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Hurricanes Won't Play in Some Crappy Bowl Game, but Penalty Possibilities Looking Less Serious

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A few months ago, Yahoo! Sports' piece about claims made by convicted Ponzi schemer and Miami Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro put the phrase death penalty on a lot of folks' lips. As the months have passed, though, there's little indication that the NCAA's punishment will be so severe. Sure, the team has announced it'll self-impose a postseason bowl ban this year, but frankly, who cares about that anyway?

Shortly after becoming bowl eligible after a listless field-goal showdown against USF this past weekend, the team announced it won't accept an invitation to a bowl. Which, whatever. Was anyone really excited for the Belk, Independence, or Military Bowl anyway? Just another reminder of mediocrity anyway.

What seems to be more important is the school's final sentence in the statement: "The University of Miami has not self-imposed any other penalties."

Now coach Al Golden says he's been assured the team won't impose any scholarship reductions for 2012. That's good news, because Al Golden has already assembled 26 committed recruits. Rivals.com ranks the class the 11th best in the nation, at the moment at least. It might not be ranked that high when signing day comes around, but given the situation, it's shaping up to be a pretty solid class.

The news that the team won't impose scholarship reductions is also an indication that the school isn't fearing the worst when it comes to NCAA sanctions.

"This could be just the beginning of sanctions for Miami, but if you listen closely to Golden, it also might not be nearly as bad as many first thought when the Yahoo! report was first released," writes ESPN's Heather Dinich. "The university did not self-impose any scholarship reductions -- another punishment that many assumed the NCAA would meter out, considering the scope of the investigation. Golden, though, seems to think it's a good sign."

"When the story initially broke, it was certainly sensationalized," Golden says. "We understand that there was wrongdoing, but I think as expeditiously as four players were reinstated and the others served penalties... I think that was a silver lining and perhaps this is one as well."

While the NCAA has been tight-lipped about the ongoing investigation, no indication has leaked out that investigators will lift the statute of limitations and penalize the team for infractions that happened more than four years ago.

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