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Letters To Al: After Cincinnati Game, Golden Might Have Finally Lost The Locker Room

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I have used this space on a weekly basis to communicate, telepathically maybe, with Al Golden and share my thoughts with him about the past week's game. With Miami playing Thursday night, and losing to Cincinnati, the program has continued to sink into the depths of the abyss. I have just a few things to get off of my chest. The threshold thought contained in this letter is that Al Golden has lost the locker room and that he cannot motivate the players to win a road game for him, to possibly salvage his tempered career at the University of Miami.

Dear Al:

I have tried to use kindness in this space to motivate you to do better and to get the team ready to play four quarters of quality football.  It is not working.

You just do not get it.

This is not Temple.  This is the University of Miami and we just watched your team embarrass itself on national television and lose again on ESPN, in prime time, to a team that started a freshman quarterback and was missing a lot of weapons on offense.  Cincinnati lost to Temple, but beat Miami. What does that say about you?  Your old school beat them, but your current school cannot.

The answer is simple. This game summed up your entire career at Miami.  You lose the games that you are supposed to lose and you lose the games that you are supposed to win. As Stephen A. Smith would say, "Quite frankly," that is unacceptable.

I do not know why you cannot motivate this team and get them to play harder for you.  They all say that they love you and want to keep you as their coach, but their play on the field does not translate to that.  You lost the trap game that a lot of people thought you would lose because you are probably thinking about Tallahassee and next week's game against FSU.

The one saving grace is that Cincinnati, who plays in the American Conference, does not play in the ACC and this will not count toward the conference title. However, if you cannot beat Cincinnati, and you need injuries to beat FAU, and you nearly blow a 23-point lead against Nebraska in the final eight minutes, what makes anyone think that you can lead a team against an ACC opponent?

Florida State, in a down year, must be licking their chops at that weak pass rush that had no life until the fourth quarter. The offensive line continues to improve, but takes two steps backwards and one step forward.  They could not run in between the tackles, and on two third-down calls, BK checks down to the run and goes between the tackles.  Everyone in the stadium saw it coming but him.

Personally, I feel as though Miami is a step below the Temple program that you came from. Temple beat Penn State and also beat this same Cincinnati team earlier this season.  They are making progress, while you do nothing with this program but regress.

I do not want to appear as though I am kicking a dog when he is down, but the fact of the matter is that I have not been on your bandwagon for a while.  I do not think that you can motivate this team and I think that you lost the locker room.  The only question is how long is it going to be before Miami gets a coach that can motivate its players to win on a regular basis.  The talent is there.  The players can win, but they need better coaching.

Players have to learn not to take stupid penalties. That comes from respect, discipline and coaching. I see every penalty, every selfish move, as a test of your character and a testament to the fact that you have lost the locker room. You say that third and fourth down are your downs.  You are responsible.  We have the second worst third-down conversion percentage in the nation. What does that say about your coaching?

As we are about to enter a political season, I will close with this, "I am Scott Salomon and I approve of this message."