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Miami player awaits word on eligibility

Fan pleaserS: Kenneth Williams, 8, of Clearwater, has his poster signed by running backs Willie Davis, left, and Michael Pierre at the USF Fan Fest on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

Fan pleaserS: Kenneth Williams, 8, of Clearwater, has his poster signed by running backs Willie Davis, left, and Michael Pierre at the USF Fan Fest on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

CORAL GABLES — Dyron Dye, the lone current Hurricanes player still connected to the NCAA investigation of the program, wants a ruling or a clarification, anything but silence, from the NCAA on his eligibility.

The defensive lineman, who has been recuperating from surgery after an Achilles tendon injury in March, said he would be examined by a doctor today to determine if he is ready to begin training with the team.

But first the fifth-year senior needs the NCAA to let him know if he is eligible this season.

The NCAA interviewed Dye three times in the case involving former booster Nevin Shapiro because it believed an affidavit Dye signed that supported former receivers coach Aubrey Hill, now head coach at Miami Carol City High, contradicted statements Dye made in at least one interview.

Now Dye and attorney Darren Heitner are "waiting for clarity and guidance from the NCAA" as to whether he will be hit with an unethical conduct charge, Heitner said. They hadn't heard anything since the third interview in late spring, Heitner said.

Miami hasn't had to rule on Dye's status because he has been injured. The usual procedure is the school is the first entity to suspend a player, then leaves it up to the NCAA to decide on eligibility and if the player should be reinstated. That is what Miami did with other players involved in the case.

Dye was suspended for four games in 2011 and had to repay $738 in benefits given to him by Shapiro during the recruiting process.

In June, Dye filed an incident report with the Coral Gables Police Department in which he said he was "coerced" by former NCAA investigator Rich Johanningmeier into providing answers that would aid the NCAA's attempts to confirm incriminating information in its investigation of the athletic department and Shapiro. Nothing resulted from the report.

Miami hasn't received its NCAA sanctions in the case. The penalties could come any day.

USF: Tickled green

TAMPA — USF fans braved an afternoon rain shower to line up for autographs at the annual Fan Fest at Raymond James Stadium, with coach Willie Taggart signing autographs for more than two hours.

Fans had footballs and jerseys to sign, as well as team posters that were given away, along with more unusual requests. "I signed a baby," Taggart said. "On the back. It was ticklish, too."

Fans were given a written notice reminding them of the NCAA rules against athletes receiving money or other benefits for signing things.

The Bulls have their final scheduled two-a-day practice today, returning to campus after eight days in Vero Beach.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

Miami player awaits word on eligibility 08/18/13 [Last modified: Sunday, August 18, 2013 9:56pm]

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