A pretty interesting report dropped yesterday regarding the status of the looming NCAA sanctions that every Miami fan has been waiting for (for better or worse). Chip Patterson over at the Eye On College Football Blog at CBS put out this report, which, if true, may provide a bit of relief to a lot of fans. The reports references a Miami Herald blurb wherein a high-ranking UM official reportedly stated that the NCAA had not given the school any timetable at all on when they could expect to get their Notice of Allegations. The official said that they wouldn't be surprised if it was held until after national signing day, which would be February 3rd, 2013. If this is the case, that gives Golden the freedom to recruit this year without worry of scholarship restrictions, and would also help curb a bit of the well documented negative recruiting from other coaches.
So how does all this affect the potential class, and how many guys can Miami bring in this year? Hit the jump and we'll take a look.
To start off, if the report turns out to be true, and the NCAA does hold off punishment until early 2013, it would be a double edged sword for Miami. The obvious good aspects are that fellow coaches (cough...Muschamp...cough) would not be able to "negative recruit" Miami as much as they have been. It has been pretty well documented that other coaches went into recruit's houses and tried to sway them by bringing up the potential sanctions. If these sanctions were to be withheld until after the 2013 kids were signed, it would be a big blow to those who would want to use the NCAA to try and sway them. Those kids would have been fully informed, as the 2012 class was, about what could potentially happen, how it would affect them, etc. It also would mean that the school would not have to operate under any sort of scholarship reductions, unless they are self-imposed, and I have seen no talk out of Coral Gables to indicate this is in the works. 2013 should be a full on normal recruiting year, which is great considering what Golden did last year just trying to load up on recruits on the chance that the school was hit before the season started.
The potentially negative aspect of the sanctions being withheld until after this season deals with a potential bowl game. If Miami becomes bowl eligible this season, does the school forfeit the bowl game for a second straight year in an attempt to satiate the NCAA? If this is going to be the case, does the bowl itself come into play? For example, say Miami overachieves and makes it to a well-respected bowl game. Does the school turn down the potential revenue and exposure to potential recruits in order to possibly avoid a further ban the following year? Personally, if the Canes are in a lower rated bowl, you forfeit, hands down. You never know exactly how this will affect what the NCAA does, but they would HAVE to look at the fact that the school has been nothing but open with them, and forfeited 2 straight bowl games. Whether this would affect the sanctions or not, who knows.
Now, on to the current state of the team, and what the recruiting outlook looks like. Trying to figure out recruiting and scholarship numbers can be an exercise in futility. There are rules everywhere, and they all play off of one another. After looking through the numbers for a while, I seem to have a pretty good idea of how the 2013 recruiting class will be allowed to shape up. First, you have to look at last year's class in order to start the process for this year (what?). Last year, Golden brought in 32 kids (it was 33, but with Jean-Louis going prep it goes down), 9 of which early enrolled and counted towards 2011. This basically gave Miami a final 2012 recruiting class of 23 signees, which is two below the maximum the NCAA allows. With that in mind, fast forward to 2013. Miami again gets a maximum of 25 signees allowed, plus 2 extra since they can fill two spots with early enrollees that will count towards last year.
Confused yet? Here's another angle:
2011 Class - 16 out of 25 spots filled.
2012 Class - 32 signed, 9 early enrolled, filling the remaining 9 2011 spots.
Final number - 23
2013 Class - 27 available scholarships, assuming 2 signees enroll early and fill the remaining 2 spots from 2012.
Basically, Golden & Co have the full slate of scholarships to work with, assuming the NCAA chooses to wait until after signing day. They are free to sign 27 kids with this years class. The only potential issue with doing so would be that pesky team scholarship limit of 85 that every school must meet by July. Golden has gone on record as saying he hopes to trim the 2012 team down to around 80 guys, which would leave 5 spots open. If he pulls this off, then that will help the 2013 group a lot. We obviously don't know who might leave early next year for the NFL draft, but we do know that Miami will lose 15 seniors from the 2012 team. So, let's break this down as well:
Current team - 80 players (assuming 80 scholarship players)
subtract 15 seniors = 65 scholarship players to begin 2013.
What this means is that if Miami signs, say, 25 guys to the 2013 scholarship class, and they all make it to school, that would give Miami 90 players on scholarship. Remember, my calculations do not account for guys leaving early, and I would assume that 5 guys will, although I certainly hope not. This also assumes that all 25 guys from the 2013 class make it in, which is an unknown as well.
Here's the bottom line: Miami has 27 scholarship spots they can work with in 2013, and I would place your bets on Golden doing his best to fill every single one of them with quality guys. He is well on his way for sure, with the current 2013 count at 7 recruits. Questions? Comments? Math Corrections? Leave them below!