CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami coach Al Golden walked onto the practice field just before 8 a.m. this morning like he always does -- briskly and with confidence.
For a first-year coach whose program could come completely unraveled this season, Golden remained composed, candid and was as honest as he could be with the small group of reporters gathered around him. No players have been suspended yet, he said, and they won't be until the NCAA reports a specific violation has been found.
“Until we hear of an infraction or that we did break a rule, everybody is practicing,” Golden said. “If it is determined that somebody broke rules, then certainly that will be first dealt with from a university standpoint from an eligibility standpoint.”
Golden spoke for about 10 minutes this morning -- the only person at Miami who has addressed the issue. Players and assistant coaches were not available for comment, and a team manager was tasked with keeping the media away from the players this morning as they walked into the side entrance of the football building.
Golden said he did not read the Yahoo! Sports story published Tuesday, and he did not feel blindsided by the allegations. However, he did say that if university officials had known about any of this, they should have told him before he was hired. Still, Golden said he and his family are happy at Miami.
“We’ll get through this,” he said. “I feel like Temple prepared me for this opportunity. We had so many issues when we first got there and some of them were carry-overs from the previous regime, and we stood in there and fixed it, and we fixed it with the lowest APR in the country and we had players suspended for violations from thing that happened before I got there. We had 54 scholarship athletes my first year and we came through it. I think that has prepared me for this. You can sit there and feel sorry for yourself and say you got blindsided, but at the end of the day, we have a chance to be a really good football team and we have a chance to be a great program moving forward.
“Nobody wants this to move along more quickly than I do,” he said. “The only way to do that is to fully cooperate. My role in this right now is to make sure the student-athletes are honest with the NCAA and university officials, but other than that, I have no contact with the NCAA and I have no contact with any of the players in any of the particular issues they’re talking about.”
Golden also said he has not adjusted his practice plan for the season opener against Maryland, despite the fact there could be suspensions that alter his game plan.
“When we start getting into preparation for Maryland -- this is very basic preparation right now, we’re just trying to improve our team -- but as we get ready for Maryland, we’ll hopefully and swiftly learn if there were errors that were made,” Golden said. “I don’t know. I don’t know what’s in the article. I don’t know what the allegations are. All I go by is what the university, legal counsel tells me, and what the NCAA tells me. So if there are guys that are going to have to sit out games, then we’ll adjust our practice accordingly.”