The dismissal of former UM linebacker Jermaine Grace has gotten even more complicated.
Steven L. Washington, Grace’s attorney, said they will not be appealing the case, but did comment that the player was treated unfairly. He claims that the University of Miami did not allow Grace the chance to provide proof to defend himself because of the Nevin Shapiro probation that will not be lifted until the third week of October.
This has come out days after Grace was kicked off the team for violating NCAA rules. Starting in February, the investigation looked into the possibility of Grace receiving discounted prices for luxury car rentals at South Beach Exotic Rentals as long as he provided them future payoff from his career.
Washington said that the luxury car Grace used as a freshman was one that his uncle rented for him and that they submitted all the documentation to prove that to the university’s compliance office. He talked about how up until this point, there has been no physical proof of Grace receiving any special treatment.
“In our meetings, it was ‘We heard this person said this and this person said that.’” Washington said. “Because these people wanted to believe this is what occurred, it was hard to defend it.”
Washington continued to defend Grace, going as far as to say that the linebacker is simply a young man who doesn’t know how all of this works.
“When [UM’s] lawyers were involved they did take attempts to circumvent us,” Washington said. “They would meet with Jermaine, send him text messages without my permission.”
It’s difficult to tell from an outsider’s point of view who is truly in the wrong, but one thing is clear: the University of Miami was not about to risk further sanctions at any cost. This year is the beginning of a new era, a fresh start. The football program has an established alum as its first year head coach, an NCAA probation coming to an end and recruiting classes on the rise. It is understandable why the program refuses to take a chance in losing all of that for just two players, no matter how talented they are.
It is still unknown as to whether Grace will transfer to another school to play football or just finish his degree at Miami. There has also yet to be any news out on whether former UM defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad (the second player involved in this case) will choose to appeal.