Former Player Rips Al Golden: Claims He Made Stephen Morris Play With Injured Ankle

Al Golden wasn't particularly liked in this locker room by the end of it.
Al Golden wasn't particularly liked in this locker room by the end of it.
Photo by Stian Roenning

When Al Golden got canned as the Miami Hurricanes head coach, the general feeling was that he was a decent guy who just couldn't get it together and live up to the hype.

"Coach Golden has led our program through some very difficult times and he has done so with class, integrity and a true desire to see our students succeed on the field, in the classroom and in the community," Miami athletic director Blake James said in a statement, furthering that narrative. 

There were hints of frustration in the locker room, sure, but no one thought the situation was quite as toxic as former offensive lineman Jonathan Feliciano suggested in an interview with the Big O Show on WQAM this morning.

Feliciano claims Golden made Stephen Morris play with an injured ankle, forced Anthony Chickillo to put on 60 pounds to play a new position, and made decisions based around saving his job instead of winning. 

"We had Stephen Morris playing on one Achilles the whole season that they didn't want to get an MRI until after the season because we really needed Stephen at that point,"  Feliciano said. "We didn’t find out the extent of Stephen’s injury until the NFL Combine. By that time, it’s a red flag; he has a ruptured Achilles. Go on and Stephen doesn’t get drafted. He’s bouncing around the league now. " 

"Coach Golden has a degree in psychology and he definitely used that," he added. 

Feliciano also claimed that Golden forced Chickillo to pack on the pounds to switch from outside linebacker to defensive end against Chickillo's will. Indeed, Chickillo has since switched back to playing the outside linebacker position with the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Feliciano also added that the only reason quarterback Brad Kaaya played a first-year freshman was so Golden could have an excuse for a bad season. 

Feliciano also says he was holding back even more damning claims, but says he isn't just a rogue complainer. He says that other former teammates urged him to speak out.

“I’m in a group text with a few of my other teammates from Miami, and everyone that texted just felt disrespected, and felt like he was trying to put the blame on someone else,” Feliciano said.

The anger stems from Golden's recent close that he felt "burnt out" in Miami.

Feliciano hinted at the new claims on Twitter.  

He held off on offers to elaborate on the tweet on sports radio until he got encouragement from his former teammates. 

Feliciano, by the way, is now playing for the Oakland Raiders. Golden has moved on to be tight ends coach for the Detroit Lions. 


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