New UM football coach Al Golden vowed to change the culture at the U when he was hired late last year. This week ex-Cane Ryan Hill distilled the problem into three components: immaturity, complacency, and smoking weed.
Hill told the Miami Herald that too many football players at UM "are really immature," echoing his comments after Miami's loss in the Sun Bowl. Following his final game at Miami, Hill said "We have a lot of guys... that act like little boys."
He expanded on that comment, saying at the Sun Bowl, "There were a couple of receivers having a snowball fight on the sideline when we’re down 21-0."
It wasn't just the snowball fight that irked Hill, though. Lots of players arrived late to meetings and skipped class. It got so bad that Hill said his academic advisors asked him to reach out to his teammates and set them straight.
Then there were the pot smokers. Hill told the Herald that even though former coach Randy Shannon "put fear in guys not to do pot during the season," plenty did during the offseason and managed to beat UM and NCAA drug tests. Hill did not name names regarding the marijuana problem.
He added, "I'm sure there are guys still using, though there's no way to know for sure."
Hill's solution for the team's weed problem? "You have to have a zero tolerance rule, make an example out of someone."
Golden declined to speak to the Herald about the drug rumors, but the reported suspension of a handful of players for Miami's season opener against Maryland may have something to do with those rumors. Reports of the suspensions cited the breaking of team rules.
Hill also expressed disappointment that some of his former teammates became less than motivated if they were not at the top of the depth chart. "There were always guys pouting, because they're not playing as much as they want,” he said, dismissing their attitudes as "Pop Warner stuff."
"There are a lot of guys who didn’t produce, and how they act off the field has a lot to do with it. That has to change," Hill concluded.
This helps explain why Golden has stressed the importance of practicing hard thus far in his tenure, as well as the constant turnover in his spring depth charts. Whether it snaps the Canes out of their funk cannot be known until they take the field in the fall.