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NCAA Investigation Update: Things Are Looking Up For Miami

I know that you all have been clamoring for some sort of update on the NCAA investigation. We here at SOTU have been checking with people we know over the last few days, gathering enough info to be able to give you some sort of decent idea of what is happening, and of course making sure that what we have been told has been corroborated in some form or fashion.

Well, here we are. And the news is better.

The important thing to remember is that while the info we have gotten has either been reported elsewhere as is or in a similar fashion, nothing is concrete until the NCAA makes their ruling.

To begin with, the main thing that we are hearing is that the NCAA is taking an individualized approach to this situation. While they are still looking to punish Miami in some way, they are spending a LOT of time and effort in putting together cases and allegations against former coaches, boosters, and possibly players. The three major names that will likely be targeted in all of this are Aubrey Hill, Frank Haith, and Clint Hurtt. While we have been told nothing specific, those three will likely be looking at some sort of show cause order at minimum. Other former coaches, namely former basketball assistants Jake Morton and Jorge Hernandez, have come under intense scrutiny as well. Haith himself (and, of course, his lawyer) seem to be doing a bit of hedging in recent days, as evidenced by the Miami Herald interview they conducted:

The lawyer representing former University of Miami basketball coach Frank Haith in the Miami-related NCAA case said Haith — now the coach at Missouri — had not received a notice of allegations from the NCAA as of Wednesday night, and that they, "like everyone else,’’ are anxiously awaiting what transpires.

Attorney Michael L. Buckner also told The Miami Herald that Haith "has given the NCAA thousands of pages of documents at Coach Haith’s own expense,’’ and that "the bill for him acquiring these documents has cost well into the thousands of dollars.

"It has been over 15 months since he first was interviewed, and he’s cooperated the whole time,’’ Buckner said by phone. "We just want to know when this process will end.’’

Read more here:

This approach by the NCAA shows their switch to punishing the individuals responsible rather than punishing the university by itself. This bodes very well for Miami in a few ways. For one, it is no secret at all that Randy Shannon tried to distance himself and the program as much as possible from Shapiro, even going so far as to threaten firings and suspensions for anyone who had contact with him. If the NCAA pores over the evidence they have and sees that it was a few rogue individuals that were involved in the majority of the violations, there's an outside chance that Miami could avoid the dreaded Lack Of Institutional Control charge.

On that front, we have not been told that the LOIC charge is forthcoming, but it has not been debunked either. CaneSport is also reporting more or less the same thing, that while it has not been acknowledged either way, the evidence and what info is being passed around lends itself to that charge not being present in the final rulings.

Editor's Note: With regards to the LOIC charge, it is extremely important to remember that nothing is final. We are simply reporting on the general feeling of our sources and others that we have seen, and while we feel confident enough to put the information out there, it is by no means a definite indication that that charge is not going to be levied.

It has also been reported that the NCAA may force the University to disassociate anyone who has refused to speak to the NCAA and will effectively cut them off. This matches up with what we were told last week, that before the NOA would be delivered, the NCAA wants to filter out anyone who did not come to them to talk and make sure they are gone.

The last bit of info deals with how things may shake out months down the road. Based on everything that is out there, the general feeling is that Miami guessed right. The 2 consecutive bowl bans, suspensions of players at the beginning of 2011, and forcing them to repay any money they were involved with have all been the correct proactive moves. While, again, nothing is official until it is, it is looking more and more likely that if they do in fact miss the LOIC charge, there will likely be no further bowl bans, and the punishment will center around scholarship reductions, the show causes or other such penalties for the individual former coaches, and a few minor infractions committed by current staff members during the investigation.