|10 years ago||'05 #201|
$4,917 | 3
|10-09-2006, 08:15 PM||#203|
October 9, 2006
Gary Ferman, CaneSport Magazine
Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
Pete Garcia, Miami's Senior a.ssociate Athletic Director who returned to the Hurricane program last September and was seen as someone who could oversee the retooling of the football program, abruptly resigned his position Monday afternoon to take the Athletic Director position at Florida International University.
Sources told CaneSport that FIU began aggressively recruiting Garcia in the past week with promises of a major commitment to athletics and the football program. Garcia will replace a man who once held his same job at Miami, Rick Mello. Mello will be reassigned, most likely until he finds other employment.
While there was the public perception that Garcia would make a major impact at Miami based on his track record as Butch Davis' Director of Football Operations, the reality was something different. Garcia had little say over day-to-day operations of the football program and had little power over decisions that would shape the direction of the department.
While many saw him as Miami's next potential Athletic Director, Garcia was more of a general administrator overseeing the ticket office, marketing and media relations. He did help Coach Larry Coker put the finishing touches on Miami's 2006 football recruiting class, which is shaping up as the best of Coker's tenure as UM coach. But once recruiting was over, Garcia returned to the front of the building and really was unable to make much of an impact on the program.
At FIU, things will be much different.
Garcia will be the man in charge, and one of his first moves will almost certainly be finding a replacement for football coach Don Strock, whose team is about to drop to 0-7 when it faces Miami in the Orange Bowl on Saturday.
FIU President Modesto A. Maidique reportedly is eyeing a day when FIU will be able to stand toe-to-toe with the Hurricanes. FIU recently approved construction of an on-campus stadium as part of its overall expansion plan. The University has seen enormous growth since it opened in 1972. Enrollment has now grown to more than 35,000 students, putting the school on par with the other major universities in the state. In recent years, FIU has spent $570 million on the construction of new buildings and facilities. The school is now moving forward with plans to establish South Florida's first public Medical School.
|10-10-2006, 09:47 AM||#205|
October 10, 2006
Gary Ferman, CaneSport Magazine
Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
When Pete Garcia came back to the University of Miami as Senior a.ssociate Athletic Director in September of 2005, he was looked at as a savior for a program / football franchise that appeared to be showing slippage.
As he leaves a little more than a year later to take the Athletic Director position at Florida International University, his departure is casting a cloud of doom over the athletic department as the football program struggles through yet another season.
The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
There is a cliche that things are never as good or as bad as they seem. And that is a place where UM football/athletics probably resides right now.
The truth is that Garcia wasn't a savior, was never given the authority in the athletic department to make major moves. He did a.ssist in recruiting last winter after helping preside over the overhaul of the coaching staff. And it was a very good recruiting class considering the circumstances of the coaching upheaval. But, when it was all done, Garcia retreated to the front of the building to oversee the ticket office, media relations and other internal operations.
I asked him once if he was getting involved with the football program and able to have a major influence with Coker. His response was simple: "It's Larry Coker's program."
In other words, Garcia had very little to do with anything taking place in the football program, good or bad.
Florida International University is now Pete Garcia's program. Luring him from Miami is a major move by University President Modesto Maidique, who sources tell me is very determined to build a top-level athletic program at FIU.
Maidique will step to a podium today at 2 p.m. and introduce Garcia as his man to chart the course for FIU.
He will be very proud. The television cameras will roll. FIU will be the talk of the town. Maidique will bask in the glory of making this big catch from the kingpin in town, the University of Miami.
And don't kid yourself. Folks at FIU will be thinking the athletic program now, the medical school next.
You will hear FIU talk about its new commitment, about the new on-campus stadium that will be built, about the money that will be invested in coaches and other personnel.
Maidique's hiring of Garcia will give FIU a local stage today that it rarely has enjoyed.
And I am sort of amazed that the University of Miami let this happen this way. It's very much like the way the world community sat around and let things get to the point in North Korea where they now are testing nuclear weapons.
Just like that was a wake up call for the world, Garcia's departure to FIU is a bit of a wake-up call for President Donna Shalala, the Board of Trustees and Athletic Director Paul Dee. Now is the time to devote more money toward their own athletic department, upgrade facilities, build a marketing department and right their ship.
If Garcia were truly being allowed to make an impact at Miami, I don't believe he makes this move to FIU. But good people have strong opinions, and the current state of things at UM had to be sort of painful for Garcia to be a part of without having the authority to impose his ideas to make them better.
At the end of the day, you have to be the man in charge to do that. At Miami, that is Dee. At FIU, that now is Garcia.
It isn't something to panic over. Everybody is replaceable. The sky is not falling. FIU is not Florida State just yet, probably at least a decade away from that.
But with a student body that could grow to 45,000-50,000, a huge six figure alumni base, an on-campus stadium in the works and a President and Athletic Director maniacally charting a course toward the big time for FIU, this is certainly not a time for the University of Miami to be asleep at the wheel.
Wake-up calls are only productive if you choose to allow them to be.
|10-11-2006, 04:37 PM||#207|
When Javarris James broke off his 62-yard touchdown last Saturday against North Carolina, cousin Edgerrin James was in the Arizona Cardinal locker room watching the game live.
The locker room quickly became party central.
"Everybody in the building heard it while it was taking place because I made it known – right before it happened I said, `Watch, Baby J's going to break a big one,'" Edgerrin said. "He made it sound like I was a genius (because) he broke it. I was the analyst, just going through everything. Then it just happened out of nowhere and the whole locker room came to the television that's in my locker and was just watching it. They showed the replay where the guy tried to pull him down and I'm like, `Baby J is like a horse, you can't pull a horse down. You have to trip a horse, have to get in front of him.'
"There was no doubt it was a touchdown because once he gets in the open field you're going to rarely see him pulled down. So a defender trying to pull him down, that's going to be hard because he's real strong in the lower body."
Edgerrin is not surprised by Javarris' consecutive 100 yard games in his first two starts at Miami.
After all, Edgerrin believes the freshman is better than he was at the same stage.
"He's the real deal," Edgerrin said. "He's going to walk out of that [James] shadow sooner rather than later. We always have ties, but you'll see that his game is a whole lot better than mine, more polished than when I was at the University of Miami."
Edgerrin doesn't stop there.
He says Javarris will be "the best back to come out of UM."
Why will Javarris be better than a Willis McGahee or Clinton Portis?
"More polish," Edgerrin says. "He's ahead of his time. He's had hands-on coaching and everything. He's watched this for so long, sat in the background and watched me come through, Portis, Willis. He's watched everybody. Every player that comes through, he knows their strength and what he likes about their game. For him, you can see that he's going to be the best player because he has the short game, the mid-range game and the end game where he's going to take it to the house. That's the total package. And he's getting off to a good start early and is just going to get better. He wants to be the best, that's the main thing."
Javarris has followed around Edgerrin for as long as either can remember.
When Javarris was 3 years old he went to Edgerrin's Pop Warner games and was the team's mascot.
He wore a Hurricane jersey to those games.
"He had on his little fake helmet, fake jersey, everything," Edgerrin said. "It followed all the way through UM days – he was always at (my) UM games."
Here's what else Edgerrin (who calls Javarris `Baby J,' a nickname given Javarris as a baby after his father, John) was talking about:
Q: Where does being a mentor to Javarris rank on your success level?
James: It's one of the top things. Everybody in this locker room knows about Baby J. I'm talking about the whole (Arizona Cardinals) facility. That's who I talk about every day because you feel like you're a father or something, like it's one of your kids. It's been that many years. We're cousins and we can hang out and do everything together, but that's what it feels like at times because you've helped this person out so much and been right there and it's family, also. This ranks as the top thing. I always tell everybody that if my kids can be like Baby J, I have nothing to worry about.
Q: Javarris must be pretty special to you.
James: Oh, yeah. Baby J, he's doing everything he's supposed to do and living up to everything he was brought up to be. He's doing everything the right way. He's getting a chance to show everybody the way he's been preparing himself for the longest (time).
Q: How do you compare your running style to his? Coach Larry Coker says your running styles are similar.
James: Well, you know, Baby J understands the game. Once you start understanding the game you adjust your game to the game. He understands when there's nothing there to f!ght to get back to the line of scrimmage, or lower your pads and try to hit them before they hit you. The difference between Baby J and myself is that Baby J is going to take it to the house a lot. He has that Eric d*ckerson stride that's going to get you a bunch of big runs. That's the thing I've been telling people – this guy is going to take a lot of big runs to the house.
Q: When did you start teaching him the skills of a running back?
James: Naturally he's learned a lot of things. As he got older, once he got to high school, that's when he started to get real technical, breaking down the little things. Once he got into high school where he could really understand what's going on … Pop Warner he was just out there running over people. Once he got to high school it was `This is what you do, play this way.' I try to let him know to protect himself, don't beat himself up trying to run over everybody because he's bigger than everybody, to sometimes make them miss and sometimes punish them so nobody will know what to expect. And he's doing it now.
Q: He has a similar first step to what you have. Is that something that was taught to him or is it natural?
James: It's probably natural. He's probably seen it so much that he's developed it. It's like me -- when I see something over and over you try to emulate it. You never know where it comes from, but you make it part of your game. He has a lot of things that are part of his game that are going to make him the best back to come out of UM.
Q: How is he different from you in personality?
James: He's quieter. Me, I'll talk a lot, messing with the guys. He's going to k!ll you silently. He's not going to say much, but he's going to punish you. He's very competitive. He's still trying to race me and beat me to this day.
Q: Coker said you're quieter than Javarris.
James: Not in practice. In games, probably. When he's around and I'm around he's always quiet.
Q: What's the advice you've given Javarris about life in general?
James: To keep working hard. He's got to work harder now because he has a target on his chest. For a while you're the third string and become second string, have something to shoot for – become first string. But now you have to maintain that position. I always tell him `Just maintain your position, outwork everybody, make it no question that anyone can come take your job right now because you've earned it. For the next two or three years there's nobody that should be playing in the starting role besides him.
Q: How much is the target because of your name?
James: It goes with the territory. But as you can see, he's showing people he can actually play. It's not a thing where he's grandfathered in because I went to the University of Miami. It's not that situation. He's showing he can actually play. A lot of people probably thought, `Well, he's kin to Edgerrin and they just kind of pub him up and it's a bunch of hype.' But now you can believe the hype.
|10-11-2006, 04:37 PM||#208|
Q: Southern Cal was also after Javarris out of high school. Did you ever talk about that with him?
James: In our family it's only Hurricanes. We don't even entertain other offers seriously. We might go just to take the trip, have fun or see something different or if we really want to be a Cane. At the end of the day I don't think his father would have allowed him (to go elsewhere). When you're from Immokalee, it's only an hour and 15 minutes. UM, that's where all of us try to go.
Q: Some former Canes are being critical of the program with the rough start this year.
James: To play at the University of Miami, it's a privilege and an honor to be under those lights. You have a lot of expectations, so you have to live up to them. When you look at that game this past Saturday, you have a lot of young guys making plays. That's the future of the University of Miami. You see where there's promise, a lot of young guys making plays. That's what it's about. The young guys play like veterans, and when the next guys come they'll see how they play and how to practice. The program will be lifted up in no time. It's just going through little tough times right now. But UM, never worry about UM.
Q: Javarris has talked about how you used to run with him on the street at 3 a.m.
James: Yeah, you have to work. I always told him you have to outwork everybody. At no matter what time of the day it is, you have to be working. This is your livelihood pretty much, so you have to do what other people aren't doing. I told him everybody's going to do what coach [Andreu] Swasey says. Everybody's going to do that, and that's going to be good enough. But if you want to be better than them you have to do a whole lot more than them. How much more you do than them, that's how much better you have the potential to be. He knows the game is so easy when you outwork everybody.
Q: Javarris spent a lot of time with you growing up.
James: He was little but tried to do everything that we did. He probably started driving sooner than all of us, 10 or 11 years old. He was doing everything because out there all you can do is learn stuff because you're sitting around older people. His dad did a good job making sure he was around older people all the time.
Q: You spend time at UM in the summer, working out?
James: Oh, yeah. It's the best program in the country. I'm always going to be there. And now that Baby J is there I'm going to probably be there more because we're going to actually work out together, work out a whole lot more now because I want to make sure I'm pushing him and he's pushing me. At (this) point in my career it's good to have someone like that around that's pushing you, is a good measuring stick. For me, I want him to always try to exceed me, outdo me in everything. We have a nice, respectful competition that goes on amongst each other.
Q: How many children do you have?
James: That's my personal life. I like to keep it like that. You'll see them at the University of Miami. You'll see them pop up at the University of Miami with the last name `James.
|10-11-2006, 07:22 PM||#210|
October 11, 2006
Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
KYLE WRIGHT Q&A
Q: Is it fair to say FIU looks like an 0-6 team?
Wright: Not at all. You really have to commend their defense on how they've played this year. They've kept them in every game, forced some key turnovers they've returned for touchdowns. This is really a good defense that we're going to face this Saturday.
Q: This could be the start of a new local rivalry.
Wright: It's good, two teams that are relatively close to each other. There really hasn't been that kind of rivalry in South Florida when it comes to college football. That would be unique for both universities.
Q: There are a lot of personal connections on the FIU and UM teams.
Wright: It seems like every game we play, guys know everybody -- especially in the ACC. Everybody kind of knows everybody. But I definitely think there's a little bit more of an excitement because a lot of guys on our team know them and vice versa. But a lot of guys from FIU want to come out and make a statement, show why they wanted to come to the University of Miami or whatever it is. You know they're going to come out and give it their best effort. They play extremely hard.
Q: What about Javarris James impresses you?
Wright: There's an awful lot that impresses me. Really his ability to step in early and be so mature. A lot of freshmen, every year there's a lot that have the physical talent to play but aren't in the mental mindset to come in and play. He's been around the last few years working out with EJ [Edgerrin James] in the summertime. So he's been around, kind of knows how things go. His ability to understand and really take in the whole mental aspect of being a starter has really been impressive.
Q: Is humble a good word to describe him?
Wright: He's very humble. That's every commendable on his part. Someone with his early success at a high profile position like running back -- you're not going to hear about Jason Fox in the news, it's an offensive lineman -- but Javarris, someone in the limelight, he could easily let it go to his head. Btu he's definitely a humble player.
Q: How do you get the receivers more involved?
Wright: It's not something I put a point of emphasis on every week -- okay, it's FIU, I'm going to go out and throw 30 balls to the receivers; it's North Carolina, I'm going to throw 20 to Greg (Olsen). It just naturally happens. You take what the defense gives you. This past week we saw a lot more single safety than the past few weeks, and we'll see pretty much the same thing this weekend, which gives Greg the opportunity to get up the seam and have linebackers trying to cover him one on one. That created some windows for us to get Greg the ball.
Q: The Lovon Ponder pass excited the offense and loosened things up?
Wright: definitely. Not only the team, but the crowd loosened up. It didn't seem everyone was uptight, just allowed everyone to have more fun. To execute a play like that, it's one thing if it doesn't work -- you move onto the next play. Or it could have been tragic -- Ponder forces it into double coverage. But something like that works, it's an emotional lift.
Q: If you knew a couple of months ago you'd have no Darnell Jenkins and Ryan Moore, how concerned would you have been?
Wright: It's definitely a difficult situation because it's not like we were coming in loaded depth-wise at that position. And then to lose your top two playmakers who are also your most experienced guys ... if you asked me that a couple of months ago I'd probably have laughed at you. But I've been happy with how Ryan (Hill) and Sam (Shields) have stepped up. That's not something you necessarily want your freshmen to have to do, to be a playmaker where, depending if they catch or don't catch the ball, it's a crucial situation. Sam in his first ever game drops third and 14 on one of the last drives and it's a glaring point. You don't always want your freshmen in at that point in time. But they've definitely grown, and it'll be beneficial for us and them in the end. (All the freshmen) are learning on the go. I thought I got put in the lion's den last year having to start at FSU, at Clemson. But these guys having to come in and have the expectations so high, it's working and learning on the go.
Q: FIU's players want to prove to UM they could be playing here, that UM should have recruited them. They're big underdogs. They have nothing to lose. How do you go into this game, what frame of mind?
Wright: Pretty much the same. If we go out and worry about Miami, it really doesn't matter who we play. We definitely have a lot of respect for this team. No one is underestimating this team whatsoever. This is one of the better defensive teams we've played. They have one of the best defensive players we've played against in their defensive end (Antwan Barnes). We're preparing just like we do against FSU or Georgia Tech or any of our big games. We still have to go out and execute. We're going to get their best game every snap. We just have to go out and put them away and discourage them.
Q: Could it be a fun atmosphere having the whole city there?
Wright: It'll be a fun atmosphere. There'll be a lot of talking going back and forth. We just have to play within ourselves and let our pads and the scoreboard do the talking. It is kind of an inter-city rivalry. It'll definitely be a fun atmosphere.
Q: Talk about the progress of the offensive line.
Wright: They've come a long way. Reggie (Younglood) went down and Chris (Rutledge) stepped up among a lot of critics. We moved Jason (Fox) to the left side and he hasn't missed a beat once from the first snap all year. With (Andrew) Bain being injured, Alex Pou's come in and done a great job. They're very well rounded. Usually you see an offensive line unit, just those front five guys play together and develop a chemistry. But it's unique because with this O-line you can plug other guys in and it doesn't seem they miss a beat.
Q: Only three ACC teams are ranked in the top 25. Does that surprise you?
Wright: I know there were quite a few more in the top 25 preseason. But we've kind of beat up on each other recently. Now the true ACC is starting. It really doesn't matter where we're ranked right now. Especially in our case -- we win out, we win an ACC championship with two losses, we'll be back up there pretty high.
Q: How is Ryan Hill doing in his transition to offense?
Wright: I was really impressed he was able to hang onto that ball (last weekend). It showed his toughness that he's willing to go over the middle, go down and get a ball. That builds confidence in me, knowing I can throw him those kind of balls. I'm not going to hang him out to dry, but definitely it helps in my confidence with him. He's come a long way, is doing a great job.
|10-13-2006, 12:12 PM||#211|
October 13, 2006
Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
True freshman cornerback Chavez Grant is getting plenty of work this season when other teams go to three or four wide receivers.
It's not easy for any new defensive player to convince coordinator Randy Shannon he's ready for action.
But Grant has proven he can handle the load.
"(Coaches) evaluate you from practice, and in a game they'll evaluate you and see how much you bust on a coverage," Grant said. "As long as you do exactly what they ask you and are in the right spot at the right time -- you don't have to make plays, just do your job in that kind of atmosphere. And then (Shannon) figures out that he can trust you."
Grant joins several other freshmen that have contributed this season: OT Jason Fox, RB Javarris James and WR Sam Shields are all starters. And WR Ryan Hill gets significant action off the bench.
"To me, I didn't think as many of us would make the impact we are making," Grant says.
Grant and the rest of the freshmen gave themselves a name when they arrived at Miami: The Grayshirts.
"That's because when we first came in over the summer, what we worked out in was gray shirts, gray shorts and black shoes," Grant said. "We called ourselves the Grayshirts and talk about it all the time. Every time Javarris makes a play, I'll be on the sideline yelling `Grayshirts!' I feel good that a lot of us are making an impact. I feel if this program is going to keep going up we have to play a big role."
Who came up with the term `Grayshirts'?
"I don't know," Grant says. "A bunch of us did. It just came out of nowhere."
Grant's proud to be a contributing member of the Grayshirts.
"I was trying to making an impact on my side of the ball," Grant said. "I saw Sam and Javarris doing pretty well. Ryan Hill went over there (from cornerback), was making an impact. I saw how those guys were coming up (big). Sometimes they would pick on me, `Oh, we need someone on defense to hold it down for the Grayshirts.' I'm starting to get a little more playing time, so it's starting to even off. And (linebacker) Colin McCarthy, he's doing a lot on special team, is doing real well. So we're all doing real well."
* Grant also spoke about the upcoming game.
He played with FIU freshman receiver Torrelt Solomon in high school.
"He was a really good player," Grant said. "I wanted him to come here with me, but they weren't recruiting him."
Asked if he thinks FIU is ready to face UM, Grant said, "They're pretty jacked up. They've played a lot of close games against some big schools. They shouldn't have much to hold their heads down about. The seven overtimes, you have to be pretty tough to play seven overtimes.
|10 years ago||'04 #212|
$22,872 | 34
we need to get back to this
Among the numerous stars on the 2001 Miami squad were: Dorsey; running backs Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, Najeh Davenport, and Frank Gore; tight end Jeremy Shockey; wide receiver Andre Johnson; tackles Bryant McKinnie and Joaquin Gonzalez; defensive linemen Jerome McDougle, William Joseph, and Vince Wilfork; linebackers Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams; and defensive backs Ed Reed, Mike Rumph, and Phillip Buchanon. Additional contributors included future stars Kellen Winslow II, Sean Taylor, Antrel Rolle, Vernon Carey, and Eric Winston. In all, an extraordinary 16 players from the 2001 Miami football team were drafted in the first-round of the NFL Draft (5 in the 2002 NFL Draft: Buchannon, McKinnie, Reed, Rumph, and Shockey; 4 in 2003: Johnson, Joseph, McDougle, and McGahee; 6 in 2004: Carey, Taylor, Vilma, Wilfork, Williams, and Winslow; and 1 in 2005: Rolle).
someone gotta step up and be this n*gga
smh @ coker
|10-16-2006, 11:54 AM||#214|
October 16, 2006
Matt Shodell, CaneSport Magazine
Adewale Ojomo bioVideo highlights
Talk about it in The Storm Center
Hialeah (Fla.) High School defensive lineman Adewale Ojomo was an invited recruit at Miami's 35-0 win over FIU last weekend.
"I talked to Larry Coker and Clint Hurtt before the game," he said. "They just said `It's a pleasure to see you.' We just talked a little."
Of the brawl's impact on a recruit, Ojomo said, "It doesn't affect me. Both teams went at it. It was just some excitement."
Ojomo says he's still trying to choose between Miami and NC State.
"I went to NC State two weeks ago for an official visit," he said. "It went real well.
"I have a tough decision to make. I'll make a decision in late November or early December."
What will it come down to?
"Just the depth, really," he said. "And I have to feel comfortable with the coaches."
Ojomo has set his official visit to UM for Dec. 8.
"It's after the season, gives the coaches more time to spend with me, and players to spend with me," he said. "Both (colleges) are pretty even right now."
|10-16-2006, 01:46 PM||#215|
Updated: Oct. 16, 2006, 2:12 PM ET
Miami trustees discuss brawl; Coker safe for now
By Joe Schad
Special to ESPN.com
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- About two dozen members of the University of Miami board of trustees met for two hours on Monday morning, spending the last 30 minutes discussing Saturday's ugly brawl with Florida International and the future of Hurricanes coach Larry Coker.
Bruce Feldman's blog
Miami -- no matter how much Larry Coker and the UM brass have tried to scrub away the old Canes' roughneck image -- still keeps finding itself in the muck. If anyone wanted to say the Canes are still the thugs they were in the old days of Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson, they now have five disturbing minutes of YouTube proof.
• For more of Bruce Feldman's analysis, click here. Insider
• Mike and Mike discuss the brawl and TV analyst Lamar Thomas' unbelievable comments about what was going on. Listen
• David Albright and Ivan Maisel discuss what has, what is, and what should happen to Miami and FIU after the brawl. ESPNU College Football Insider
According to the trustee who attended the meeting, President Donna Shalala said: "Nobody's job is in jeopardy now."
Shalala, the trustee said, is standing by her committment to Coker, at least through this season, adding that the f!ght was "embarrassing" but "not cause for dismissal."
"Saturday's on-field melee has no place at the University of Miami," Shalala said in a prepared statement issued during the meeting. "Regardless of who started it, this was an embarrassing display of unsportsmanlike behavior."
"FIU President Mitch Maidique and I talked by phone shortly after the incident on Saturday night. We both expressed deep disappointment and apologized to each other on behalf of our institutions," Shalala said in the statement. "The ACC maintains rigorous behavioral and academic standards for student-athletes. We are satisfied with their decision."
Miami has suspended 13 players for at least one game and it is likely some will be suspended for multiple games. FIU coach Don Strock said Monday that some of his 18 suspended players will miss multiple games.
Miami plans to have some of its suspended players participate in community service projects, the trustee said.
The mayhem began shortly after halftime, when Miami's James Bryant pointed at the FIU bench and bowed to the crowd after catching a touchdown pass. Moments later, on the point-after attempt, FIU's Chris Smith wrestled Miami holder Matt Perrelli to the ground and punched him.
The benches cleared and the two teams skirmished for five minutes, as several players from both sides were seen throwing punches. Miami's Brandon Meriweather was seen attempting to stomp on FIU players, while an injured Golden Panther swung a crutch menacingly at several Miami players. Miami's Anthony Redd*ck charged across the field, helmet raised over his head, and slammed it into FIU's Robert Mitchell.
The f!ght marred what was supposed to be the beginning of a rivalry between two schools with players who grew up playing each other on high school fields in South Florida.
Joe Schad is ESPN TV's national college football reporter. Information from The a.sssociated Press was used in this report.
|10-17-2006, 07:03 PM||#217|
October 17, 2006
Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
With 13 players suspended for the Duke game, Hurricane coaches have come up with some depth chart solutions. Among them:
* Safety Kenny Phillips will play cornerback in some situations, including nickel.
The last time he played cornerback?
"Never," he said.
When he's at cornerback the team will use Lovon Ponder and Willie Cooper at safety. The starting cornerbacks for this game are Glenn Sharpe and Chavez Grant. Tervaris Johnson will also play. Grant and Johnson are both true freshmen.
Defensive backs coach Tim Walton said he's confident the six defensive backs can do a good job and pointed out the team typically only plays six defensive backs in games.
* With Derrick Morse suspended, the team is turning to Alex Pou to start at right guard. A.J. Trump will be the backup at center and guard with Chris Rutledge and Cyrim Wimbs providing depth at left and right tackle, respectively.
* With Brian Monroe suspended, the punter against Duke will be first-year Cane Daren Daly. Daly has never punted in a college game before. The kickoff specialist will be walkon Francesco Zampogna.
* The linebacker corps was shaken up with Jon Beason out due to injury. In today's practice Glenn Cook moved to weakside linebacker with Romeo Davis taking over in the middle. Tavares Gooden remains at strongside. The backups, from left to right, were Spencer Adkins, Darryl Sharpton and Colin McCarthy.
* Working as the punt returners today were Sam Shields and Rashaun Jones. Bruce Johnson and Ryan Hill typically are the punt returners, but both are suspended.
* Coach Larry Coker said after practice that WR Ryan Moore returned to practice on Sunday. He had been suspended after an altercation with a female student on campus.
But Moore is no longer practicing with the team. Coker said, "That was my error. I suspended Ryan Moore, the University didn't suspend Ryan Moore. But Ryan Moore is not cleared to play, let's put it that way."
Asked why he changed his mind after allowing Moore to practice on Sunday, Coker simply said, "Because I did."
Coker hinted that Moore could return to the team soon.
"Ryan Moore will not be able to practice until he's cleared all the things he has to do," Coker said. "Hopefully he'll be back soon. Obviously we'd like to have him back. He has work to do."
Coker said he doesn't expect Moore to be back in practice before Saturday's game at Duke.
"He has attorneys he has to meet with," Coker said.
* Coker said he felt the team was "drained" in today's practice.
"We probably watched a little too much TV, read the Internet too much," Coker said. "We were drained today, but we'll put that behind us. We're going to put a good football team on the field Saturday and they'll be ready to play."
* Walkon holder Matt Perrellis said "I don't want to talk" about the f!ght. But he said he's fine, is not injured from being pounded on at the beginning of the brawl.
* Coker gathered the team around him for several minutes following practice, talking to them. The message?
"Let's move forward, let's not move back," Coker said.
* Tight end Greg Olsen (concussion) was limited in practice today.
"We didn't hit him," Coker said.
Coker said Olsen hasn't been medically cleared to play, but that he expects Olsen to play on Saturday. Jason Fox, who was banged up against FIU, practiced today.
* After practice, backup safety Anthony Redd*ck read a letter of apology for reporters.
He did not take questions.
Here is what Redd*ck, who has been suspended indefinitely for swinging his helmet at FIU players, said:
"I would like to express how deeply sorry I am for my actions and misconduct. The person that everyone (saw) last Saturday was truly not me. That was not a good reflection of my character. I can only promise that this behavior everyone saw last week, you will never see it again. I'm going to keep that promise. My behavior was a disgrace to my school, my family, my friends, especially the young kids that look up to me as a role model. I do understand that what I did was wrong and reckless, so I take full responsibility for my actions and the penalty that is given to me. I expect more from myself, as do my coaches and my school and the public. Once again, I humbly apologize for my actions and any damage I may have caused to the public. I'm just sorry for what I did. The only thing I can do is promise it will never happen again."
|10 years ago||'04 #218|
$16,857 | 1581
man Coker and Dee left our team out to dry trying to impress the rest of the nation and the press....they havent even not onced mentioned how the team was provoked by being attacked.
i cant wait till they are finished
|10-18-2006, 04:34 PM||#219|
October 17, 2006
Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
University of Miami President Donna Shalala spoke to a throng of media members today in the aftermath of Saturday's brawl with FIU.
Here's what she discussed:
Opening statement – I want to start by saying that the buck starts here. I have already apologized, but I want to apologize again to our community, both the University community and our alums and our trustees as well as all of those who care about and love Miami football for the behavior of some of our students, our football players. I also want to apologize to Florida International University, to their president. I want their community also to hear my apology. We have disciplined our student-athletes and given them serious warnings. We have set a new standard, that standard being that we will eliminate from our teams students that get into f!ghts. That is a new standard from the University, and it means that we have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior. The sad part is for the men and women who have spent most of the last decade recruiting young men and women of character to the University to play on our sports teams and restoring our image in this community. I believe that the young men we have recruited for our football team are young men of great character, but they did a very bad thing. We know that we're recruiting a different kind of student-athlete, and it's time for me to say publicly that I believe in them, that I believe they did something awful, but that I want them to continue at the University of Miami. It's time for me to say that to the community and those that have been sending me e-mails that this University will be firm and punish people that do bad things, but we will not throw any student under the bus for instant restoration of our image or our reputation. I will not hang them in a public square. I will not eliminate their participation at the University, I will not take away their scholarships. We will discipline them appropriately, set a high standard for them and make it very clear what our expectations for them. We will do the same thing for our coaches and our athletic director and for any student on this campus whether or not they participate in our sports teams. It's time for the feeding frenzy to stop. These young men made a stupid, horrible, terrible mistake, and they are being punished. They are students and we are an educational institution and will act like an educational institution, not like a PR machine that's trying to spin and restore an image that we worked so hard to put in place. I will continue to support our athletic program and will continue to be firm and fair with the young people that come to the University, whether they're in our laboratories, classrooms, libraries or on our playing fields.
Q: What do you say to those that say a one-game suspension is insufficient?
Shalala: First of all, we've done more than that. In addition to the discipline we agreed to with the ACC, we have also put these students on probation with a standard that says, `Do this again and you're off our team.' They will be doing community service. There may be some additional penalties that (Larry) Coker and (Paul) Dee decide to impose on them. For now, the public standard is one that we've established as well as a suspension for one game.
Q: Do further penalties mean missing further game time?
Shalala: I don't want to comment on that. That's up to the coach and him to make individual decisions. I can tell you this – the ACC has reviewed the film frame by frame, the athletic department has reviewed the film frame by frame as have the Provost's office, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. All have come to the same conclusion -- that these penalties are appropriate, and what happened on the field was inappropriate.
Q: When do you decide on the future of the series?
Shalala: [The FIU President Mitch Maidique] and I are meeting on Thursday. We'll have an announcement by the weekend.
Q: You made a statement that the coaches will be held available. How so?
Shalala: For the behavior of student-athletes, the leadership training we expect as part of our program. Paul Dee has communicated to them in writing and in person. It will be no surprise to them that this will be part of their review when we do our annual review of their roles at the University.
Q: You've put it in writing to the coaches?
Shalala: We've put it firmly in writing to remind everyone of their responsibility.
Q: Could coaches have done anything to prevent this from happening?
Shalala: I can't answer that question. This was a spontaneous act. I don't know what strategies coaches use. I do know the students knew they shouldn't do that. It wasn't like they've never been told they shouldn't run out on the field and start a brawl. What the coaches could have done … football has been going on for a very long time. (Coaches) obviously work very closely with these young men. It's not a question I can answer.
Q: In the NFL a player was suspended five games for stomping on a player. Brandon Meriweather stomped on a player laying on the ground -- was their consideration to suspending him longer?
Shalala: We reviewed every single case. I can't answer questions about individual athletes. What I can say on behalf of the University is that I believe there are appropriate penalties in place and that we have said what we're going to say about those penalties. What I'll report on next is if whether we will continue this series with FIU, particularly for next year.
Q: What do you feel the image of the program is nationally now?
Shalala: I feel everyone has strung together the past. This is not the same program, not the old Miami. This is the new Miami. We had a terrible incident and we'll have to work hard in the way we did before in the way of our behavior and standards we set for the University and our athletes. We've always known we couldn't make mistakes. This is not new for the University of Miami. We don't get a break. I knew that before I came to Miami. I like that standard. It's tougher. And we're tougher on ourselves than other people are. But what we won't do is take it out on these young people. What we will do is remember constantly that we're educators. We're not going to end their lives or careers or educational experience at the University. I'm prepared to take all the flak on myself by saying that.
Q: You had an incident after the Peach Bowl, almost had one against Louisville. People say that's a trend.
Shalala: Each incident is a particular situation. We did take action. The Louisville thing, they started to explain it to me and there's an explanation for that which is a practice of running out on the field that we will not repeat. Obviously we have to look under our feet as we're walking out on the field and understand the traditions of the institution. I have already reminded our coaches that there are traditions at Duke in the nature of their cheering that we better be prepared for.
Q: Do you have say as to whether a player comes back to the team?
Shalala: I delegate that responsibility. They might inform me in this case because it's so visible. I delegate that to the Athletic Director and the coaches because they have to be satisfied (with the) player's behavior and understanding of what was inappropriate, and that that player has done enough.
Q: With Anthony Redd*ck, is that Coker and Dee deciding the length of that suspension?
Shalala: It's going to be Dee and Coker. I will not make individual decisions.
Q: Will all the suspended players be doing community service?
Shalala: The answer is yes.
Q: FIU kicked off two players. How do you explain the gulf in punishment between the two schools?
Shalala: There's no gulf. In the athletic standards we're all essentially doing the same thing. That is suspending players and setting a standard in which they fully understand what the standard is. I don't think there's any significant difference in what we did. They chose to throw two players off (the team). We chose to suspend one indefinitely, the others for one game, and then to set a standard in which they understand this cannot happen again at the University of Miami. Educators read this thing differently,but we're all within the same framework of what's appropriate for our conference and what's appropriate for the University.
|10-18-2006, 04:34 PM||#220|
Q: Were you stunned at the reaction to this?
Shalala: No. When you're at the University of Miami you have to meet a standard no one else has to meet because of our past history. So I expected this to fully spin out of control. But I also expected that at some point I would have to stand up and say, `We don't go out and shoot our kids for instant restoration of our image.' We will work our way out of this. I have helped recruit many of these players, have talked to their parents, looked their parents straight in the eye and said, `At the University of Miami we care about character and we will be firm with the young person you send to us but will also be fair and they will get a degree from the University that they can use afterward.' Eight members of this team have already graduated and are enrolled in a second degree program or the graduate school. About 10 of them will graduate in December and another large group will graduate in May. We have an excellent academic standard, are above the national norm in terms of graduation, and any parent can be proud to send their young person to the University whether they're going to major in some subject or play on one of our teams. But the parents have to see us as having that standard, being fair. What I will not do is crucify these young people. I will hit them hard, but I'm also going to reach out and pick them up.
Q: Has the university regressed into that thug image again?
Shalala: Look, if you want to be at a University, at this moment someone in this University is doing something absolutely stupid that I'm going to have to work to straighten out. If you want to work in a University, you're not in complete control. You have 10,000 teenagers and a limited number of adults. All you can do is set a standard and hold people to those standards. Is it a bit of a step back for us? Yes. But the one thing we've always had at the University is speed, on and off the field.
Q: Are you conflicted with your preference to play FIU next year?
Shalala: I'm not conflicted ever when I'm talking about young people or the opportunities we provide. This is a complicated decision for us, but I'm not tearing myself apart about it. I just have to talk it through with Mitch. We have great respect for each other. Mitch and I talk all the time. He and I will work it through on what is best for both of our institutions.
Q: Is your preference to play FIU again?
Shalala: I'm keeping an open mind. Mitch has been out of the country and I want to be fair and sit down with him on Thursday.
Q: Football is a violent game. In the future if something happens and a kid on their own does something, how is a coach responsible for that?
Shalala: Well, he's responsible for whatever penalties are a.ssessed. Is he in complete control? I'm not in complete control. We take ultimate responsibility for what people in our community do. We don't have a choice. It's an educational business, and we have awfully young people. These young people have to learn to control their behavior. That's part of growing up in America whether they're in a violent business or not in a violent business. I just want everybody to remember what kind of institution e are and that w have standards and goals and are in the business of fulfilling young people's dreams. We're not going to run away from that or that responsibility.
Q: Has FIU set a proper standard by giving out tougher standards?
Shalala: No, they have not.
Q: On the video are there certain things you looked at?
Shalala: I didn't look at the tape on purpose. I figured it would just get me madder, and what I had to do was have a cool head. I was there at the game very close to what happened.
Q: How can this image ever change if it's been like this so long and one bad thing happens … How does it change?
Shalala: We have to keep working at it. We're good people and we have to keep working at it. We can't give up, and we can't give up on these young people from our community and the wider community that come here. We just keep working at it because we believe in them and we believe in what we're doing at this educational institution.
Shalala also released a letter to the community that read as follows:
To the University Community:
We have now completed our review and actions related to the incident on Saturday night at the Orange Bowl.
On Sunday the Atlantic Coast Conference and the University announced that 13 student-athletes had been suspended for the upcoming football game this weekend.
Yesterday the UM Athletic Department announced that it was taking additional action. Following is the text of that statement:
Coral Gables, Fla. – In addition to the ACC suspensions announced yesterday, the University of Miami Athletic Department is taking the following action:
With respect to f!ghting, any future violation will subject student-athletes to seasonal or permanent suspensions.
The suspension of sophomore safety Anthony Redd*ck has been extended indefinitely.
The Athletic Department has re-emphasized to the football coaching staff the University's commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and their responsibility to communicate this principle to the student-athletes.
The coaches will be held accountable for any violation of this principle.
Any further action by a student-athlete that violates these principles will not be tolerated by the University.
Further, additional disciplinary measures will be taken for all involved players, including community service and other unspecified actions.
"The NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference have principles of sportsmanship to which the University of Miami is committed," said UM director of athletics Paul Dee. "It is important for us to use opportunities such as these to re-emphasize this commitment to sportsmanship and to use it as an opportunity to provide a meaningful learning experience. The University of Miami does not tolerate actions inconsistent with this principle."
Additionally, on Thursday I will be meeting with Florida International University President Mitch Maidique to discuss whether our football teams will play the game that is currently scheduled for next season.
As always, I appreciate your comments and suggestions.
Donna E. Shalala