Another summer, another report from Yahoo! Sports making allegations about the University of Miami football program. The latest, which hit the web late Friday, are decidedly less dramatic than last summer's stories of hooker yacht parties and such. However, the newest allegations do implicate current football coach Al Golden. However, in statements made to the media today, Golden claims that he's guilty of no wrong doings.
In a follow up to last year's explosive report centering on accusations made by convicted Ponzi schemer and former 'Canes booster Nevin Shapiro, Yahoo! Sports reporter Charles Robinson contends that Shapiro's "right-hand man" within the program, former equipment manager, Sean "Pee Wee" Allen, continued flaunting NCAA recruiting rules up until last summer with the direct knowledge of coaches, including Golden:
Golden, hired by Miami in mid-December 2010, had direct knowledge of Allen's improper involvement with Miami recruits, according to a former Hurricanes athletic department staffer and federal testimony given by Allen in Shapiro's bankruptcy case. Additionally, multiple sources interviewed by NCAA investigators have told Yahoo! Sports that Allen has become a focal point in the association's probe into Miami athletics. The sources said investigators focused on Allen's role in providing impermissible benefits to Hurricanes players, as well as his contact with Miami recruits.
However, the allegations are much less dramatic than those brought forth by Shapiro:
One former Hurricanes staffer told Yahoo! Sports that Allen was used specifically by members of Golden's staff as an "off-the-books" recruiter. As part of those duties, the staffer said Allen kept tabs on Miami-area kids, including making calls about their recruitment, and on some occasions, supplying improper transportation to and from campus that aided Miami in its efforts to gain a commitment from some prospects.
So, basically he called some kids, told 'em UM was a good program, and maybe drove a few to campus. Does anyone get the feeling that this is basically the same kind of light recruiting rule breaking that goes on at plenty of programs across the nation, but is only being brought to light in this case because Miami is under investigation?
Anyway, Golden is at the ACC's media day today and is telling reporters his reputation speaks for itself.
"Disappointment obviously," Golden told The Miami Herald on his reaction to the story. "It's your name. It's your integrity. But as I've found being around the other coaches and the ACC commissioner, I think my integrity and reputation over the last 18 years speaks for itself.''
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ACC commissioner John Swofford also stands in Golden's corner.
"If Al Golden were involved in anything inappropriate in terms of NCAA rules, I would be shocked," he said today.
Granted, Golden, a Penn State grad, should certainly know that a football coach denying allegations by pointing to his good reputation is not exactly the strongest defense right now.