Rotten to the Core

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The news coming out of Miami in the last couple of days has been
mind-blowing. The scope of what Nevin Shapiro and the Hurricane players, coaches
and administrators did for nearly a decade is unprecedented, as is the mountain
of financial records, photographs, and eyewitness reports documenting
everything. I find myself thinking that the Miami program is rotten to the core,
always has been, and always will be.

If you haven’t read Charles Robinson’s lengthy and fascinating article on
Yahoo! Sports about what went down at Miami, you can find it here:

Renegade Miami football booster spells out illicit benefits to players
Yahoo! Sports, 8/16/2011

While many have chosen to make fun of the situation, those of you who have
been visiting this site for a while know that I take my college athletics very
seriously. Too seriously, I admit. Most who know me personally will tell you I
have a good sense of humor, and I like to laugh, but when it comes to anything
affecting Hokie sports, I’m as serious as an ironman triathlon. It’s a
personality flaw.

The situation in Miami affects the Hokies. How much remains to be seen. One
of the questions surrounding the scandal is whether the Canes will receive the
NCAA’s death penalty, a temporary cessation of a program that is an egregious
violator of NCAA rules.

You know the drill about the death penalty: The NCAA gave it to SMU in the
80s, it was a blow from which SMU never recovered, the NCAA regrets it and
probably won’t ever do it again, yada-yada-yada.

Miami’s testing that resolve, with Shapiro’s tale of cash payouts, lavish
gifts, strippers, expensive dinners, and prostitutes. Coaches were involved.
Administrators turned a blind eye. (Particularly ironic is former chairman of
the NCAA’s committee on infractions Paul Dee’s sanctimonious statements when
handing down the Reggie Bush punishment, that “high-profile players demand
high-profile compliance.” Dee was the AD at Miami while Shapiro was running
rampant.)

If ever the NCAA was going to hand out the death penalty, it’s now, in this
instance.

The problem with handing out the death penalty is that it quit being a
school-specific punishment decades ago, right around the time SMU got blasted
with it. With

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