With the college season coming to an end next week, the Miami Hurricanes are again in the news for the wrong reasons. Al Golden and the Miami athletic department announced that they will impose a bowl ban for the second consecutive year.
There's a clear--and correct--logic in the self imposed ban, even with the prospect of an Orange bowl in far away horizon.
The Hurricanes were in a good position to win the Coastal Division and enter the ACC Championship game against Florida State for a chance at the Orange Bowl, easily the best Bowl for Miami in close to a decade.
It was a real possibility, but an unlikely one just the same. The Bowl Ban allows a team that is clearly improving, in a division that clearly is not, to avoid bans in the future when the team is in contention beyond probabilities that Nate Silver might have do figure out for the team.
"We want to get it fixed," Golden said, according to the Associated Press. "Again, we didn't ask for it. But I have confidence in the coaches and the players and all the guys that made a commitment to fix this at the end of the day, and that's where we're at. ... We'll get through it. Miami's been through it before. We'll get through it."
The ban comes from the scandal involving Nevin Shapiro and "extra benefits" over an eight year period including, according to the sensational Yahoo Sports report, paid abortions for strippers. Does it get better than that?
That has left Miami in a state of uncertainty for over a year, waiting to see what the NCAA will hand down.
Most of the guilty parties are gone, and those now in Miami have been helpful and forthcoming, hoping the NCAA will come down lightly.
There is only one problem from all of this: the unpredictability of the NCAA.
There is no way to see how the NCAA will take this. It makes sense, to most, to say if the penalty would have been a post season ban for a year or two, that Miami has already served that with these self imposed bans.
But, what if the NCAA doesn't see it that way? What if the organization reacts the opposite way and resents the University of Miami for trying to take its place?
Ultimately, fans and players will be upset about the recent bowl ban but Golden is acting in the correct way. He's showing his commitment to the team and sacrificing the short term in a way that many coaches quick to leave trouble behind would have easily coached these two years before sanctions came down then gone running when they did.
Miami should be happy that with a slowly improving team, they are finally taking a real step to improve their image.