The NCAA told Miami administrators that, in light of allegations made by a former Hurricanes booster, it will consider invoking its "willful violators" clause and make an exception to the four-year statute of limitations on violations, Yahoo! Sports reported Thursday night.
The NCAA's four-year statute of limitations doesn't apply when there is a pattern of willful violations that continues into the past four years. In the Miami case, the NCAA could investigate back to early 2002, which is when former booster Nevin Shapiro, now serving 20 years in federal prison for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, alleged in a Yahoo! Sports article this week that he began providing Hurricanes players with cash, prostitutes, cars and other gifts.
If the probe overlapped with Miami baseball's two-year probation, from February 2003 to February 2005, the Hurricanes' athletic program could end up with a "repeat violator" label, making it even more susceptible to the NCAA's "death penalty."
I still don't think the "death penalty" will be handed down, but I'm expecting a penalty that will, in essence, be the same thing.
Yeah they won't kill the program or take away TV I think because it would cost all the other schools on their schedule money. But take away sixty scholarships over six years? Bowl ban the whole time? Suspend all involved players for a year at least? Might as well consider them dead at that point.
Now it's 15 current players for Miami being investigated, though at least one is a basketball player.
The fun rumor among Miami fans today is that Marve and one of the Brown's agreed to help the NCAA with it's case in return for an "immunity" of sorts. I'm not sure I really believe that but it would certainly be an intersting twist I've never seen before.
EDIT: Apparently Charles Robinson himself started that rumor, citing an actual NCAA rule that says they can waive violations for people who provide evidence. He was stating that he believed the reason some of these kids at other schools have been cleared already is that they've been cooperating with the NCAA during this five month investigation.
With the Bears beefing up their pass rush, and remembering the stellar job GB's OL young'uns did protecting Aaron Rodgers in the first half of 2009, this move = sigh of relief. Now if we can just get Tauscher back, too...