Donna Shalala Must Ease Up on UM Football

It is University of Miami Coach Al Golden's second year on the job, and he's on his way to another disappointing season. Yet he's done well recruiting players and nurturing a team decimated by the early departures of talented upperclassmen.

The problem? UM President Donna Shalala has handcuffed Golden, just as she did his predecessors Randy Shannon, Larry Coker, and Butch Davis. As a result, the team has been embarrassed by Kansas State, Notre Dame, and Florida State.

Shalala wants the big bucks a football program generates without a return to the renegade image from the 1980s, when the Hurricanes dominated college football. Those Canes were the best because they were led by three headstrong coaches — Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson, and Dennis Erickson — who didn't let then-university President Tad Foote meddle with their control of the players.

That hasn't been the case during Shalala's tenure. When Shannon was trying to keep his student-athletes from the clutches of Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro, Shalala was happily accepting checks from the rogue ex-booster. Ever since the NCAA began investigating Shapiro's allegations that he provided impermissible gifts to football and basketball players and recruits right under Shalala's nose, Hurricanes football has been in a free fall.

Four juniors from last year's team whose leadership and talent would have helped this season's squad left early for the NFL draft. Another defensive star, Ray Ray Armstrong, was booted before the season started. And two more men quit the team in October.

It keeps getting worse. In early October, after less than two years on the job, Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst quit to take over the University of Nebraska sports program. The guy before him, Kirby Hocutt, left for the same job at Texas Tech University. When two athletic directors leave the beautiful city of Coral Gables for cow pastures and cornfields, that shows the problems start at the top of the University of Miami.

I'd rather see the football program shut down than let Shalala keep ruining it.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.

 
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4 comments
PK2012
PK2012

Nevermind, I'm an A-hole, this story is posted twice with different headlines, my comments are still there on the other article.

PK2012
PK2012

My previous comments detailing how every single thing Campbell says in this article is a lie were deleted.

 

So I'll just say that university presidents don't run football programs, head coaches do. UM's problem has been two bad head coaches in a row, Campbell has nothing causal to point to as to HOW Donna Shalala is responsible for UM football falling off. 

 

Tad Foote didn't make UM a champion, Jimmy Johnson did. The presidents of LSU and Alabama aren't responsible for those programs' successes, Nick Saban and Les Miles are.

jgcamp99
jgcamp99

I'm surprised Shalala hasn't been asked to step down. I mean the UM Medical/JMH/JMS fiasco was hers. Everything from Butch Davis to the most recent scandal has been under her watch too. Sooner or later it has to catch up with her ?

getitin44
getitin44

Good one Luke! She has done well for the University but horrible for the athletics program. I think one thing that still haunts the program to this day is when Larry Coker fired 4 top assistants who were the backbone of the program. I know Golden brought Kehoe back but losing Don Soldinger was a huge loss to the program. Just think if Randy takes over in 2007 with Soldinger, Kehoe, and Werner as OC instead of getting stuck with Pat Nix.

 

Personally I think the jury is still out on Golden. I like the changes he's made to the program but they have not yet translated to wins on the field. Additionally, he's got a big decision to make this offseason with his best friend leading one of the worst defenses in college football. I don't buy the youth excuse at all, any good coach will tell you they have an effort problem on that side of the ball. You don't get spanked 52-13(K-state) and 41-3(ND) like that playing your tail off. Those kids give up at certain points in the game cause they don't believe they can beat the man in front of them--that's where good coaching and scheming comes in. Does he stay loyal to his homeboy despite the poor coaching or stay loyal to the program who needs fast improvement on the side of the ball?

 

Go Canes!

 
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