Opinion, Staff Editorial

Give Al Golden another chance

“Hurricane[s] fans aren’t known for their patience, and they won’t stick around for long. Something good has to happen fast,” wrote sports writer Spencer Dandes in a September 2011 issue of this paper. His rebuke was directed at head football coach Al Golden, who was then just inheriting the team amidst the fallout from the Nevin Shapiro scandal that had been uncovered about a month earlier.

Four years later, nothing has changed. Impatient Hurricane fans are still touting “Fire Al Golden” and “Bring Back Butch” signs. Others are waiting on the edge of their seats to see if Golden can finally pull through a solid performance during the 2015-16 season, now that the cloud of the 2013 NCAA rulings has blown away.

Through the NCAA sanctions, the team lost nine scholarships over three years and the school self-imposed a two-year ban on bowl participation.

Golden veritably had his hands tied with regard to recruitment from when the story broke in August 2011 to when the final sanctions ruling occurred  in October 2013. Rival schools poached upon South Florida talent, including future first-round pick Amari Cooper, who played high school football for Miami Northwestern, a traditional feeder for the university. Cooper committed to the University of Alabama instead, just as news of the scandal broke.

Now that some time has distanced Golden from the fallout of the NCAA probe and sanctions, he deserves this one last season to prove himself to Hurricanes fans. This is, after all, only the second year he has been able to recruit a class without the sanctions deterring promising players. Golden also has a deep and talented lineup for the 2016 recruiting class, currently ranked eighth in the nation by ESPN.

The Hurricanes should see an improvement over last year’s team that finished with a losing record for the first time since 2007. Although the offense lost several key contributors to the NFL, including Miami’s all-time leading rusher in Duke Johnson, sophomore quarterback Brad Kaaya is poised to have a huge year, and the defense features skilled players all over the field. Combine the team’s development from a year ago with a lighter schedule this season, and Golden is expected to compete for the ACC Coastal division title at a minimum.

Hurricanes fans need to accept that this isn’t 2001. The team is not yet in a place to contend for national championships every single season. Prematurely firing a coach who recruits well, is liked by players and is loyal to the school would only set the team back from reaching its previous form.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

September 2, 2015


Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane

4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Give Al Golden another chance”

  1. DWF in LA says:

    The very basis of this article doesn’t make any sense. He’s already getting his “second” chance, as Miami has never been the kind of place where we fire coaches in mid-season. He has the entirety of this season to prove he’s worth the effort, but a tiger doesn’t change his stripes so easily.

    He is what he is, a middle of the road .500 coach in way over his head, and by the end of the season, you and your cohorts will probably need psychological evaluation to inquire as to what possessed you to write an article in favor of a lame-duck coach who tried to ditch us in the middle of the night for Pedo State. Don’t ever forget about that incident. And you want to talk about loyalty with him? Throwing his players under the bus at every turn, yet claims that “it starts with me.” He says one thing, then does another. This man cannot be trusted.

    PS – feel free to stop by the WestEndZone.com to continue this discussion, you’re welcome any time.

  2. Billy Bob says:

    Man things haven’t changed since I graduated, the Hurricane still knows nothing about football. We’re you guys paid by the administration? I ask because only a blind person could unknowingly ignore our tremendous deficiencies on the field despite our talent level. We are historically bad, and Al Golden blames the previous players and rehashes the same tired excuses you have published. We need to make it to the ACC Championship game this year or Al Golden must go, along with his sorry DCoordinator.

  3. Justin says:

    Appreciate the work you guys do at The Miami Hurricane but this article doesn’t make any sense. Why are we still talking about the NCAA sanctions at this point? The reality is it doesn’t matter and has never mattered. We can agree the one thing Al has done is recruit fairly well even when there were questions regarding the NCAA. But the reality is 4 years he has yet to put those players in position to succeed. Last year’s team was more talented than every team we played with the exception of FSU. Look at all the players we sent to the NFL. Yet we still had a 6-7 season. Even people in the NFL are scratching their heads at how we went 6-7 with that much talent. Why at Miami is it all the sudden acceptable to lose to lesser talented teams like Duke, Virginia, Pitt, Georgia Tech and even Louisville. I challenge your staff to do your research and look at the consensus recruiting rankings for our opponents and ask yourself, who is responsible for turning our talent advantage into wins? It all starts with Al Golden and he has not come anywhere near expectations. He should have been let go last year and we should have hired Butch Davis immediately.

  4. Cindy says:

    Why give Al a chance, when he doesn’t give chance to the true talent on his rooster. He plays his favorites over better talent. And everyone knows that. He has done it from day 1 with Miami. He will be gone after this year, no matter what.

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