Hurricane Andre

The University of Miami administration has nothing to say about the Andre Johnson cheating case, but some faculty won't stay quiet

Several sources say the apprehension is in part the result of an investigation launched by the administration to discover whether one or more sociology professors disclosed Johnson's confidential honor-council suspension in e-mail postings on CanesTime.com, a Website devoted to UM sports. Shortly before the Miami New Times article appeared March 7, university provost Luis Glaser reportedly summoned sociology department chairman Dale Chitwood and another professor to his office and angrily notified them of the probe. "The administration's zeal to find out who leaked what to whom is misplaced and a little bit dishonest," says the sociology department source who requested anonymity. "I don't think everybody is rushing to protect Andre Johnson. They are protecting themselves." And perhaps they are also protecting an exceedingly valuable commodity: the University of Miami's football program.

A former Hurricanes lineman who is now playing in the National Football League (one of 43 UM alumni currently signed to the NFL) contends that a full-year suspension for Johnson would be too costly. "Doing that would keep the kid from graduating," he argues. "That would cheat him of millions of dollars as well. He would miss a year of growing and experience on the field. And if he didn't make it to the pros -- arguably because he sat out a year -- and then doesn't even have a degree either, where is he then? He's now wasted four years of his life for nothing. Obviously I'm biased. He's a great player."

The NFL player speculates that the Andre Johnson imbroglio might not have happened under coach Butch Davis, Larry Coker's predecessor. He recalls a cheating incident his freshman year involving a football player who was not called before the honor council. "Davis basically said, 'If it happens again, I will kick your ass so far out of this school that you won't get on a field ever again.' And I believe he had the kind of clout to make that happen."

The Sun-Sentinel quoted Coach Coker as saying he thought Johnson's summer suspension was "a severe penalty" and "we're disappointed about that."

Advice from the NFL lineman: "If he sat them all down and said, "Look, this is what's going to happen this time. But I kid you not, next time this happens someone's not going to be here,' I think that's enough to keep it from happening again. But cheating is part of school. If it weren't, there wouldn't be rules against it."

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