Al Golden agrees to 4-year extension

Contract extensions are usually reserved for coaches who have been on the job longer than five minutes and six wins, but considering the recent speculation that has surrounded Miami coach Al Golden, this one was necessary and a good move.

Golden has agreed to a four-year contract extension that will run through Feb. 1, 2020, according to a statement from the school that was released during the fourth quarter of Friday’s game against Boston College. Golden’s extension adds four years to the initial five-year contract which began in December 2010.

In case you missed it, Miami has locked Golden in through 2020.

Lots can happen between now and then, but the main message is this: Al Golden isn't going anywhere anytime soon -- including Penn State. This is good for the future of the program, and it will have the most positive, immediate impact on recruiting.

There has been much speculation recently about Golden’s future at Miami, as he has been caught off-guard in his first season, both with the NCAA investigation that was reported this past summer, and most recently last week when he was told his team would not play in a bowl game this year, despite reaching the six-win mark last week. With the recent firing of Penn State coach Joe Paterno, many have wondered whether Golden would be a candidate for that job, considering he was a former tight end for Paterno.

This contract should go a long way in ending the uncertainty about his future, though Golden has said repeatedly he and his family are happy at Miami and committed to the program.

“My family loves it in South Florida, we have embraced the community and we could not be more excited about the future of the Miami Hurricanes football team,” Golden said in a prepared statement. “I can’t thank President Shalala and Shawn Eichorst enough for their support and commitment to our student-athletes and staff. We are ready to hit the recruiting road and begin our preparations for the 2012 season.”

Of course, the NCAA investigation has yet to come to a close, and more sanctions are likely to face the Canes.

It's clear now, though, that Golden has chosen to face them head on.