Miami Hurricanes football coach Al Golden said Monday he hopes his Canes will soon be able to put the NCAA's ongoing investigation into the school's impermissible benefits behind them. At the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff in Greensboro, N.C., Golden said he hopes UM will learn of its sanctions soon so that his team can focus completely on the upcoming season.
The NCAA has been investigating UM since 2011, mainly over the role that convicted felon and former booster Nevin Shapiro had with the football and men's basketball programs.
Golden said that he is "just hopeful that there will be closure here shortly and we'll be able to move forward."
"I'm proud of our coaches, and I'm proud of our kids that have basically looked that in the eye and didn’t flinch," Golden continued. "We've had kids come and go, but we have not had one kid walk into my office with his family and say, 'I'm leaving because I don’t know what the future is with the NCAA. It’s too tenuous. I want out.'"
The school has said it wanted word from the NCAA by the start of the season.
Miami self-imposed postseason bans after the 2011 and 2012 seasons because of the investigation. The Hurricanes open practice Aug. 3 and are among the ACC favorites this season. In a preseason poll of ACC beat writers, UM was the clear favorite to win the ACC Coastal division, while Clemson is expected to win the Atlantic division.
Miami had 65 first-place votes in the Coastal, ahead of Virginia Tech's 27 and North Carolina's 22.
"I hope they're not as inaccurate as they were last year," said Golden. The Canes were picked to finish fourth in the Coastal division, but ended up winning it (though they could not appear against Florida State in the ACC Championship Game because of the postseason ban).
"I think, from our standpoint, I hope that the adversity that we encountered and obviously endured the last two years with the NCAA has prepared us for this, and that we're not really thinking ahead," Golden said.
He added, "We're internally focused and driven and we're not worried about what anybody says about us, good or bad."