Quarterback Jacory Harris and 11 other Miami players who accepted extra benefits from former booster Nevin Shapiro will be allowed by the NCAA to play again, four of them without missing any games.
The NCAA reserved the harshest penalties for those who took gifts from Shapiro while being recruited.
- Defensive linemen Olivier Vernon must sit out six games and repay more than $1,200 because as a recruit he accepted things such as access to Shapiro’s suite at a Miami home game, drinks and cover charges at two different nightclubs.
- Ray Ray Armstrong–considered among the nation’s top safeties– must repay $788, the believed worth of his extra benefits, while Dyron Dye will pay back $738.
- Marcus Forston, the NCAA said, received more than $400 in things such as ”athletic equipment, meals, nightclub cover charges and entertainment at a gentleman’s club.” Sean Spence received about $275 in benefits, Adewale Ojomo $240, Travis Benjamin more than $150 and Harris more than $140.
- Brandon McGee, JoJo Nicholas, Micanor Regis and Vaughn Telemaque all must pay less than $100 for various impermissible benefits.
- Separately, Golden said senior wide receiver Aldarius Johnson, who also was implicated by Shapiro but not named in Tuesday’s NCAA statement, has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.
- A 13th player, Marcus Robinson, was vindicated of wrongdoing.
Harris, Spence, Benjamin, Forston and Ojomo — were all likely starters that will sit out the season opening game at Maryland on Monday night. They will be eligible to play when Miami hosts Ohio State on Sept. 17.
”There’s no suspense in the air. We know what we have. We know what we’re taking to Maryland. We have a lot of very talented players that we’re taking to Maryland, and we’re going up there to do our best. I wasn’t too worried about it. I knew things would take care of themselves.”
The Hurricanes still might face more sanctions as the NCAA’s investigation into Miami’s compliance practices continues. With the ruling, the school has joined a growing list of schools with major football programs to be investigated by the NCAA for rule-breaking in the past 18 months. Others include Southern California, Ohio State, Auburn, Oregon, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and LSU.
“I think it was probably fair,” Miami coach Al Golden told The Associated Press Tuesday night. “Clearly, whatever transpired, it wasn’t as over-the-top as everybody was initially reporting and all of those things. The NCAA and the university felt there was mistakes made … and I’ve accepted that. And now we’re moving forward.”