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Texas Writer: Miami Can’t Rival SMU In Cheating

Miami isn’t an SEC school, we know.  But as we wrote earlier this week, if any ACC schools begin to worry about the money/prestige that league may stand to lose if the NCAA decimates the Hurricanes’ program, it could destabilize that league.  Therefore, Miami’s situation bears watching for SEC fans who are crossing their fingers that an ACC school might pick up the phone and give Mike Slive a ring.

Still, the Canes aren’t in the SEC, so we will keep this short.

Yesterday, the NCAA alerted Miami officials that it will consider invoking its “willful violators” clause.  That would allow the NCAA to investigate further back, past the four-year statute of limitations.  The NCAA has that power when large patterns of cheating are uncovered.

The NCAA’s decision has led more people to discuss the possibility of a death penalty for The U this morning.

While it’s fun to shout that the latest scandal — whatever it is — is the worst ever, one writer says people trying to compare Miami and SMU are going way overboard.  (The Mustangs, of course, are the first and only D1 football program to get the death penalty.)

Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle was around for the SMU scandal.  He knew of the SMU scandal.  And (The) U are no SMU scandal:

“As the years unfolded, as reporters dug deeper, we learned SMU was dirty beyond what we suspected.  It’s not just that the head coach knew what was going on.  Two head coaches knew.

And it wasnt’ just that one assistant coach knew.  A whole slew of them knew, some of them stuffing envelopes with cash…

In Miami, one rogue booster appears to have gone wild.  Administrators might have looked the other way, and so might have coaches.  We might even find that a few coaches knew.  But I’m nearly certain the athletic directors didn’t know and the school president didn’t know…

… please don’t compare what happened at Miami to what happened at SMU.  SMU go the death penalty because it was place on probation five times in a 13-year period, because even after getting caught, it kept paying players.

And everyone was involved.  Coaches.  Administrators.  Boosters.  Politicians.

There have been other dirty programs since SMU got the death penalty in 1987, and there’ll be plenty more.  But there hasn’t been another like SMU.

Miami can’t begin to cheat the way SMU cheated.”

Just an interesting read to provide a little perspective. 

Also, when I see so many fans across the country calling for the death penalty at Miami, I wonder how many of those same fans would still be calling for the executioner if it were their favorite schools that had been caught doing what Miami’s apparently been caught doing.

I’m not up for defending Miami.  Trust me on that one.  But I am a fan of keeping things in proper perspective.



I really don't know how this reporter cannot compare Miami to SMU. He just admitted that the reporters kept digging for years and revealed that the program was dirtier than anyone had thought. He also said that he was "nearly certain" that the administrators and the AD didn't know what was happening at Miami. How could he know that? He hasn't even investigated this case. He is just responding to the initial Yahoo report.

I'm not saying anyone should be guilty before proven innocent, but it seems like it is a little early to say that Miami's situation doesn't compare to SMU's given the severity of the allegations.

lazlo toth
lazlo toth


SMU = Miami does not matter. What matters is the lesser flea when a team hit the chopping block. News flow on cheating is bad right now, and the economy is weak. If the NCAA is to regain any credibility then somebody has to be the sacrificial lamb and right now Miami appears to be in trouble at the wrong time. Look at when it has been invoked:

#1 UK in the wake of multiple issues with gambling - player related, and not school related - several other teams never came back
#2 SWLA - small school - school related
#3 SMU - D 1 school - school related - SMU has never bounced back to former glory
#4 Morehouse - school related - had pro players playing soccer - unless you looked it up, would you even know?
#5 MacMurry - school related - scholarships offered at the D 3 level which is not allowed - in tennis, again did you know this already

Right now the following state schools are in the press and NCAA spotlight

Ohio State
North Carolina
Georgia Tech

Miami stands alone as the small private school with the moniker "Thug U"

john, you are a smart guy, and this looks like a no brainer - especially if it cracks the ACC egg so the Big 10 and SEC can get the protein.

Tyler B
Tyler B

I agree, but if my "favorite" program did this I would be so embarrassed I wouldn't be upset if they got the dealth penalty. I'm waiting for the anvil to drop on Paul Dee on this one, too.


Here is what makes me sick to my stomach. At Miami all this was going on out in public at clubs, hotels and such while Randy Shannon is being praised for 'cleaning up' the 'once rogue' program. Lots of people knew. Lots and lots. And no one said anything. At OSU, what was going on down at the tattoo parlor was such common knowledge that the neighborhood children hung around outside to get autographs. The dang kids knew. Which means everybody knew. Lot s and lots of people knew and no one said anything. If it were not for a couple of unrelated federal investigations, both schools would still be cruising happily along. We would still think Shannon was a reformer and Tressel was a stand up guy. None of us are naive. But clearly this stuff goes on a LOT more than we think and clearly a WHOLE lot of people are perfectly okay with it. That is truly sad.


A severe penalty "if proven true" in this case is the only way to get peoples attention. With the OSU fiasco from last year the NCAA has to save face or become irrelevant.


I certainly wouldn't be happy if it were my school - but you are naive if you believe this is not occurring at every major school on some level. Just like doping in pro cycling; everyone does it so you have to in order to compete.

the ncaa has to lay down the law and quit being a toothless orgnization in these situations. that includes coaches, universities and players a like.

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