Release from NCAA: Eight Miami Players must sit out and repay benefits
Eight University of Miami football student-athletes must miss competition and repay benefits as a condition of becoming eligible to play again, according to a decision today by the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff. The student-athletes received varying levels of recruiting inducements and extra benefits from university booster Nevin Shapiro and athletics personnel, according to the facts of the case.
Reinstatement decisions are independent of the NCAA enforcement process and typically are made once the facts of the student-athlete’s involvement are determined. This is typically well in advance of infractions decisions. The enforcement investigation into the University of Miami is ongoing.
Of the eight football student-athletes, three received substantial benefits as prospective student-athletes from Shapiro and athletics personnel to entice them to enroll at the university, which are considered some of the most serious recruiting violations within the NCAA.
Olivier Vernon, who received more than $1,200 in benefits primarily from Shapiro, must miss six games and make repayment of the value of the benefits. These recruitment benefits included meals, transportation, access to Shapiro’s game suite, drinks, as well as cover charges at two different nightclubs, among others.
Two other student-athletes, Aravious Armstrong and Dyron Dye, will miss four games and must make repayment. Armstrong received approximately $788 in extra benefits from Shapiro and athletics personnel during his recruitment. Dye received approximately $738. These student-athletes’ benefits included five nights of impermissible lodging from institutional staff during their unofficial visits, transportation, multiple meals, and entertainment at a gentleman’s club.
Different than the first three student-athletes, five other student-athletes received impermissible benefits while currently enrolled at the university.
These five student-athletes – Marcus Forston, Sean Ryan Spence, Adewale Ojomo, Travis Benjamin and Jacory Harris – must miss one game and make repayment. Forston received more than $400 in extra benefits from Shapiro and athletic personnel, including athletic equipment, meals, nightclub cover charges and entertainment at a gentleman’s club. Spence received approximately $275 in benefits, including meals, transportation, as well as cover charges and entertainment at a gentleman’s club. Ojomo received $240 in extra benefits, including a meal and nightclub cover charges. Benjamin received more than $150 in extra benefits, including meals and entertainment. Harris received more than $140 in benefits from meals, entertainment, transportation and nightclub cover charges.
During the student-athlete reinstatement process, the staff considers a number of factors including guidelines established by the Division I NCAA Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement for the type of violations and value of benefits, if a significant competitive advantage was gained, the student-athlete’s responsibility for the violations and any mitigating circumstances presented by the school, among other factors.
“From regular reviews of our rules to the presidential retreat earlier this month, our members have continually stressed that involvement of third parties during recruitment will not be tolerated, and there must be accountability for inappropriate behavior,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs.
When a school discovers an NCAA rules violation has occurred, it must declare the student-athlete ineligible and may request the student-athlete’s eligibility be reinstated. The NCAA staff reviews each student-athlete’s reinstatement request individually based on its own merits and set of specific facts, which are agreed upon by the university and the NCAA enforcement staff. The University of Miami has not submitted any additional reinstatement requests at this time.
"The NCAA has informed the University of Miami of their decisions regarding the reinstatement of eight student-athletes who were declared ineligible by the University last week,” said University of Miami Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst. “The student-athletes involved have acknowledged receiving improper benefits and will now be responsible for restitution and, in some cases, the student-athletes will also serve game suspensions. They understand that their actions demand consequences.
"This university has the highest standards in all of our academic and athletic endeavors. We will remain steadfast in our commitment to continue to build winning programs with the utmost of integrity. We will be more vigilant in our compliance and continue to work with the NCAA on the joint investigation to determine the facts.
"We appreciate the diligence and understanding of the NCAA staff and its handling of the student-athlete eligibility issues in an expeditious manner. I would also like to thank Coach (Al) Golden and his staff for their professionalism and leadership over the past few weeks."
The reinstatement process typically concludes prior to the close of the enforcement investigation, which must determine the university’s responsibility for violations. While it depends on the complexity of the case, most student-athlete reinstatement requests are resolved in about a week after the school has provided a complete request and the reinstatement staff has all the necessary information. In contrast an enforcement investigation, which also varies in length depending on the complexity, must look at the totality of issues and takes an average of 11 months. For this reason, student-athlete reinstatement decisions do not signal that an enforcement investigation is complete.
The university can appeal any student-athlete reinstatement decision to the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement, an independent panel comprised of representatives from NCAA member colleges, university and athletic conferences who are not directly affiliated with the university. This committee can reduce or remove the condition, but it cannot increase the staff-imposed conditions. If appealed, the student-athlete remains ineligible until the conclusion of the appeals process.
Charlotte, N.C. – Multi-platinum Broken Bow Records recording artist Jason Aldean will open ACC Network telecasts of ACC football all season, it was announced today by Raycom Sports. Aldean’s song “My Kinda Party” will be featured in the opening video montage to lead into each week’s syndicated game.
Since his 2005 debut with the scorching “Hicktown,” Aldean has set himself apart from the pack as a truly unique artist. With four albums released and countless hits, Aldean has collaborated with artists ranging from Kelly Clarkson to Ludacris. His most recent album also titled MY KINDA PARTY is currently the #1 selling country album of the year.
Aldean joins a star-studded list of performers featured in Raycom football and basketball telecasts over the years, including Rascal Flatts, Brooks & Dunn, Daughtry, Sugarland, Alison Krauss, Chris Brown, Lil’ Mama, T-Pain, David Cook, and Ricky Skaggs.
Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the ACC Network is the official multimedia platform of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Dedicated to delivering live, historical and original content through innovative platforms, the ACC Network is a partnership between the ACC and Raycom Sports.
Built over 30 years of broadcast production and multimedia rights, the ACC Network maximizes the distribution of ACC content through live television broadcasting, original programming via digital technologies, historical archives, mobile applications, social media, ACC Championship events and the official ACC website. For more, visit ACCNetwork.com
Charlotte-based Raycom Sports is a leading independent sports sales & marketing, syndication, event management and production firm. Raycom is the current television rightsholder of syndicated ACC men’s basketball and football telecasts. Raycom Sports’ parent company Raycom Media, located in Montgomery, Alabama, owns and operates 46 television stations covering over 12 percent of the United States across 18 states.
GREENSBORO, NC –The Atlantic Coast Conference and its multi-media rightsholders announced Monday that they have agreed to a two-year extension with SiriusXM Satellite Radio to allow games from all of its 12 schools to be carried by both Sirius and XM Satellite Radio.
The agreement extends a relationship between the ACC and SiriusXM which dates back seven years, as the ACC was the first intercollegiate conference to have its games broadcast over satellite radio, beginning in 2004.
The agreement is also part of a larger contract reached between SiriusXM, IMG College and Learfield Sports which will make broadcasts from 81 college programs and 10 conferences available to Sirius/XM listeners across the country.
In all, four separate rightsholders manage the radio rights to ACC schools: IMG College (Boston College, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest); Learfield Sports (Clemson, North Carolina and Miami); CBS Collegiate Sports Properties (Maryland and Virginia); and Capital Broadcasting (NC State).
The agreement is good for both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.
In addition to the live play-by-play for ACC sports, SiriusXM will also carry weekly shows hosted by ACC head football and basketball coaches throughout the respective seasons on College Sports Nation, Sirius 91, XM 91, SiriusXM’s 24-hour college sports channel.
ACC Football games will be available this week, beginning on Thursday night with the Western Carolina at Georgia Tech (7:30 p.m.—XM-190, Sirius-211) and Wake Forest at Syracuse (8 p.m.—XM 191, Sirius 212) games.
The rest of this week’s schedule:
Sept. 3—Northwestern at Boston College, 12 pm (Sirius 91, XM 91) Sept. 3—Appalachian State at Virginia Tech, 12:30 pm (XM 191, Sirius 212) Sept. 3—Troy at Clemson, 3:30 pm (XM 136) Sept. 3—Louisiana Monroe at Florida State, 3:30 pm (XM 193, Sirius 211) Sept. 3—James Madison at North Carolina, 3:30 pm (XM 192, Sirius 213) Sept. 3—Liberty at NC State, 6 pm (XM 190, Sirius 212) Sept. 3—William & Mary at Virginia, 6 pm (XM 191, Sirius 131) Sept. 3—Richmond at Duke, 7 pm (XM 192, Sirius 213) Sept. 5—Miami at Maryland, 8 pm (Maryland, Sirius 91, XM 91); (Miami, Sirius 85, XM 85)
If you missed it: NCAA Statement regarding Danny Sheridan
Danny Sheridan continues to make vague, unsubstantiated claims without backing them up with proof. Contrary to his claims of having an inside source with details on the Auburn investigation, the NCAA has not provided information to Sheridan or anyone else. As a matter of due diligence, the NCAA spoke with Sheridan this week to determine if he had any facts pertaining to the investigation. Sheridan, however, did not provide any information to the enforcement staff and certainly did not provide a name. Instead, he unsuccessfully attempted to gather information for his own use.
If you missed it: NCAA Statement on Longhorn Network
The NCAA is monitoring content on the Longhorn Network and its news coverage of high school sports. With respect to NCAA bylaws as the Association has continued to review the issue, acceptable content is limited to scores, statistics, standings and news video used to report those details.
We will continue to monitor the Longhorn Network to determine if the content is produced within those guidelines.
As you all know— or may not know, I am the co-owner/co-founder of PlantTheSpear.com a site a little over a year old now.
Since day one— this has been a fun ride. FSU is an extremely fun team to follow— and cover. I—too have always enjoyed following recruiting.
At the age of 26 I feel accomplished—not satisfied— with the number of true contacts I have in the business. I’ve been able to network with coaches across the Southeast, both collegiate, at the high school, and everywhere in between. I feel very comfortable and confident that I will land on my feet after this because I walk away from PlantTheSpear.com with my head held high, pride intact, knowing I did the right thing.
I’ve been able to meet a lot of new friends, new people, and those friends and people are ones I will carry with me.
A few months ago PlantTheSpear.com merged with CaneInsider.com to form a new “network”. It was a good move to gain more attention and further our foot print in this “business”. In the end it turned out not to be the best of fits, and I have felt betrayed by someone I once called a friend, a co-worker, the other half of PlantTheSpear.
I have officially resigned along side Adam Tolliver, and Joshua Flanagan, effective immediately.
- Note - I have removed the name of the recruit involved in all of this, to stay away from further damaging his hopes.
A few days ago we were contacted and told that a “recruit” had silently committed to Florida State. I was told this via email from my cohort and the other half of PlantTheSpear, Lauren Goddard (@lgoddard).
That original email read as follows:
" “recruit” is going to commit to FSU. His coach is a good friend of Jimmy Smith’s and says no one knows but he wants Plant The Spear to break the news. Jimmy is calling me in a few minutes to talk it over. I’ll let you know what he says."
I’m pretty close in the recruiting circles— or I would like to think— and hearing the news of “recruit”’s “silently committing” instantly struck me as, “yeah it’s possible but the staff have to be waiting on “other recruit” or “other recruit 2” “. And “breaking” a silent commitment? When has that ever been done.
So I responded:
“Does he have an offer he can commit to? We would need thorough quotes from “recruit” to cover our ass if we’re breaking this and putting it out”
Makes sense huh. Get quotes from the guy who is committing to FSU?
Not so fast my friend… This was the next email I received from Lauren.
"He has an offer. He has already silently committed to our staff and our staff has accepted it. No quotes from “recruit”. He doesn’t know we’re breaking this story. His coach wants it out there but “recruit” doesn’t. I’m writing the story right now and will send it to Jimmy and all you guys before it runs. Jimmy’s going to run the story by his HS coach before we run it. "
“ “recruit” won’t talk to any other reporters about it for a few days Jimmy says it’ll be exclusive to our site.”
RED FLAG, HIT THE BRAKES…..WHAT?
‘recruit” does not know??
This instantly hit me the entirely wrong way—or right way—because throughout the time I’ve been doing what I have been doing I’ve had two goals. One— look out for the best interest of the recruit, quote them accurately and do not make them look bad. Two—the staff. Jimbo Fisher and staff are masterminds—they do everything according to planned and if “recruit” actually had committed and it was a “solid” commitment there would be zero problems with him going public. If you are “silent” you are silent for a reason. Why break that?
I’m not in the business to undercut a coaching staff getting paid millions to do something, and definitely not in the business to do something a recruit says he does not want done.
Throughout this entire time— Myself, Adam Tolliver, and Joshua Flanagan pleaded for an explanation— never to get one other than they were doing a “favor” for a coach. We urged this not to happen— and did manage to get the story ready to run to be delayed.
After said email, Joshua Flanagan contacted the “recruit” to talk about his recruitment and see where he stood. He of course denied any “silent commitment” and was really confused about what was going on.
Along the way Adam, Josh, and I, have been questioned by members of the said “network”, even stooping to the level of comparing how long we’ve been doing this as opposed to others. We were asked to get our head out of our ass directly, and were up in arms with the thought that our reputation might have been damaged with this high school coach.
If you have ever followed PlantTheSpear.com, or Adam, Josh, or I— then you know we have never been into ruining moments for a kid, and until this happened I had assumed Lauren was on the same page with that.
I mean the proof is in the pudding, right?
Though Lauren stood steadfast, with wanting to run a story that should never have been thought about running.
Since arriving on the scene, Adam, Josh and myself have approached and handled our coverage with respect, honesty, integrity, and loyalty. Loyalty to these young men who dream of playing college football, loyalty to our coaching staff, and loyalty to our colleagues. Somewhere along the way— some fell off.
So effective immediately—Myself alongside Adam Tolliver and Joshua Flanagan have resigned from PlantTheSpear.com
We admonish the behavior described above and it is reprehensible at best.
It was a tough decision but a decision we felt convicted of. It was something we clearly had to do.
So what is next? We will still be around. You can follow Adam on twitter (@primediscussion) and Josh (@YeahFlanny).
This is not the last you will hear from us. We walk away with our head held high— and a job well done. We will never cross the line of stepping on a coaching staff’s toes as well as damaging a recruit’s chances from small-to-large.
We all will hope to continue writing, because we truly love what we do, but only time will tell how this all will work out.
We are not perfect, we do not have all the answers, but we no longer will be apart of a website so damaged and headed in the absolute wrong direction.
In the coming days I am sure you will here non-sense from the opposing viewpoints but for many of you reading this— it will not be anything new.
Thank you for taking the time in reading this, and we will see you all around the interwebs.