News

‘Canes playbook ends up on Internet

How do you stop a team that has dominated the college football landscape over the past two seasons?

According to the defending national champions, you’re not going to do it by stealing their playbooks.

That move was attempted last month when two UM playbooks, full of alignments and formations used during the 2001 title run, were stolen from linebacker coach Vernon Hargreaves’ office and posted on the web site “Sandman’s 4-3 Defense Online.”

However, last Thursday, the team dismissed the importance of the matter, indicating that there were better ways of figuring out the Hurricanes’ schemes than studying playbooks.

“It does have some drawings in it, but it’s all fluff,” UM coach Larry Coker said. “I’d give them all playbooks if they wouldn’t watch the game films. The video is more helpful than the playbook would be.”

“They can watch film and know what plays we’re running, but the way we disguise them, that’s not in the playbook. We change that from week to week so it’s doesn’t really matter anyway,” said senior defensive tackle Matt Walters.

Although the issue is being downplayed, stolen property did appear on the Internet, causing the FBI to be involved.

Potential charges could include burglary, theft, possession of stolen property and possibly federal crimes.

According to a police report filed with the Coral Gables Police Department, UM realized the offensive and defensive playbooks were missing March 28 when two manila envelopes were delivered to the Hecht Athletic Center.

Defensive coordinator Randy Shannon opened the envelopes, postmarked in Tampa on March 22, and found the pages taken out of the playbooks.

Once the pages were received, Miami officials found their formations on the Web site, which is now inaccessible.

Coral Gables Police Sgt. Ed Hudak, in charge of team security, said the owners of the site have been identified and “subpoenas are being filed and sent out.”

“The focus of our investigation is twofold – how it got stolen and how it got disseminated through the Internet and if in fact there’s a federal crime of dispersing stolen information on the Internet,” Hudak said.

According to Hudak, there have been prior thefts from the football offices involving “footballs and autographed paraphernalia” but never playbooks. He said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility that someone from inside the athletic department committed the crime.

UM Athletic Director Paul Dee said the theft was “disappointing” and that he’s planning to look into security measures around the Hecht Athletic Center.

“You don’t know exactly how that might have happened,” Dee said. “By and large, it’s infrequent. We try and watch out for those things, we protect the equipment, we try to take care of all of our equipment the same way and when we have a loss we have to look into why we lost it.”

Senior Center Brett Romberg said a playbook was stolen last year, except “it just never got out.” Coker, however, denied that that any playbook was stolen.

Either way, coaches and players agree that this minor distraction will not be an issue when they resume practice in the fall.

“It happened last year, it happened this year and it’ll probably happen again next year,” Romberg said. “We still won a national championship last year, so I’m not too worried about it at all.”

April 9, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Lots of nuggets on new UM quarterback Tate Martell, the fallout and Jarren Williams’ reaction: ▪ Whe ...

Katie Meier is a legend at Duke. Her photo hangs in the concourse at Cameron Indoor Arena. She was t ...

New University of Miami head coach Manny Diaz was asked on the radio the morning after he was hired, ...

Jalen Hurts is off the market — and he’s not making his way to South Florida. The former Alabama Cri ...

For three years earlier this decade, Marlins Park would masquerade as a football venue at least once ...

Gisela Vega, the former associate director of LGBTQA Initiatives at Florida International University ...

With new “personas” allowing for a more personalized mobile experience, the redesigned University of ...

Teams of scholars will use U-LINK grants to examine ways to reduce opportunity gaps and biases in mu ...

The film launches the 2019 film series for the UM Libraries Cuban Heritage Collection. ...

Here’s a go-to list of dates you should keep an eye on throughout the semester, along with some tidb ...

Miami released its 2019 football schedule highlighted by a season-opening matchup against Florida in ...

University of Miami head women's volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced Monda ...

University of Miami Athletics announced Monday that it will host its fifth annual Celebration of Wom ...

After a weekend bye, the Miami women's basketball team resumes action Thursday evening at 7 p.m ...

The University of Miami football program has hired Dan Enos as its offensive coordinator and quarter ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.