Monday, June 18, 2018
Colleges

Hurricanes football coach Al Golden involved in recruiting irregularities at Miami, Yahoo Sports reports

CORAL GABLES — Miami coach Al Golden's second season at the school is starting much like his first, with new accusations of rule breaking and the looming threat of serious NCAA sanctions in the midst of a long probe into the football program's compliance practices.

Former Miami football employee Sean Allen — who has been linked to one-time booster and now convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro through the improper-benefits scandal that broke last year — assisted members of Golden's coaching staff with recruiting and did so with Golden's knowledge, Yahoo Sports reported Friday.

If true, that could be a major NCAA violation, despite Golden's repeated insistence that he wants to "get it fixed."

"The inferences and suggestions in the Yahoo Sports story that my conduct was anything but ethical are simply false," Golden said Friday in a statement issued by the school.

Golden also said that he has been a college coach for more than 18 years and stands by his record of compliance, and that he could not address specifics.

NCAA investigators visited Miami for several days this month, the Associated Press reported Friday. Shapiro's claims that he provided dozens of Miami athletes and recruits with extra benefits over an eight-year span were published by Yahoo Sports last August.

A significant portion of Shapiro's allegations from last year revolved around Allen, an assistant football equipment manager until leaving last year. Shapiro said he gave Allen more than $200,000, most allegedly spent on players and recruits, as well as a luxury car. Allen denied those claims to Yahoo Sports in 2011, and has not responded to interview requests from AP or Yahoo.

Shapiro's attorney, Maria Elena Perez, also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Miami had braced for added allegations. In an email obtained by AP, university President Donna Shalala told trustees Thursday that "someone who had a low-level position at one time" was expected to allege that UM assistant and former NFL player Micheal Barrow committed recruiting violations. Shalala said it has been investigated.

Some current players were listed as having contact with Allen during recruiting, including defensive lineman and former Alonso High star Anthony Chickillo, cornerback Thomas Finnie and incoming freshmen Randy "Duke" Johnson and Herb Waters.

Chickillo, according to the new Yahoo report, was taken to a strip club on his recruiting visit by former Hurricanes defensive end Olivier Vernon, who after last fall skipped his senior season to be eligible for the NFL draft. Vernon was one of the players sanctioned by the NCAA last season for accepting money from Shapiro.

Comments
As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SEC’s alcohol stance slowly shifting?

As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SEC’s alcohol stance slowly shifting?

USF's expanded partnership with Yuengling — including naming rights to the Sun Dome — is only the latest part in an evolving relationship between college sports and alcohol, as my colleague, Joey Knight, wrote on the front page ...
Published: 06/18/18
Florida’s Brady Singer voted top college baseball player of year

Florida’s Brady Singer voted top college baseball player of year

OMAHA, Neb. — Florida pitcher Brady Singer has won the Dick Howser Trophy as college baseball's player of the year.Singer, who received the award Friday, carries a 12-1 record and 2.30 ERA into the College World Series, which begins Saturday. T...
Published: 06/15/18
Former Plant QB Rex Culpepper cancer-free; ready to return to Syracuse lineup

Former Plant QB Rex Culpepper cancer-free; ready to return to Syracuse lineup

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Rex Culpepper is back. The smile on his face said it all. The redshirt sophomore quarterback had his first full workout with Syracuse on Friday after overcoming testicular cancer. He said he broke down and cried when he was told he w...
Published: 06/15/18
Willie Taggart comes clean on the origin of ‘Do Something’

Willie Taggart comes clean on the origin of ‘Do Something’

During his question-and-answer session with more than 500 Manatee-Sarasota boosters Monday evening, FSU's Willie Taggart was peppered with the normal inquiries about recruiting, offensive scheme and the Seminoles' quarterback derby.All well and good....
Published: 06/12/18
When Willie Taggart filled in for Tommie Frazier at Manatee High

When Willie Taggart filled in for Tommie Frazier at Manatee High

It would have been easy — expected, even — for Willie Taggart to be nervous when he started in place of the injured Tommie Frazier as Manatee High's starting quarterback in 1991.Nope. Taggart wasn't, even though he was the first...
Published: 06/12/18
FSU football coach Willie Taggart gets local hero’s welcome

FSU football coach Willie Taggart gets local hero’s welcome

SARASOTA — He slithered and scrambled his way into the local consciousness in the fall of 1991.Manatee High's Willie Taggart, 145 pounds in a sopping jersey, suddenly found himself with the keys to the Hurricanes' ruthlessly efficient opti...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18
Florida Gators add West Virginia grad transfer Adam Shuler

Florida Gators add West Virginia grad transfer Adam Shuler

Former West Virginia defensive lineman Adam Shuler announced Monday that he plans to join the Gators as a graduate transfer.Shuler, a 6-foot-4, 268-pound Longwood native, started 10 games for the Mountaineers last season. As a redshirt sophomore, he ...
Published: 06/11/18
Florida State’s Jessica Warren lives ‘every senior’s dream’ with Women’s College World Series title

Florida State’s Jessica Warren lives ‘every senior’s dream’ with Women’s College World Series title

OKLAHOMA CITY — Jessie Warren’s career finished just the way she envisioned it. On Monday night, Florida State’s star third baseman made perhaps the play of her career, a diving catch and throw for a double play that helped preserve a 1-0 win over Wa...
Published: 06/06/18
Florida Gators hire former Auburn AD Jay Jacobs

Florida Gators hire former Auburn AD Jay Jacobs

Former Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs is joining Florida as its executive associate athletic director, the Gators announced Tuesday afternoon."Florida Athletics is fortunate to have someone of Jay's caliber joining the (University Athletic Assoc...
Published: 06/05/18
What Mississippi State says about Dan Mullen’s September homecoming

What Mississippi State says about Dan Mullen’s September homecoming

I haven't yet ranked every college football game in the state (as I did last year), but here's a spoiler: Dan Mullen's return to Starkville on Sept. 29 will be very high.The Florida Gators' new coach hasn't shied away from his Mississippi State homec...
Published: 06/05/18