First year head coach Al Golden is in some deep NCAA doodoo over at Miami after Yahoo exposed former booster Nevin Shapiro of being entirely too passionate for his team. Despite Golden having nothing to do with the long-running scandal, he's the guy who has to deal with its consequences. Virginia head coach, colleague and good friend Mike London thinks he's handling it just fine.
On Tuesday, the NCAA announced what many are considering relatively light sanctions on the implicated Miami players. Of the 13 Canes investigated and accused, one (Marcis Robinson) was cleared of any wrongdoing, four will be forced to pay restitution but will not miss any playing time, while the remaining eight will miss at least one game. Five of those eight, including the previously flattened Jacory Harris, will miss precisely just one game.
London and Golden served on the same coaching staff for three seasons at Boston College, where London was defensive line coach from 1997-2000 and Golden coached the linebackers from 1997-1999. The two would cross paths again from 2001-2004 when former head coach Al Groh tabbed London to coach the linebackers at Virginia and Golden to serve as defensive coordinator.
While London hasn't spoken with Golden directly regarding Miami's NCAA situation, he has texted him.
"Al and I are really good friends from the Boston College days and the Virginia days. He's got a tough situation he's going through. From all accounts of the media, what I know about him, he's handling it in a first-class manner."
London's not taking this lightly for his own team either. Coach said on Wednesday that he had Jason Montgomery from the NCAA Enforcement to speak with the team, and that he has had different speakers talk to the team about boosters and extra benefits. London has a simple rule: If it's free, it's probably not good for you.
"[Golden] has a situation that he has to deal with, incoming new coach that has circumstances he has to deal with. I think he's doing a good job of it. I'll reach out here soon. A lot of us got a lot of things going on. But I'm proud of Al, proud to call him a friend of mine. Any support I can give him, he knows he's got it."