Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Devastating Scandal For Miami, Frank Haith

Yahoo Sports, which continues to have a better investigation staff than the NCAA enforcement office, has put together a devastating collection of wrongdoing at the University of Miami, including a series of allegations specifically involving Frank Haith and the basketball program. The NCAA and the University of Miami are all withholding comment at this point, but it's hard to believe that the NCAA won't really come down hard on the school and Frank Haith.

The people directly involved in this scandal are obviously going to be in a lot of trouble, but this scandal is also devastating for two innocent parties:

Jim Larranaga - I was lukewarm on his move to Miami initially, and now it looks like the move could be a disaster. None of the wrongdoing is his fault (he's only been on the job for a few months after all), but the basketball program is likely going to be in for major violations. Recruiting is going to be on hold for the time being as well. Larranaga turns 62 before the 2011-12 season tips off, so he doesn't exactly have a ton of time to wait for the program to turn around. George Mason has the players in place to have a really good season (even after downgrading at head coach to Paul Hewitt I still project them to earn a 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament). It would be better for everybody (other than Paul Hewitt) if Larranaga could undo his coaching change and get back the George Mason job.

Missouri basketball - Mike Anderson had this program a perennial contender in the Big 12 and a constant threat to go deep in the NCAA Tournament, but it's been a sharp downhill trend for the past four months. Anderson left the school to head home to Arkansas, and then the school got played by a raise-seeking Matt Painter and had to settle for Frank Haith. Now Haith could be in line for a really serious punishment from the NCAA, and Missouri might have to go get a new coach again at an absolutely horrible time. Not only would a coaching change in the next few months kill their 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes, but the program is already in a ton of flux with so many key players (Lawrence Bowers, Kim English, Marcus Denmon, Matt Pressey, etc) in their final season of eligibility.

Frank Haith has already added a few transfers (Keion Bell, Earnest Ross and George Goode), but only Ross has more than one year of eligibility left. The team needs fresh blood, and this Frank Haith situation could kill them. It's a shame that Missouri basketball is going to be so badly damaged by a situation at Miami that they had absolutely nothing to do with.

No comments: