In the past, we’d discussed the type of job Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden was doing to clean up the program’s image, but also acknowledged that there’s plenty more work to be done. The news back on June 29 about Ray Ray Armstrong and Seantrel Henderson doesn’t necessarily help matters then, despite the seemingly minor infractions for both.
Initial reaction to the news was all about a lack of institutional control and additional flying off the handle using tired, cliched tropes about “The U’s” thug image (which arrest records haven’t really supported for a decade now). Both players appeared to be suspended indefinitely, which meant more headaches for Golden and more heat from the NCAA. But now, it appears that that’s not the case.
Armstrong’s father is on the record claiming that his son will be playing at Miami this season, and has not been suspended for his supposed interaction with a booster on Twitter. Henderson has also disputed reports that he’s out as well, after arriving to camp one day late.
Removing these two players from the status and symbolism associated with Miami, especially with its current NCAA issues, would this even be a blip on the radar were they playing elsewhere? No, neither is necessarily a saint — specifically Henderson, who’s had a rocky collegiate career for the most part — but arriving late for practice and briefly interacting with boosters via Twitter aren’t the type of offenses that get star defenders or any lineman suspended for good. While watching ESPN’s College Football Live on Monday, I saw commentators were quick to call for more sanctions and declare a doomsday scenario for Miami’s recruiting class of 2011 (missing two or more postseasons due to NCAA violations). I’d say let’s hold off judgment for the time being. Continue reading