Al Golden On Alleged Recruiting Violations: “We don’t have anything to hide.”

Sep 11, 2004; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas can do nothing but watch as the clock runs down in the fourth quarter as the Dolphins lose their 2004 opener to the Tennessee Titans at Pro Player Stadium. The Titans won the game 17-7, which was supposed to be played on Sunday, but was moved to Saturday due to the threat from Hurricane Ivan. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Warren Zinn-USA TODAY Sports (©) Copyright 2004 by Warren Zinn

The University of Miami was front and center last summer after some major allegations were thrown at the school stemming from a Yahoo! Sports report from Charles Robinson. Nevin Shapiro ended up giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to at least 72 athletes at the University of Miami from 2002 to 2010. After all the tragedy involving Jerry Sandusky and Penn State, now comes another Yahoo! Sports report from Charles Robinson claiming that Hurricanes head coach Al Golden began using Sean “Pee Wee” Allen to violate NCAA rules in the recruiting of multiple Miami-area players. Golden is trying to go about his business right now and prove to the public that this is all a lie. Al Golden joined WFNZ in Charlotte on The Drive with Taylor Zarzour & Marc James to discuss his reaction to the sanctions handed down on his alma mater Penn State, dealing with all the allegations thrown at the University of Miami recently, not knowing a time table for how long the NCAA investigation on the University of Miami will be, whether or not he felt betrayed by Joe Paterno after the findings in the Freeh Report and his recruiting pitch to current prospects.

What are your thoughts on the sanctions handed down by the NCAA on your alma mater Penn State?

“Well I am still trying to sort through it. Obviously a sad day and for the tragedy up in State College. My thoughts and prayers go out with the victims and their families. First and foremost let’s make sure we keep them at the forefront of this. Hopefully this will offer them some sense of closure and healing. I feel the same way about State College and the Penn State community. An opportunity to hopefully find some healing and move forward. I haven’t briefed myself with the Freeh Report or what’s been handed down today to really comment on it. I think as a professional it is incumbent on me to make sure I really look at it and it’s certainly a sad day.”

How frustrating have all the allegations at Miami been recently? How much have you talked to your team about it?

“Well I think we try to have a singular focus and just go about our business. Just be process oriented. Again Friday night was tough for me and my family to have your integrity professionally and personally attacked as it was with really no recourse and to not even be asked ahead of time about any of the allegations that were made in the article. That’s tough. I can’t really comment on the article. I stand by my statement. I stand by my record over the last 18 years in this profession and I am very grateful to the colleagues across the country that have reached out to offer their support and certainly my peers here in the ACC and the leadership in the ACC office that has offered their support during this time.”

Do you have a timetable of how long the NCAA investigation will be for these recent allegations and what the penalties may be?

“I don’t. I don’t have a timetable and I don’t really…my involvement in the whole case has been minimal. Again I am going to let the process see through it. We’ve been incredibly cooperative and open. Again our feeling is that we don’t have anything to hide. That’s why Friday night was disturbing. We don’t have anything to hide and want to make sure that we are open in this joint inquiry and make sure we get to the bottom of everything.”

Do you feel betrayed by Joe Paterno and the man you thought you knew while playing for him?

“I just think it’s too soon and too much emotion going through right now for me to pass judgement on 84 years of a man’s life. I’m not going to do that.”

What are you saying to potential recruits in terms of being able to be nationally competitive again?

“We still have one of the best products on the east coast and certainly not on just the east coast, but in the southeast. We’re a small private institution that produces the most NFL players, that’s played for the most national championships and won the most national championships. We’re a top 40 institution now. We’re number one in the state of Florida and we have an unrivaled social setting. All the amenities of a college campus in Coral Gables in south Miami and Coconut Grove yet all the culture and diversity that anybody could ask for in the city of Miami. I’m just telling what we have and we don’t need anybody on the outside getting involved. Thanks and we appreciate your support and appreciated that you wanted to help, but get out of the way. Leave us alone. Let us go to work and we’ll take it one step at a time and we’ll get this program back to where it needs to be.”

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