The University of Miami president was disappointed by his team's behavior in the Cotton Bowl, and coach Dennis Erickson says the antics capped the worst year of his life.
The Hurricanes' 46-3 trouncing of Texas was overshadowed by their school-and Cotton Bowl-record 202 yards in penalties. They were penalized 16 times, including nine times for unsportsmanlike conduct or personal fouls.University president Edward Foote said he was disappointed by the Hurricanes' behavior in a "most unfortunate end to an otherwise outstanding season." Foote said the display will influence his selection of a new athletic director to replace Sam Jankovich, who has resigned to run the NFL's New England Patriots.
Erickson, who has repeatedly pledged to change the image of the Hurricanes as college football's bad boys, declined to be interviewed Thursday. The Miami Herald said Erickson was despondent when talking about the matter hours after Tuesday's game.
"I don't have any answers," the second-year Miami coach told The Herald. "This has been the worst year of my life, between today's unsportsmanlike conduct stuff and some of the mail I got after the Brigham Young and Notre Dame games (both Miami losses). And I'm sure it's been my wife's worst year, too."
The Hurricanes established the tone for the game before it started, charging off their sideline to taunt Texas as the Longhorns sprinted onto the field. The Hurricanes ended the game by taunting a near-empty stadium with a group dance.
As the penalties mounted, Erickson angrily reprimanded his players after the first quarter and again at halftime. He said later he was embarrassed by their display.
The Hurricanes, ranked third in the final Associated Press poll, have offered no apologies.
"Coach Erickson made it clear, point-blank, that he didn't want the taunting, but emotions just took over," senior center Darren Handy said. "I feel bad for him because he's going to take the heat, but we were just playing Hurricane football.
"It might be embarrassing to the university and the coaches, but it's not to the players. We enjoy it. It's like a show. People from Texas came to see Miami's swarming defense, high-scoring offense and what new dances we had come up with.
"We gave them their money's worth."