On Thursday, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, head football coach Al Golden, basketball coach Jim Larranaga and other school representatives trekked down to Indianapolis, Ind. for day one of the hearings with the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Nearly three years after reputed Miami booster Nevin Shapiro began making monumental claims against the athletic programs in regards to him providing outlandish benefits to student-athletes, the school began making their case.
President Shalala kicked off the hearings and, according to reports, made quite the impression on her school’s behalf. She certainly appeared very confident in her efforts as well, as she walked out of the conference room in the Westin Hotel smiling, chewing gum, and even went so far as to throw up the “U” gesture with her hands–exuding that Miami “swagger.” The president was in front of the committee for just a little over an hour.
Another notable incident from Thursday’s activities were lawyers for former basketball coach, and current Missouri Tigers head man, Frank Haith made their case against the NCAA’s poor handling of the accusations made against him. Haith was charged with failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance during his time in Coral Gables.
As it pertains to the rest of the hearings going forward, there is actually a schedule set in place for the weekend.
Friday, the school reps and the committee will deal with the football side of the allegations. With the school being best known for its football program, as well as this being where the brunt of the accusations lie, tomorrow should be the most notable day of the weekend events. The school has served self-imposed penalties the last two football seasons, including missing out on a trip last season to the ACC Championship Game.
Saturday, officials will deal with the basketball aspect. These include the charges against Haith, as well as assistants Jake Morton and Jorge Hernandez.
This process still has a long way to go, but Thursday marked the beginning of what could turn out to be unprecedented events in the future. Regardless of the multitude of allegations against the University, they are choosing to fight this right down to the very end.
Even after Saturday, a decision from the Committee on Infractions isn’t expected to be delivered for at least six weeks or more.