year later, Yahoo Sports Charles Robinson conducted over 100 hours of jailhouse interviews and allegedly exposed how he university had allowed his illegal activities to affect Miami athletes to receive "impermissible" benefits.
The University of Miami was being ratted out by a rat. See, Shapiro had been put in jail for being the author of a $930 million dollar Ponzi scheme and now he was talking about how some of that loot had ended up in Coral Gables.
The NCAA began investigating and looking into these allegations in February, 2011, when the NCAA provided Shapiro, a convicted felon, with a disposable cell phone. The "governing body" dropped over $8,000 to help finance their communications with him from prison. All this so they could make a case against Miami and it was held together by spit, mud and the testimony of a shyster that stole $1,000,000,000 from hard working people.
I haven't stopped thinking about this. For almost three years now. Three years is way too long.
It bothers me that the "governing body" had such a weak case that they actually paid for the testimony of a man serving 20 years in prison for being a low life. Julie Roe Lach, the vice president of enforcement for the NCAA at the time, was fired for wrongdoing during this investigation.
I haven't stopped thinking about this. It's been three years now since Shapiro first opened his mouth. It's been 2 ½ years since the NCAA began its' dirty and crooked investigation. Still no resolution.
Wanna laugh? I calculated something quite astonishing. In the time it has taken the NCAA to try to resolve this and hand down their penalty, a Hurricanes football player could have walked around the world.
Let that marinate for a moment. Walked around the world.
A college athlete walks at an approximate speed of 3.5 miles per hour. At that rate of speed, walking eight hours a day, it would take the player about 889 days, or 28 months to complete the 24,900 mile journey.
Had a freshman Hurricanes football player left on this journey the day the NCAA began investigating back in February of 2011, that player would be a senior today and would have completed his walk two months ago.
I can't make that up.
What is taking so damn long?
The sentiments of most Canes fans are similar as the decision from the NCAA continues to be delayed. Some think this is a purposeful ploy by the "governing body" to hurt the program. Others feel they will render their decision before a big game. Out of spite. Like next week, right before the Florida game.
Others feel like the NCAA is dotting their I's and crossing their T's. Whatever the case maybe, the decision is taking too long.
When are the programs and learning institutions in college football going to fight back against the NCAA? I asked my good friend and college football analyst, Sean Salisbury what he thought about all this. After all, I'm known to look at things through orange and green sunglasses. I know when I talk with Sean, he gives it to me straight and doesn't let me be a homer.
He pulled no punches.
"Do I feel the NCAA is negligent? Yes I do. If the University of Miami did wrong, then punish them," said Salisbury. "Our justice system settles murders quicker. It's unfair to hold them hostage like this."
"I think they like seeing The U sweat. I don't know all that's happened with the case. But there isn't any doubt in mind that there's a grudge there. Do I think the NCAA is a good governing body? No. Are they (Miami) being put on hold on purpose? Yes."
I was in shock as I continued talking with Sean. The more he said, the more I realized that the "governing body" is dead wrong here and has no business in the business of college football.
"It's old. It's tired. The NCAA needs to make a decision already. The longer it takes, the less they have," continued Salisbury.
"Quit looking under rocks for things that aren't there. The NCAA would lose to a snail in a race around a track. They are archaic and they're going to be out of work soon."
Years of long talks with Salisbury have taught me that few people have a stronger love for college football than he does. He seems to think this is a sign of the times.
"If the Canes were in the SEC, this would have been settled a long time ago," he told me.
"I don't think our justice system should allow a felon to be a witness in any case. Of course he wants to get even. Forgiveness is one thing. But he could never get hired by the government because he is a felon. A testimony from him? His testimony holds as much water as a dry creek."
A sense of relief came over me after hearing Sean say that. I knew now that I wasn't going crazy. I knew that this system is flawed on so many levels and this is just proof that something needs to change.
He finished our conversation in typical Salisbury fashion. With oomph.
"I would love nothing more than to start a union for college football players. I'd be their president!"
It's time for the "governing body" to stop it. Stop stalling and render your decision. If you've got nothing, and I believe they don't, then go with the proverbial "time served" penalty and lets all move past this nightmare.
College football is better when the Miami Hurricanes are playing good and have a chance to build something special like they're doing now."
Somewhere rotting away in prison, Nevin Shapiro sits there with a smirk on his face.