If Al Golden Leaves The Hurricanes, No One Could Blame Him

University of Miami head coach Al Golden speaks during an interview in his office in Coral Gables, Fla., Wednesday, Aug. 31,
University of Miami head coach Al Golden speaks during an interview in his office in Coral Gables, Fla., Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. Golden expected a challenge at Miami. But this? Eight Miami players have been ordered by the NCAA to sit out at least one game for receiving extra benefits. (AP Photo/Hans Deryk)

Al Golden says he's committed to the University of Miami.

The Hurricanes' second-year coach insists he isn't looking for another job, even after Monday brought the news, necessary but still depressing, that the school was self-imposing a second straight bowl ban.

"We want to see it through," Golden said. "We want to get it fixed."

All of which is admirable and commendable, but is it smart?

When Tennessee comes calling -- as it almost certainly will -- doesn't Golden owe it to his family and to himself to listen at least?

Doesn't even have to be Tennessee, where former Dolphins assistant Derek Dooley was fired over the weekend and where the smallest home crowd this season was 81,719 -- for Akron.

It could be Arkansas, where boosters are promising to break the bank.

Or Texas, where the oilmen may have finally had enough of Mack Brown.

What about Texas Tech, where athletic director Kirby Hocutt, the man who brought Golden from Temple to Coral Gables, could be looking to replace Tommy Tuberville?

Or here's one for you: What about Nebraska, where former UM AD Shawn Eichhorst might prefer a less combustible coach than Bo Pelini?

All of those schools would benefit greatly from stealing an energetic young leader like Golden in this time of rampant uncertainty at Miami.

For me, it's not even debatable that Golden should at least listen.

That's how the tea leaves look from here after Monday's announcement.

Blake James, the Hurricanes' interim AD, told the sort of white lie people in his position often must.

"We have a very, very bright future as a program," James said on a conference call with reporters.


How can a statement like that be delivered with any level of certainty when this NCAA investigation has now dragged into its 20th month?

Or when no one in a position of power at the school can tell you when the official Notice of Allegations can even be expected?

Once that happens, it usually takes several more months to formulate a reply and then ultimately receive the penalties.

So you can imagine the negative impact that will have on this year's recruiting class, Golden's third. ___

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