CORAL GABLES — It almost seems like a ritual now at Miami. The first game week of the season arrives, accompanied by questions about an NCAA investigation.
It happened that way in 2011, shortly after the Nevin Shapiro scandal broke.
It happened again last year, when more allegations were swirling around Miami.
And form held Monday, as the Hurricanes started preparing for Friday’s opener against Florida Atlantic. More than 10 weeks after the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions heard Miami’s case against the litany of charges the NCAA presented the school with in February, the Hurricanes are still waiting to see what sanctions, if any, are coming their way.
“I hope we have a mature group. I really do,” Miami coach Al Golden said. “I hope our guys are focused on just one thing, and that’s Florida Atlantic and getting better today. Man, I feel like we did. I feel like we came over here with a purpose.”
There are no players left on the team with any true link to the NCAA investigation, which revolves around a former booster who is now serving a 20-year sentence for running a $930 million Ponzi scheme. But many have paid a stiff price for misdeeds of others: Miami hasn’t been to a bowl game in either of the past two seasons because of the investigation, though school officials are confident that the postseason will await the Hurricanes in 2013.
The Associated Press
Gators lose Green for the season
GAINESVILLE — As has been the trend during all of August, another surprising injury came out of nowhere for Florida.
OT Chaz Green, a former Tampa Catholic High standout, suffered a torn labrum last week and is out for the season.
“Chaz was playing his best football, was playing extremely well. He certainly had solidified himself at the right tackle spot,” said UF coach Will Muschamp, who added Green will undergo surgery on Wednesday.
Muschamp also announced that he was dropping LB Antonio Morrison’s suspension to one game after he was originally slated to also miss the Miami game following multiple off-the-field incidents during the offseason.
“I think he’s remorseful about the whole situation. We’ve moved forward. Guys make mistakes and have poor judgment at times,’’ Muschamp said.
Meanwhile, RB Matt Jones, the former Armwood High star who has missed the entire preseason with a viral infection, should be ready to play in Week 2 against Miami.
TWO BITS HONOR: Florida is honoring George Edmondson, known as Mr. Two Bits in Gainesville, with a Gator “celebrity’’ leading the crowd in the cheer. First up is former running back Errict Rhett in the season opener.
NEW KICKER: Austin Hardin won the kicking battle for the opener. Brad Phillips’ groin injury slowed him in camp.
“Austin sort of distanced himself as a kickoff guy and the place-kicking duties. But Brad is a guy who has been in the game before and done it when the lights were on, so that’s something we’re going to work through during the season,’’ Muschamp said.