Bad News Season Hits Miami
Unless you've received an oral commitment from a recruit, July is the portion of the college football calendar where you generally hear more bad news than good. For Miami, that meant that yesterday two linebackers were permanently dismissed from the team for sexual battery. Alexander Figueroa was expected to become the starting strongside linebacker for the Hurricanes and JaWand Blue was expected to be a backup at middle linebacker.
From a purely football standpoint, the loss is not going to help their run defense. The 'Canes finished 77th nationally in rushing yards per game yielded. Meanwhile, its early opponent Nebraska finished in the top 20 in rushing and returns its top four rushers from a year ago.
On a more serious note, you have to commend the University of Miami for swift and decisive action in the wake of these charges. The complaints against Florida State's Jameis Winston that failed to result in criminal charges certainly made his celebration as a Heisman trophy winner and national championship MVP seem somewhere between uncomfortable, insensitive, and inappropriate. Winston's subsequent arrest for shoplifting did little to make him seem like a high character individual caught in a bad situation. While the two Hurricanes weren't expected to produce like Winston, it is commendable to see the interests of the victim in this case come before football.
Miami has been described in the past as a lawless program that allowed it's players to run wild. The school's response makes this one case where it appears that's no longer true.