MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 2: Ray-Ray Armstrong #26 of the Miami Hurricanes dives into the end zone for a touchdown after intercepting a pass by Martin Ukpai #16 (not pictured) of the Florida A&M Rattlers in second quarter action on September 2, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Ray-Ray Armstrong has been dismissed from the Miami Hurricanes football program. The senior safety who was a top recruit of Randy Shannon in 2009 will either complete his degree at UM or seek a transfer to another school to complete his collegiate career.
UM has not commented publicly on the situation yet, but the Miami Herald reported that Armstrong's dismissal had to do with an interaction with a booster that he discussed on Twitter last month. If so, that would be the third time Armstrong had found himself in hot water in the past year.
Armstrong was suspended for the first four games of the 2011 season for accepting impermissible benefits from disgraced booster Nevin Shapiro. The Canes are still under an NCAA investigation for the Shapiro affair.
Later in the season, Armstrong was suspended for the FSU game after tweeted a photo of his meal while dining with a PR professional at Prime 112 in Miami Beach. It appears Armstrong has swung at his third strike.
Canes fans had high hopes for Armstrong when he signed with the U out of Seminole High School in Sanford, Florida. Rivals.com ranked him the 13th best recruit in the country in 2009, and top safety overall. Having idolized former UM great Sean Taylor, Armstrong wore Taylor's number 26 with the Canes.
But Armstrong failed to live up to those big expectations, like many Canes recruited during former coach Randy Shannon's tenure. In parts of three seasons, he made 4 interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, with 10 passes defended. In 2011, he made 34 tackles with one interception in seven games.
With UM still under investigation by the NCAA, head coach Al Golden clearly feels the headaches stemming from Armstrong's behavior are not worth whatever contributions he can make on the field. This is underscored by the fact that UM placed no restrictions on Armstrong's transfer rights (often schools will prevent their players from transferring to a school in the same state or conference).
Armstrong had considered foregoing his senior season and declaring for the NFL Draft after last season, but decided to stay even as four other underclassmen left UM early.