Michael Irvin on The U: “We Were the Bad Boys of College Sports”

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Michael Irvin admitted last night during a private screening that the unflattering press he and his University of Miami teammates garnered during the Hurricanes' heyday was well-deserved.

"It wasn't some conspiracy on the media's part," Irvin joked Thursday night. "Our actions spoke for us. We were the bad boys of college sports."

Speaking in the defiant tone that defined Hurricanes' style 1980s football, Irvin talked about the team's legacy during a private screening of the ESPN documentary "The U" late Thursday night inside Lincoln Road's Colony Theater.

"We didn't have to think long and hard about accepting this project," said John Dahl, executive producer of ESPN Films, of the network's highest-rated documentary.

The event was the first in a series hosted by the United States Sports Film Festival. "The U" has been shunned by UM officials.

"The U" begins with former head coach Howard Schnellenberger's unprecedented decision to seek black recruits from Miami's most impoverished neighborhoods during a time when the city was being ripped apart by racial tension.

What follows next are the exploits of arguably the most dominant and controversial college football team in American history.

Irvin, a Hall-of-Famer and possibly the most prolific and flamboyant of them all, said the team's prowess is unfairly overshadowed by it's bad behavior.

Three UM alums -- Jeremy Shockey, Jonathan Vilma and Reggie Wayne -- are set to star in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

"You can't take away the bond we share and the history we've made," Irvin said.

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