Miami’s football program has fallen under hard times in 2021 and former players are beginning to grow impatient with the program’s direction.
Fresh off a 2-2 start after beginning the season ranked No. 14 in the AP Poll, Miami legend Bennie Blades said on Saturday that he wants to have a meeting with Miami president Julio Frenk and athletic director Blake James.
The Hurricanes used to be a dominant force in college football. They had talent, great coaches and swag. Lots of it. It brought upon five National Championships from 1983-2001, one of the greatest runs in college football history. But in 2006, it all changed.
Scandals, game brawls and undisciplined play led to the dismissal of head coach Larry Coker and the hiring of Randy Shannon. Since 2006, Miami has won just one bowl game and won 10 or more games once, in 2017.
Blades knows the current trajectory of Miami is down and knows it can be better. He experienced success during his time at Miami from 1985-1987, becoming a two-time All-American and winning a National Championship in 1987.
The downfall of Miami was brought back to light when ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit blasted the program on Saturday’s edition of College Gameday.
One thing is for certain: college football is better when “The U” is humming. It’s better when many of these former top programs are on top (FSU, USC, Texas etc.). Miami, however, doesn’t have an immediate fix to get back to the top. It doesn’t have an administration that’s fully committed to winning and a coaching staff that appears to be able to compete for championships.
Blades is one of many players to speak out on the state of the program, which still has time to right the ship this season. Head coach Manny Diaz’s job security depends on it, as he likely needs to win at least eight to nine games to remain head coach. If not, Miami will be looking for its fifth head coach in the last decade.
Will a big time head coach be coming to save the program? As Herbstreit said, it might not matter as long as the university from the top down doesn’t have a clear direction.