Want to know why people don't trust the NCAA to police college athletics? Then look no further than the penalty that they reportedly just gave to the University of Miami for their role in the Nevin Shapiro booster scandal that came to light more than two years ago.
Back in 2011, there were some people out there who actually thought that the NCAA might give Miami the dreaded "death penalty" and essentially kill their football program because of the illegal benefits that Shapiro—a former booster for the Hurricanes who is currently in jail for running a Ponzi scheme—reportedly provided for Miami players and coaches over the years. However, because Miami voluntarily gave up the right to participate in bowl games the last two seasons and because they also chose to sit out of last season's ACC title game, the NCAA just had some mercy on them and decided not to punish them too harshly. In fact, they hardly punished them at all! Rather than try to take down the program, the NCAA reportedly stripped the school of nine football scholarships over the course of the next three years and…well, that's it. That is the punishment. There will be no loss of additional bowl games or anything.
Some of the coaches who were allegedly involved in the Shapiro scandal, like former Miami basketball coach Frank Haith, who is now the head coach at Missouri, will suffer short suspensions for their role in the scandal. But all in all, Miami got off pretty easy here, especially when you consider the penalties that the NCAA has handed out to schools like USC and Ohio State in the past. You could make the argument that they actually got off too easy given the mountain of evidence that Shapiro provided against them. But we can't say that we're surprised by the NCAA's ruling. After all, this is the NCAA we're talking about here. So should we have expected anything other than a confusing penalty that is inconsistent with penalties that the NCAA has issued in the past? We guess not...