Tag:Jojo Nicolas
Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:37 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Miami



Posted by Chip Patterson


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Miami.

Spring Practice Started: March 3

Spring Game: April 14

Three things to look for:

1. Replacing key defensive playmakers.  The Hurricanes have said goodbye to several upperclassmen who contributed significantly on the defensive side. With players like Sean Spence, Marcus Robinson, Micanor Regis, JoJo Nicolas gone; Al Golden will be looking to a collection of unproven defensive players to step up. Rookie standouts Anthony Chickillo and Denzel Perryman return for their sophomore campaigns, but the rest of the front seven will need to be filled in with to-be-determined playmakers. One player to keep an eye on along the defensive line is redshirt junior Shayon Green, who has received praise from the coaching staff for his offseason work.

2. Ryan Williams' chance to challenge Stephen Morris.  Offseason back surgery will keep junior quarterback Stephen Morris out of contact drills for Miami's spring practice. Morris battled with former quarterback Jacory Harris for the 2011 starting job for nearly six months before losing what nearly everyone close to the program called a "neck-and-neck" battle. But while game experience gives him an edge on freshmen Gray Crow and Preston Dewey, he will still likely have to beat Memphis transfer Ryan Williams for the job in the fall. As a freshman in 2010, Williams won the Tigers' starting job in the second game of the season. A former Florida 6A State Championship MVP, Williams will be looking to put on a show in his return to the South Florida area.

3. Settling on an offensive line.  Miami never settled on a single offensive line rotation during the 2011 season. As players battled through injuries and other setbacks, the coaching staff kept competition for snaps open in practice. The results were mixed, and the lack of continuity along the unit seemed to hold back the offense at points during the season. Spring practice has already started with trouble on the line, with tackle Seantrel Henderson getting hit with a brief suspension for a violation of team policy. Henderson, once considered the future of the unit, will face tough competition from one of the deepest positions in spring ball for the Hurricanes.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   
Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:19 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 5:53 am
 

Shapiro threatens Miami, ex-players from prison

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, currently serving a 20-year sentence for a Ponzi scheme, has managed to stay in the headlines regarding the ongoing NCAA investigation into the Miami football and basketball programs. Shapiro has stayed in contact with numerous media organizations, including the Miami Herald, through email since in his incarceration. On Sunday, the Herald posted some of Shapiro's more aggressive claims from behind bars.

“The public is going to hate me worse in the next coming months,” Shapiro, serving a 20-year sentence for a Ponzi scheme, wrote in numerous e-mails over the past few months. “It’s going to be severe and catastrophic. My feelings are getting inflamed and I’m going to pop off pretty soon with regards to them and the NCAA. I’m coming for them both [UM and former players] and I’m going to be successful.

“I’m taking that program down to Chinatown and the former players and links to that program. Why? Because the U.S. government lined up 47 former players to testify against me in open court if I went to trial. That in itself is motivation to shove it up their collective [butts].”

The Hurricanes have not received a notice of allegations from the NCAA, but chose to self-impose a bowl ban after their 6-6 finish in 2011 in response to the ongoing investigation.

One Miami official told the Herald he expects "one more bowl ban, maybe two at most," with additional scholarship penalties.

Shapiro has been out for revenge against Miami and the former players, feeling betrayed when they did not come to his aid during the legal troubles associated with the Ponzi scheme. Columnist Barry Jackson describes Shapiro as "a man determined to destroy the UM football program." The former booster believes that much more will come to the surface -- beyond what was alleged in the Yahoo! Sports investigation -- and Miami will get "the death penalty or damn close to it."

As the alleged details of Shaprio's involvement with the Miami football program have surfaced, one consistent theme has been his desire for attention. One Miami official told the Miami Herald that they expect if Shapiro were under oath, the school could "punch holes in much of what he says."

Despite the ongoing investigation, head coach Al Golden was able to sign 33 players to the 2012 recruiting class. The Hurricanes finished with the No. 7 class in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25. For more on the Hurricanes' recruiting class, check out Bryan Fischer's ACC Signing Day Grades at the Eye On Recruiting.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   


Posted on: November 9, 2011 6:07 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 8:59 pm
 

Ray Ray Armstrong in NCAA trouble, out vs. FSU

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Miami safety Ray Ray Armstrong has been held out of practice and will not play in the Hurricanes game against Florida State due to his involvement in a company that deals with professional athletes, according to a report on InsidetheU.com. The Sun Sentinel later confirmed the report.

Ari Washington, president of Double Coverage PR Group, and Armstrong tweeted about a dinner they had on Sunday at upscale Miami restaurant Prime 112. The tweets were subsequently removed but not before drawing the attention of the NCAA, who would be interested in who paid for the meai and what was discussed. CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Brian London says it's possible the two might be in a relationship.

The NCAA is already investigating Miami based on allegations against the program from former booster Nevin Shapiro. Armstrong was one of several Hurricanes involved in the scandal and was suspended four games by the NCAA and forced to repay the nearly $800 in extra benefits he received from Shapiro and others during his recruiting.

The school has not issued a statement on Armstrong's eligibility at this time and it is unknown if the junior will be back this season. He has 25 tackles, one interception, and one fumble recovery in five games so far this year.

Senior JoJo Nicolas is expected to start in Armstrong’s place according to the report.

Update: Miami confirmed Armstrong has been held out of all football activities this week due to violation of team rules and is not on the travel roster for Florida State.

“Ray Ray is suspended for breaking team rules and will not be with us this weekend,” said Al Golden.

Posted on: September 7, 2011 12:56 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 1:02 pm
 

Miami names Jacory Harris starting QB

Posted by Chip Patterson

Miami head coach Al Golden has named senior Jacory Harris the starting quarterback for the Hurricanes' next game against Ohio State on Sept. 17.

Harris missed the Hurricanes' opener against Maryland while serving a one game suspension for accepted approximately $140 in impermissible benefits from former booster Nevin Shapiro. Sophomore Stephen Morris was named the starter, and completed 19 of 28 passes for 195 with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Following the game, Golden announced that he would re-open the ongoing competition between Morris and Harris for the starting job, one that had lasted since spring practice.

Near the end of fall camp, Golden (along with many UM players) said that the two signal-callers were in a "dead heat." Both quarterbacks received praise for their performance, and their combined scrimmage numbers (individual stats not released by the school) were impressive. But due to the NCAA suspensions, Golden never got a chance to name a starting quarterback from the competition. With Harris in the number one spot on the latest Miami depth chart, it would seem as though the senior would have been the starter against Maryland if he wasn't serving that suspension.

But Harris isn't the only Miami player who will be anxious to get on the field for the first time against Ohio State. Wide receiver Travis Benjamin will be back in his starting spot, and Adwele Ojomo and Marcus Forston should have an immediate impact on a defensive line that looked gassed by the second half against Maryland. All-conference linebacker Sean Spence will be back in the starting lineup, and his impact in the back seven should be felt immediately.

The best thing the Hurricanes have going for them heading into this big-time matchup against the Buckeyes is the extra time to prepare. I imagine that the leadership of these upperclassmen will play a big role in the team's focus on knocking off OSU at home in primetime.
Posted on: August 31, 2011 11:40 am
Edited on: August 31, 2011 11:41 am
 

Report: Aldarius Johnson uncooperative with NCAA

Posted by Chip Patterson

In a joint release Miami and the NCAA announced the suspensions of eight different players in connection with impermissible benefits received from former booster Nevin Shapiro and university employees. The school also announced the indefinite suspension of senior wide receiver Aldarius Johnson. Miami spokesperson Chris Freet told the Sun-Sentinel onTuesday that Johnson's suspension was not-related to the NCAA investigation, but instead having to do with something he did recently.

But a source close to the NCAA situation told the Sun-Sentinel was "less than forthright" in his interviews with NCAA investigators, a stark contrast to the rest of the Miami players.

Johnson was singled out by Nevin Shapiro in the Yahoo investigative report as someone who received money "at least 10 times," often returning to ask for more from the former booster.

Somewhere between the report from the school and the one from the Sun-Sentinel's source probably lies the truth. Johnson has admitted himself that his success as a freshman (team-high 31 receptions in 2008) made him too comfortable with his position in the Hurricanes' rotation. But things have been different under new had coach Al Golden, and after an ankle injury this spring Johnson found himself absent from the depth chart heading into the summer.

"For whatever reason, he got off track," wide receivers coach George McDonald told the Palm Beach Post earlier this month. "The biggest thing I'm trying to do is get him back on track."

It seems that Johnson and the new Hurricanes coaching staff still aren't on the same page, in many ways. My guess would be that the former freshman standout has likely played his last game in a MIami uniform.
Posted on: August 30, 2011 7:17 pm
 

Morris among new starters after Cane suspensions

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Simultaneous to the NCAA ruling on the eight Miami players now suspended for the Hurricanes' Monday opener against Maryland, the program also released its first depth chart of the 2011 season. With the suspended players absent from the depth chart, here's a rundown of who will be starting for the 'Canes against the Terps:

Stephen Morris, quarterback. With Jacory Harris unavailable, the 6'2" sophomore unsurprisingly gets the nod over Spencer Whipple. Morris appeared in six games a year ago and started four, with the typical ups-and-downs of freshman quarterbacks; he led the Hurricanes to victories over Maryland and Georgia Tech late in the year but only completed 54 percent of his passes and tossed more interceptions (nine) than touchdown passes (seven).

Allen Hurns, wide receiver. A true sophomore, Hurns saw action in nine games in 2010 -- mostly on special teams -- before suffering an injury. He did not record a reception. But he'll get the start against the Terps anyway after the suspensions of Aldarius Johnson and Travis Benjamin.

Darius Smith, defensive tackle. Potential All-American Marcus Forston is out, so in steps the 6'2", 360-pound JUC transfer tackle from Lackawanna (Pa.) College. (No doubt he'll be a favorite of fans of The Office.) Smith was originally recruited to Temple by head coach Al Golden before failing to qualify academically.

Andrew Smith, defensive end. Smith started seven games as a sophomore but came off the bench as a junior. With both Olivier Vernon and Adewale Ojomo suspended, though, Smith is set to get the call against Maryland. Even as a substitute, Smith tied for fourth on the team with three sacks in 2010.

James Gaines, linebacker. All-ACC 'backer Sean Spence is among those sitting the single game against Maryland, so sophomore Gaines, a native of Canisuius, N.Y., will get the call. Gaines appeared in six games as a true freshman and made one assisted tackle.

Michael Williams, cornerback. The suspended Ray Ray Armstrong was a safety, but Jojo Nicolas's move back to that position to fill that hole opened one up for Williams, a senior who sat out last seaso nafter transferring from Wake Forest. Williams started four games for the Demon Deacons in 2009.

Miami has not named a starter at tight end, the position of the suspended Dyron Dye.

Posted on: August 30, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2011 7:21 pm
 

Eight Miami players suspended by NCAA

Posted by Chip Patterson

Miami head coach Al Golden hoped that he would hear from the NCAA "within 48 hours," and he did.

On Tuesday the NCAA ruled that eight members of the current Hurricanes football team must serve suspensions and repay benefits in order to become eligible again after receiving benefits from former booster Nevin Shapiro.

Senior quarterback Jacory Harris, wide receiver Travis Benjamin, defensive tackle Marcus Forston, defensive end Adewale Ojomo, and linebacker Sean Spence must all serve a one game suspension and repay their benefits. Converted tight end Dyron Dye and safety Ray-Ray Armstrong must serve a four game suspension while defensive end Olivier Vernon must miss six games of competition.

The school confirmed that all of the players with one game suspensions will serve them on Sept. 5 when the team opens the 2011 season against Maryland.

The NCAA deemed that three players (Dye, Armstrong, and Vernon) received "substantial benefits" as prospective student athletes from Shapiro and school employees.  These benefits have been deemed by the NCAA as "serious recruiting violations."  According to the official release the NCAA is categorizing these players differently from the other five, who received impermissible benefits while already enrolled at Miami.

"The NCAA has informed the University of Miami of their decisions regarding the reinstatement of eight student-athletes who were declared ineligible by the University last week,” Miami athletics director Shawn Eichorst said in the official release. “The student-athletes involved have acknowledged receiving improper benefits and will now be responsible for restitution and, in some cases, the student-athletes will also serve game suspensions. They understand that their actions demand consequences."

"We appreciate the diligence and understanding of the NCAA staff and its handling of the student-athlete eligibility issues in an expeditious manner. I would also like to thank Coach [Al] Golden and his staff for their professionalism and leadership over the past few weeks."

Miami also announced that four members of the football team have been cleared by the NCAA to play, but must repay amounts of less than $100 in impermissible benefits. Brandon McGee, JoJo Nicholas, Micanor Regis, and Vaughn Telemaque will all be eligible for Monday's opener against Maryland. Senior defensive end Marcus Robinson has been cleared by the NCAA but will not face any penalties or have to repay any benefits.

One interesting development from the school was the indefinite suspension of senior wide receiver Aldarius Johnson. Johnson had slowly fell behind other wide receivers on the depth chart after suffering an injury in spring practice. He was singled out by Shapiro in the Yahoo! report as someone who received money "at least 10 times" but his suspension is officially for "violation of team rules."

The NCAA found that Oliver Vernon received more than $1,200 in benefits primarily from Shapiro during recruitment. This includes meals, transportation, and "entertainment" at nightclubs, among other allegations. Armstrong was found to have received approximately $788 in extra benefits from Shapiro and personnel, while Dye received approximately $738. Those were listed by the NCAA as impermissible lodging from Miami staff during unofficial visits, transportation, meals, and entertainment at a gentlemen's club.

Meals, transportation, entertainment, night club/gentlemens club cover charges appear to be the common benefits for the five players serving a one game suspension. The NCAA estimates Forston received $400 in benefits, Spence's were valued at $275, Ojomo's total was $240, with Andre Benjamin and Jacory Harris rounding out the group at $150 and $140 respectively.


Posted on: August 30, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Golden: Players need NCAA ruling by Thursday

Posted by Chip Patterson

Miami head coach Al Golden once again met with the media on Tuesday with no depth chart to release. The first-year Hurricanes coach is maintaining his stance that he will not release a depth chart to the media until the NCAA has made a ruling on the players the school has declared ineligible.

CBSSports.com's Brian London writes that Golden called reports of eight ineligible players "inaccurate." So far Golden has refrained from commenting on the investigation or any eligibility details, just that the school has ruled players ineligible and he hopes to get a ruling in time for the Hurricanes opener against Maryland on Monday.

Golden also told reporters that if the ineligible players have not been cleared by Thursday, they will not play against the Terrapins. That way the coaching staff can spend the final practices of the week with the personnel that will be on hand Monday night.

The report that included the "eight players" did not list any specific names other than senior quarterback Jacory Harris. A total of 12 current Hurricanes were listed as allegedly receiving benefits from former booster Nevin Shapiro in the Yahoo report. Some current players not on the Hurricanes roster also listed in the report, such as Purdue quarterback Robert Marve, have been cleared to play by the NCAA.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com