Former Plant quarterback Robert Marve's days at the University of Miami are over, and if the Hurricanes have their way Marve won't be able to continue his career at any nearby Division I school.
Ending weeks of speculation that he might transfer from Miami, the former Panthers' record-breaking quarterback said Tuesday is leaving the Hurricanes football program. "I can confirm he's been granted his release," Miami assistant sports information director Kerwin Lonzo told the Times.
Marve told the Associated Press earlier this afternoon that he asked Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon for his release and it was granted.
"I had to get out," Marve told the AP. "I just decided that I can't play for Coach Shannon."
Under NCAA rules, if Marve transfers to another Division I school he'd have to sit out a year. Shannon, however, has also placed tight restrictions on Marve's transfer. The school is not allowing him to go to a college in the ACC, SEC or any Division I school within Florida, Plant football coach Robert Weiner told the Times, a caveat that Weiner said Marve plans to appeal once his release is in hand within the next few days.
"I can see not allowing him to play in the same conference (the ACC), but to tell a kid of Robert's capabilities that he can't go to an SEC school that Miami never plays, it seems like a very petty and bitter act for a man who puts the name coach in front of his name," Weiner said. "Robert lives in the Southeastern United States and this is the Southeastern Conference. If he can't go to a school in the ACC, SEC or in the state, it shows he is being penalized for no reason."
Marve can not contact another school until his release is official. Still, Weiner said he received calls from several college coaches throughout the day inquiring about Marve, but wouldn't talk specifics. The Miami Herald reported Tuesday afternoon that Marve is interested in tranferring to Florida, LSU or Tennessee.
"Robert will have a lot of good opportunities out there regardless of what happens," Weiner said.
Marve had been suspended for the team's Emerald Bowl loss to California in San Francisco for a team rules violation that reportedly was rooted from missing class. He was also suspended for the season's first game as punishment for his involvement in an incident on Halloween of 2007. He started the rest of the Hurricanes games as a redshirt freshman, but the emergence of true freshman Jacory Harris became evident as the season went along.
Miami fired offensive coordinator Patrick Nix just hours Monday evening. Marve reportedly has a close relationship with Nix. Shannon also told South Florida radio station WQAM Tuesday morning that Harris would enter the spring as the team's starter, according to the (Fort Lauderdale) Sun-Sentinel.
Marve led Plant to the FHSAA Class 4A state championship in 2006. He was an early oral committment to the University of Alabama, but he decommitted once head coach Mike Shula was fired and ended up signing with Miami.
WHAT TEAMS MIGHT BE INTERESTED?
If the release terms are changed and Marve could attend an SEC school, UF and Tennessee would be among possibilities.
If former Heisman Trophy quarterback Tim Tebow stays for his senior season at Florida, Marve would have a year to prepare for the competition between himself and Tebow's understudy, John Brantley. Brantley, who played in nine games backing up Tebow, just completed his redshirt freshman year. He completed 18 of 28 for 235 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception.
Tennessee struggled with two quarterbacks who split time: sophomore Nick Stephens (seven games, 63 of 130 for 840 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions) and junior Jonathan Crompton (eight games, 86 of 167 for 889 yards and four touchdowns, with five interceptions).
"It's just frustrating,'' Marve said. "I wanted to stay at Miami. I loved being a 'Cane and I'll always be a 'Cane. ... I'm very disappointed that it ended this way because I liked the school and I liked the University of Miami."
His father, Eugene, wasn't so diplomatic, telling the Miami Herald: "Shannon is trying to bar Robert from playing for any ACC school or any SEC school or any school in Florida. This goes in relationship with his contempt for and arrogance toward my son, Robert.
"The ACC (ban) is reasonable. The SEC is ridiculous. There are a lot of schools in the SEC that never see Miami. This has gone to a personal attack against my son, and it will not go without challenge. This is a shameful day that Shannon has brought to the University of Miami. This is a shameful day for Randy Shannon and what he represents, and every recruit should watch out for what you're seeing happening to Robert Marve.
"We're going to fight this tooth and nail. I don't know why Shannon would want to bring this type of disgrace to (UM) and himself in trying to dominate my son and have control over his decision. If he perceived Robert as that big of a threat as a football player he certainly didn't treat him like that."
Shannon came out with a two-sentence statement in response to the Marves' discontent: "When Eugene Marve speaks he has Robert's welfare in mind, which all fathers should. I have respect for Robert and wish him nothing but success in the future."
Earlier Tuesday, Shannon told WQAM radio he would have preferred that Marve stay.
"Robert has to accept that, 'Hey, I have to be a person that is willing to do what we are doing at the University of Miami,' " Shannon said.
Marve did not play during his freshman season, redshirting as he recovered from a serious offseason car accident. "I don't think people realize how hurt I was," Marve said. "My body changed completely after that."
He drew a one-game suspension to start this season because he was arrested on two misdemeanor charges related to vandalism on Oct. 31, 2007. Shannon's rules say an arrest merits a suspension, though the charges were dropped and Marve paid about $100 in damages.
Marve's second suspension was for missing an English class for the fourth time this past semester. He said he was late to the class because he was speaking with another professor. He went home soon after; other players who were suspended for breaking team rules continued practicing with the team until it departed for San Francisco for the Emerald Bowl, which Miami lost. Marve said it was "very hard, very frustrating'' to watch the game on television.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.