An effort to deflect criticism is turning the University of Miami football team into its own worst PR enemy. On Sunday the Canes announced the suspension of seven players, including starting QB Robert Marve. Don't the Canes know how bad those headlines look? There's a lot of people out there who subconsciously finish "UM suspends seven players..." with "...for raping and pillaging a small town".
Second year head coach Randy Shannon explained the reasons for the suspensions.
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"Like I said before when I took the job at the University of Miami, we hold everyone to higher standards than most teams in the country. We have our rules and regulations, as far as curfew, study hall, and doing the right things in the classroom. We won't have seven players taking part in Thursday's game for those reasons, and we'll move forward."
Though the team hasn't announced the names of the other punished players or the reasons for their suspensions, it did indicate that Marve was being punished for an incident that happened 10 MONTHS AGO. Marve was a red shirt last year, so technically this is the first game they could suspend him (conveniently, the game is against a division FCS, formerly I-AA division, team). As for the other players, well maybe they really did pillage that small town, but Shannon's words make you think they didn't turn in a homework assignment on time. The Canes are trying to prove that they don't take discipline lightly, but announcing the suspension of seven players at that beginning of the season only adds to the out of control image they're trying to shake. Discipline should be taken, but in at least one case they had 10 months to do so.