If there's a sympathetic figure or two in the wide-ranging allegations involving players and coaches at the University of Miami, point to first-year football and basketball coaches Al Golden and Jim Larranaga.
Golden said information the school had -- the NCAA informed Miami of the improprieties nearly a year ago, according to reports -- was withheld when he hired after a successful run at Temple.
Golden was hired by now former athletic director Kirby Hocutt, who left for Texas Tech and was replaced by Shawn Eichorst. Eichorst was also in the dark on the allegations, according to the Miami Herald.
"If they knew something was percolating," Golden said. "I believe they had a responsibility to tell me and tell Shawn," Golden said.
The allegations include four current football players -- at least -- including likely starting quarterback Jacory Harris.
Larranaga was hired after 14 years at George Mason, where he was revered and beloved as the maestro of the mid-major bigshot, because he "relished the challenge of coaching Miami."
The charges of years of impermissible benefits could lead to punishment from the NCAA that would flatten the athletic program for years to come.
It's clear the coaches, like the rest of the Miami sporting community, has only begun getting their hands around what might come of the infractions. Miami just signed a top basketball recruit, former DePaul signee Shane Larkin, on Monday.
"As a member of the university family, I am upset, disheartened and saddened," school president Donna Shalala said.
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