The Hurricanes football team’s defense has just taken a huge blow. Senior linebacker Jermaine Grace and redshirt junior defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad are both no longer on the team.
Head Coach Mark Richt released this statement today:
“The University of Miami announced today that red-shirt junior Al-Quadin Muhammad and senior Jermaine Grace have been permanently dismissed from the Hurricanes football program for violating NCAA rules. The University will, however, continue their financial aid through graduation. The decision was made in consultation with outside counsel and after discussions with the NCAA enforcement staff. As no staff members or boosters were involved in the violations, the program will not be subject to sanctions and, at this time, the University deems this matter closed.”
According to the Palm Beach Post, both players missed parts of practice on Thursday due to an NCAA investigation dealing with their use of luxury rental cars.
Grace and Muhammad were expected to anchor the Miami defense that has many inexperienced freshmen on the roster this season. Grace led the Canes in tackles with 79, and Muhammed contributed five sacks and eight-and-a-half tackles for loss last season, leading the team in both areas.
The team will obviously take on the “next man up” mentality to fill the shoes of the lost defensive players. Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz has his work cut out for him to find the right replacements.