The Nevin Shapiro scandal may have left all those folks talking up the Hurricanes football program as an upstanding group of brainy, good two-shoed scholars eating crow, but you better believe Donna Shalala is still dead-set on keeping up the school's academic reputation.
Maybe that's why its likely the team is about to lose one of the stars in its 2012 recruiting class. A.J. Leggett, currently with South Miami High, wanted to be a Hurricane his entire life but it appears his high school academic history may derail that ambition.
It's not even that Leggett is dumb. He has a 2.4 GPA and scored a 22 on his ACT, according to The Miami Herald. That score is actually higher than the average.
Though, his athletic marks are considerably higher. He's considered by Rivals.com to be the 10th best cornerback in the entire country.
"I've been wanting to play at UM all my life," said last week. "I see a lot of opportunity there. I've been working hard to get my grades right, my test scores, my classes and stuff in line. The only thing I have to pass right now is Spanish and math class in virtual school so I can graduate on time. If I maintain my grades, I'll be straight."
In the week since, the story has changed. On Wednesday night he updated his Facebook status with: "I don't think I will be playing in Miami next year."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The problem is that he played at four different high school football programs. He started out at South Miami, and made stops at Booker T. Washington, Gulliver Prep and Homestead, only to end up back at South Miami this year.
"According to what [defensive backs coach Paul Williams] said since AJ went to more than two high schools, he's going to need the paperwork of every high school he went to -- and he warned him it's going to be a long process," South Miami coach Lamont Green told the Herald. "He was just saying if they sign him football wise they don't think academically the school will let him in right away and he'll have to go to prep school. He said based on what they saw last year with a couple other guys it was going to happen again this year."
Leggett briefly switched his commitment to FSU earlier this year, and still has interest from the Seminoles and Ohio State.