Miami Hurricanes fans have long complained about the media’s supposed anti-Canes bias.
Is it true? Do certain experts, analysts and entire media enitities have it in for Miami?
One only needs to turn on ESPN or open a Sports Illustrated to see the undercurrent of hostility that many media members have towards Miami.
Convicts. Thug U. A “rengade” program.
These are the buzzwords used by college football people to describe the Hurricanes football program. The question should be where does all this hatred come from?
When the Miami Hurricanes exploded onto the college football scene in the early 1980’s, they were the Boise State of that time. Prior to that, they had won nothing of significance. Even the academics of the school were a joke. Many called it Suntan U.
Then Howard Schnellenberger was hired as head coach. He looked around and saw the plethora of football talent in the South Florida prep football scene. His recruiting philosophy was based on heavily recruiting the “State of Miami.” These South Florida players didn’t play football the way they did in Texas or Ohio or Pennsylvania. These weren’t respectful, God-fearing farm boys. These young men had grown up in the inner city. They had witnessed shootings, beatings and drugs. They had grown up listening to hardcore rap music. These weren’t your father’s football players. They played with attitude, with swagger, with anger. When they scored, they danced. When they tackled you, they laughed. When they beat you, they made sure you knew you’d lost.
The college football purists, the ones who had grown up with Bear Bryant, Woody Hayes and Joe Paterno were horrified. College football is played with a certain decorum, they cried, forgetting Hayes punched an opposing player. College football is played with respect for your opponent, they cried louder, forgetting the number of times Bryant publicly insulted the Auburn Tigers. College football is played with sportsmanship, they cried ever louder, forgetting Paterno once ran up the score on Pittsburgh for the heck of it.
Miami did little to help its case with scandal after scandal making headlines. After a while, one began to wonder if these instances would be so scandalized if they had happened at Nebraska? Alabama? Michigan? Doubtful.
Miami will always be viewed as the unwelcome interloper and hated pariah of college football. The Canes of old would channel that hatred and use it as motivation. Can these Hurricanes do the same?