NCAA imposes penalties on Hurricanes playersAug 30, 2011 - 10:20 PM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - The NCAA on Tuesday penalized eight Miami-Florida players in the wake of an investigation into the activities of one of the school's former boosters.
All eight must miss at least one game and have been ordered to repay certain benefits as conditions for reinstatement. Quarterback Jacory Harris received one of the lighter penalties, a one-game suspension and repayment of more than $140.
"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," said director of athletics Shawn Eichorst in a statement. "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."
All of the players in question were given impermissible benefits from now- disgraced former south Florida businessman Nevin Shapiro -- who is currently serving a prison sentence for a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme -- or members of the Hurricanes athletic staff.
The stiffest penalty was handed out to junior defensive lineman Olivier Vernon, who was suspended for six games and must repay more than $1,200 in benefits handed out primarily by Shapiro.
Junior defensive back Aravious "Ray-Ray" Armstrong and redshirt sophomore Dyron Dye will miss four games apiece and make repayment of more than $1,500 dollars between them.
All three were penalized for accepting those benefits while being recruited to Miami.
Finally, Harris, defensive linemen Marcus Forston and Adewale Ojomo, linebacker Sean Ryan Spence, and wide receiver Travis Benjamin will be suspended for one game. All five received various benefits from Shapiro and associates while enrolled at the university worth several hundred dollars.
The only player under investigation to escape punishment was senior defensive lineman Marcus Robinson, who was cleared of any possible violations.
"This university has the highest standards in all of our academic and athletic endeavors," Eichorst added. "We will remain steadfast in our commitment to continue to build winning programs with the utmost of integrity. We will be more vigilant in our compliance and continue to work with the NCAA on the joint investigation to determine the facts.
"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 [head coach Al Golden] and his staff for their professionalism and leadership over the past few weeks."
In an unrelated move on Tuesday, Golden revealed that wide receiver Aldarius Johnson was suspended indefinitely for an unspecified violation of team rules.
The Hurricanes, under new head coach Golden, kick off their 2011 schedule on September 5 at Maryland.
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