[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: More on UM - FIU

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More on UM - FIU

Some more thoughts concerning the post-brawl events:

- Perhaps UM should have been a little harsher on its penalties/suspensions. But who are we to judge what's the appropriate penalty in this case? This is something that should be totally left up to the University officials and trust that they know the players and coaches. Let's give Donna Shalala the room to deem what is appropriate punishment.

- At the meeting between Shalala and Mitch Maidique tomorrow to discuss the future of the series, here's hoping that they decide to continue it. There are a few key reasons why. One is that a healthy and competitive series between the two schools will only benefit both programs as well as college football and sports in South Florida. There's little doubt in my mind that it won't take very long for FIU to be competitive with the big boys like UM and others. A city rivalry of high stature would be great. In order to accomplish this, both schools need to cut out the garbage that led them to the fiasco last weekend. Perhaps it took something of that magnitude to open people's eyes. Let's hope that's the case here.

- It would be a great PR move not only for both universities, but for Miami as a whole. It would make a nice story, if the media opened up to it, if both schools were able to put this ugly incident aside and pull off a successful, incident-free game next year. It will take a lot of effort on both schools, and very extensive PR work. Something along the lines of donating revenue from the game to local charities, joint and active participation in promoting not only their own game but other community atheltic events. In short, good will and trust need to be restored between the universities and the community.

As far as what the national media thinks of all this, they would probably pass on covering a positive story involving the University of Miami anyway, so UM (and FIU) needs to do what it thinks is right and proper.


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