In the Florida Gators NCAA Tournament basketball game tonight starting at 6:10 there's two things that will very noticeably be missing, the Missouri Tigers and their head coach Frank Haith.
Instead the #7 seed Gators will play the #15 seed Norfolk State Spartans, who upset the #2 seed Tigers in the first round of the West Region. The upset feeling Missouri fans are enduring is nothing compared to the upset feelings Miami Hurricanes fans have towards their former head coach Frank Haith.
The NCAA is still investigating the Hurricanes for violations. The most publicized investigations are on the football side at Miami, remember the whole "Death Penalty" thing ESPN was pushing, but there are clearly serious on going investigations with the basketball players receiving improper benefits during Frank Haith's tenure as well.
The Hurricanes are in this year's NIT Tournament and were one of the teams that were on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. One or two more wins and Miami would be in the big dance. And one or two of those wins could have easily happened if three Hurricanes players were on the court.
Senior forward DeQuan Jones missed the first ten games of the season due to suspension for the allegation that former UM booster and current felon Nevin Shapiro gave $10,000 to one of Haith's assistant coaches to recruit Jones. Jones was originally going to sit out the entire season
until one day before his appeal he was reinstated. The 'Canes went 6-4
during that time span. Frank Haith received no suspension.
With the possibility of more suspensions looming, UM head coach Jim Larranaga did a masterful job keeping his players focused on the current season. The 'Canes won nearly every game they were supposed to win while also pulling out a couple they weren't supposed to win, including wins at Duke and at home against Florida State.
The Florida State game UM won is one of those many memorable moments that can be added to Larranaga's coaching resume. Before the game started, Junior center and Miami's leading re-bounder Reggie Johnson was suspended indefinitely due to his family receiving travel benefits from another member of Haith's staff at UM. Johnson sat out one game. Miami destroyed the Seminoles 78-62. Frank Haith received no suspension.
In the ACC Conference Tournament Miami played the 'Noles and
looked to strengthen their bid to be in the NCAA Tournament with a win.
Before the game, Junior guard and Miami's leading scorer Durand Scott was suspended six games due to the NCAA finding he received impermissible travel benefits
from an unnamed staff member of Haith's at UM. Miami lost to FSU
82-71. Scott averages 12.9 points a game. Frank Haith received no
After Missouri's loss to Norfolk State, Frank Haith won't be participating in important games he thought he'd be playing in, similar to what his former Miami Hurricanes players faced all season.
Karma hit Haith and Missouri like a hurricane.
Miami plays tomorrow hosting Minnesota starting at 9pm in the second round of the NIT. UM defeated Valparaiso in the first round.