The Miami Hurricanes are soon going to feel the wrath of the NCAA, when sanctions are expected to be levied against “The U,” following years of what many are reporting is improper actions by players and coaches. Whether or not Hurricanes head coach Al Golden sticks around long enough to try to overcome them will remain to be seen.
Over the past two days, two Miami football players have quit the team. A pair of juniors – Jermaine Johnson and Kelvin Cain – left the team after saying that they were unhappy with their playing time. As it turns out, they are not alone.
According to Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post, many players are upset with what they perceive is unfair treatment by Golden.
“Neither player has commented on why he left the team but there have been complaints by some that coach Al Golden is playing favorites by utilizing younger, less-experienced players that he recruited over guys that were brought in by former coach Randy Shannon,” said Milian. One UM upperclassman called me on Wednesday afternoon – first time that’s happened since I’ve been on this beat – voicing a similar complaint. The player did not want to be named, fearing that going public would subject him to recriminations from the coaching staff. But the player said that several of his teammates feel like they are seeing their game action reduced or taken away completely based primarily on their connection with the former staff.”
Milian does not believe that there is any truth to these claims by certain Hurricanes players in 2012. In fact, he was rather quick to dismiss them.
“Most coaches I know would play a serial killer if it meant the difference between winning and losing,” quipped Milian. “And, yes, most of those quitting or complaining haven’t exactly been tearing it up when given the opportunity to play. But on an extremely youthful squad that’s in the midst of a three-game losing streak and about to play arguably its most important game of the season, internal dissension of any kind is hardly welcomed.”
This has happened in the past. Certain coaches feel more comfortable playing the players who they recruited. They do so primarily because those are the players on whom they are staking their future. If other players who were brought in under the former regime get all the work, critics will question just what type of players the new coach is capable of bringing in to play. You have to give some of them a chance to prove what they are made of, even if it is at the expense at some of the older, more experienced players.
Now, I am not saying that you do this in exchange for a better chance to win games. That would be foolish. But if Golden says that he is playing the players who give Miami the best chance to win, then that is what he has to do. It is his call.
Of course, it is the university’s call as to exactly how long he gets to coach at Miami, so he better be right in selecting which players will start and receive the majority of the playing time from a week to week basis. Miami is just 4-4 after a three game losing streak has them in jeopardy of failing to become bowl eligible, but there is still time to turn things around.
The Hurricanes have four games left in 2012, starting at home against the Virginia Tech Hokies this coming Thursday. It would be nice if some fans actually came out and supported Miami, as they need to win at least two more games to have any shot of playing in a bowl game in 2012. Of course, some have suggested that the Hurricanes decline an opportunity to play in a bowl game this season as it could lessen future punishment, although that also remains to be seen.
Either way, this should go one of two ways.
Either more and more players will continue to leave Miami, leaving the Hurricanes in shambles in the midst of a mutiny. Or, Golden will encourage any of the players under the old coaching staff to leave the program as he cleans it up going forward.
Six to one, right?