Thank your lucky stars that the University of Florida employs one of the finest NCAA compliance staffs money can buy. Those tireless souls are the people who keep you and me sleeping soundly at night, knowing that there's practically no chance the Florida Gators get embroiled in an NCAA investigation like the one Miami is about to endure because of Nevin Shapiro.
The Gators aren't completely out of the woods here, either: Wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill is involved, though Florida is publicly standing behind him, and Andre Debose and Matt Patchan also get name-checked, though whether they were anything more than innocent bystanders remains to be seen. But Miami's going to get nuked by the NCAA if even a fifth of Shapiro's spiel is true and provable; Florida might have to sniff a whiff or two of the mushroom cloud, but no one is mentioning the Gators and "death penalty" in the same sentence.
That said, this is going to affect Florida, too. A rundown of possible ramifications after the jump.
Say goodbye to Hollywood (and Broward, and Dade): Compared to Miami, Florida does little recruiting in South Florida, preferring to dominate Central Florida, scoop up national prospects, and squabble with the SEC and Florida State for the Southeast's finest. But Will Muschamp and Florida will probably need to make certain that a SoFla prospect is untainted to go after him, and given Miami's proficiency at South Florida recruiting and Florida State's perceived recruiting advantage over UF down south, the Gators cognoscenti might make a decision to leave everything south of Lake Okeechobee alone.
Could FSU leave a diminished ACC? If allegations become violations, Miami's destined for some massive welts from the NCAA: Think TV bans and enormous scholarship reductions, and penalties that could dwarf what USC received post-Reggie Bush. That robs the ACC of one of its three flagship football programs — Florida State and Virginia Tech are the other two — and puts the conference in a bind if Miami's penalties last for years. Could that make fleeing the ACC more appealing to Florida State and Virginia Tech? Could VT booking it for the SEC — VT to the SEC would expand the SEC footprint and avoid a violation of the SEC potentates' rumored "gentlemen's agreement" not to absorb schools in the same state as current member schools — leave Florida State with an ACC it would like to escape from? Yes on both counts, I think.
Welcome Miami back to Florida's schedule! C'mon, Jeremy Foley! Playing Miami in 2017 will be just like playing Florida A&M, except with an emptier stadium and a less exciting band!
Miami is screwed: I'm skeptical about the NCAA's ability to make everlasting change out of anything, much less a situation in which it could try to head off a pandemic by shooting the patient and hoping that dissuades anyone else from contracting the disease. And this situation's made worse by Miami's unique status as the college football world's adorable scofflaw, as pointed out by Bomani Jones: The 'Canes aren't big enough to bank on their importance to the franchise of college football as a way to evade the NCAA's scythe, but they're certainly big enough to die and leave a good-looking corpse.
Here comes the sweeping NCAA change we can believe in? Then again, the NCAA could either 1) grow a backbone, add staff, declare this the end of the days of dirty play in college athletics, and become the martinet that some unctuous amateurism fetishists would like it to be or 2) admit defeat, keel over, die as a serious college football governing body, and usher in the changes that will need to be made to shift college football further toward a semi-professional model. Neither of these scenarios is as likely as Donna Shalala and Paul Dee being run out of town on a rail as the players who committed to Randy Shannon, the coach Shalala/Dee ran out of town, struggle under a coach, Al Golden, who apparently didn't know he was getting a program months away from destruction by meteor, but I never rule out anything with the NCAA.
Your thoughts and grave-dancing in the comments?