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NCAA Announces Penalties For Miami

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Miami's football team likely is smiling today after learning the NCAA won't add much to the Hurricanes' self-imposed sanctions after an investigation that lasted more than two years. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images.
Miami's football team likely is smiling today after learning the NCAA won't add much to the Hurricanes' self-imposed sanctions after an investigation that lasted more than two years. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images.

After a wait of more than two years, the NCAA delivered its verdict in the case of rogue Miami booster Nevin Shapiro on Tuesday.

The gavel did not result in a bowl ban for the Hurricanes, which must give up a total of nine scholarships between 2014 and 2016, the Miami Herald reported.

The NCAA cited the dreaded "lack of institutional control" and said the violations occurred for an entire decade, but seemed to refrain from any program-wounding sanctions. NCAA Committee on Infractions chair Britton Banowsky applauded Miami's self-imposed penalties during a teleconference with reporters, which included a two-year postseason ban that prevented the team from playing in last year's ACC championship game.

"I want to sincerely thank our student-athletes and their families who not only stood with the University of Miami during this unprecedented challenge, but subsequently volunteered for the mission," coach Al Golden said.

Shapiro, serving a 20-year prison sentence for an unrelated Ponzi scheme, claims to have provided cash, prostitutes and other paid entertainment to athletes. Because of Shapiro's willingness to turn over proof to the NCAA, many felt the investigation of Miami's athletics department would lead to one of the easier takedowns in its history.

The NCAA had to throw out key evidence obtained by Shapiro's defense attorney, which the NCAA paid to interview two reluctant witnesses. The NCAA's apparent mishandling of the case, as well as its limited investigative powers from a legal standpoint, likely saved Miami from stiffer penalties. But that didn't prevent reporters from questioning the disparity between the Hurricane's sanctions and those of, say, USC in recent years.

One of the most significant results of the announcement is that Golden and the Hurricanes can move forward in recruiting and planning with finite knowledge of their situation.