Posted by Tom Fornelli
Miami cornerback Ryan Hill's college football career came to an end with the team's loss in the Sun Bowl in December, but like many Miami players before him, just because he'll no longer be suiting up for the team on Saturdays, that doesn't mean he's going to stop caring about the program. In an talk with the Miami Herald, Hill expressed his concerns over the state of the program, and what he thinks will need to change under Al Golden if the Hurricanes are ever going to climb to the top of the college football mountain once again.
Hill first expressed his feelings following that Sun Bowl loss when he said that Miami had a lot of players that "act like little boys." He expanded on those comments in the Herald.
“When I made that comment,” he said, “what I meant is some guys are really immature.”
How many? More than a dozen, Hill said.
“In my early years at UM, there were guys who were freshmen who acted like adults — Jon Beason, Teraz McCray, Greg Olsen,” Hill said. “When I was a senior last year, some sophomores and juniors acted like freshmen. Guys would do silly stuff like pulling their pants down, wearing crazy stuff.
“Guys would come late to meetings. They would schedule appointments and not show up or listen to iPods in class. I was always told by academic advisors to talk to [teammates]. Some kids got worse after they got here. People were purposely doing stuff to mock Randy Shannon or do their own thing.
“Coach Shannon tried to make sure guys went to class and presented themselves well. But as soon as he turned his back, they would do what they wanted. There are a lot of guys who didn’t produce, and how they act off the field has a lot to do with it. That has to change.”
The low point was the Sun Bowl.
“I don’t want to name names, but there were a couple of receivers having a snowball fight on the sideline when we’re down 21-0,” Hill said. “ Brandon Harris and I got upset. We were already upset because we’re losing, and now we’ve got to go over and break up a fight. These guys have to grow up. I hope Coach Golden is instilling that. Without growing up, you will never be successful.”
Hill didn't stop there, either, going on to say that players who weren't starters weren't exactly busting their tails to become one. He also talked of marijuana use amongst his teammates, with marijuana reportedly being the reason several Hurricanes have been suspended for the season opener against Maryland. Hill says that Miami has random drug testing every week and that he would get tested once about every three weeks, while the NCAA only tests once a year.
Still, even with the drug testing, Hill said that teammates were able to "beat the system."
Personally, while I understand Hill's concerns about his teammates' behavior, I'm not sure what exactly can be done. The behavior he describes sounds like the type of behavior you expect from college kids, which is exactly what his teammates are. There will always be some who are more mature than others. How Al Golden is supposed to solve this, I have no idea.