CORAL GABLES — Blake James was not privy to many details of the NCAA investigation into Miami's athletic compliance practices until he became the Hurricanes' acting athletic director four months ago.
Even after learning what sanctions the school could face, he still wanted the job permanently.
He got it Friday, the "acting" tag removed from his title. He replaces Shawn Eichorst, who left in October for the same job at Nebraska.
"It was an interview process that probably's been longer than most, but one that was a great experience and one that I valued tremendously," said James, in his third stint in UM's athletic department. "And obviously I look forward to moving this program forward. I think we have great days ahead, a great staff, great coaches, and I'm looking forward to bringing us back to the top."
The announcement came shortly after a meeting of the university's board of trustees.
It's a critical time for the athletic department, especially the administration, where virtually everyone in the employee directory has been a relatively new hire or has assumed a new role in the past couple of years.
The school has been part of an NCAA investigation for more than two years, the scope of which became publicly known in August 2011 when Yahoo Sports published claims made by former booster and convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro, who said he gave so-called "extra benefits" such as cash and gifts to UM players, coaches and recruits over eight years.
"This is a job that I've wanted for my 20 years in this business," said James, who declined to specifically discuss the status of the NCAA investigation.
The NCAA was expected to give UM its long-awaited notice of allegations last month, before essentially suspending its investigation while seeing if its rules were broken during the process.
More recently, the baseball program has been linked to a Major League Baseball investigation into performance-enhancing drug use and if those products were acquired from an antiaging clinic in South Florida. One member of Miami's strength and conditioning staff was named in a report about the clinic. The school said it is investigating.
Women's Top 25
NO. 4 STANFORD 73, ARIZONA 43: Chiney Ogwumike had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the host Cardinal (21-2, 10-1 Pac-12).
NO. 5 DUKE 62, VIRGINIA 41: Haley Peters had 16 points as the visiting Blue Devils (21-1, 11-0 ACC) used a 21-5 run for their 20th consecutive win over the Cavaliers.
NO. 7 MARYLAND 73, WAKE 63: Tianna Hawkins and Alyssa Thomas scored 23 apiece and combined for their team's final 15 points as the Terrapins (19-3, 10-1 ACC) won their ninth straight.
NO. 21 COLORADO 61, OREGON ST. 47: Chucky Jeffery had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the host Buffaloes (17-5, 6-5 Pac-12).