Update: Late Tuesday Miami announced the indefinite suspension of wide receiver Aldarius Johnson. He is not officially part of the eight NCAA suspensions but is believed to have received benefits from Shapiro. Make that NINE Canes out for the opener.
We've all been waiting with bated breath as the Miami mess has slowly started to untangle. Earlier today we saw the NCAA get another massive helping hand from the actual real authorities as the 72 Miami players named in the case will be subpoenaed. That means they'll be under oath and have to talk about the specifics of what Shapiro did and did not give them.
Now we're seeing more clarity in the Miami scandal as the NCAA handed down their suspensions to the eight current players that Miami has sitting on ice for the 2011 season. All eight guys, including Jacory Harris, who has been adamant about playing in the game against Maryland, will be suspended for the Labor Day opener. The 'Canes Eight will all miss the first contest and three players are set to miss more than the the game against the Terps. Here's the breakdown:
QB Jacory Harris
DL Adewale Ojomo
WR Travis Benjamin
DL Marcus Fortson
LB Sean Spence
S Ray Ray Armstrong
DL Dyron Dye
DL Oliver Vernon
For those of you keeping score at home that's seven, yes SEVEN, starters for this year's Canes. Oddly similar to North Carolina from just a year ago who also saw key players miss time, Miami has the benefit of the bulk of their bodies being back after the first week. From a cash standpoint the five players suspended for one game saw low totals, of note was Harris' $140 in transportation, club, meals and entertainment. Armstrong and Dye had $738 and $788 in extra benefits received while Vernon posted some $1200+ in benefits.
The response has been mixed, even Canes reporters are viewing this punishment as coming off light on The U. However, keep in mind folks that UNC was also battling an academic scandal off the field that slowed the entire eligibility-reinstatement process.
Right now we know the Canes are without a third of their starting lineup with most of the key losses focused on the defensive side of the ball, this contest with Maryland on Labor Day just got more weird; adjust your picks accordingly.