DAVIE – Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon, who attended the University of Miami, said Tuesday he thought UM losing three scholarships a year for the next three years was a bit too harsh of a penalty.
Vernon, who served a six-game suspension in 2011 for his role in the scandal, said he thinks UM’s self-imposed penalties should have sufficed. But he also understood the NCAA had to do something.
“I don’t think they should have (received any additional penalty),” Vernon said, “but they were under that scrutiny for a while so they had to do something.”
Vernon, however, said Tuesday’s announcement was palatable.
“I think it was better than what was expected,” he said. “You only got a few scholarships taken away for three years. So that’s better than what was expected was going to come down on us. I’m happy for those guys.”
Running back Lamar Miller, a former UM player, said, “losing three scholarships later on will be a big factor, but right now it really doesn’t matter.”
Miller said he thinks the self-imposed bowl ban was successful judging from Tuesday’s announcement.
“I thought it was going to be a bowl ban, too,” he said, “but the last two years they didn’t go to a bowl game.”
Miller played with the cloud of NCAA sanctions and scrutiny hanging over his head in his junior season, and possible sanctions were one of the factors that made him enter the draft a year early.
“I think it’s a relief for (the players),” he said. “When I was there we really didn’t know much about it until after the season.
“Everyone wants to play in a bowl game. That’s what you work hard for the entire season. Now it gives (the players) more motivation to want to go to a BCS bowl because we haven’t been there for a while now. I think they will be more motivated and hungry to go get it.”
Recently-acquired offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie also said the end of the bowl ban is a good thing.
“I’m glad they get to go to a bowl game because they’ve had a good season so far,” he said. “I’m glad it is behind them and they can move forward now. I’m happy for them.”
That seems to be the bottom-line thought of all the Dolphins that are former ’Canes.
“It’s done with,” Vernon said. “It’s finally overwith, behind, so now those guys can move forward and play for something.”