Vanderbilt assistant keeps mum on report of Miami violations

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 10:21pm

On Tuesday, Yahoo Sports published the results of an 11-month investigation into improper benefits provided to University of Miami football and basketball players by booster Nevin Shapiro, a convicted felon currently in federal prison. The benefits took place between 2002 and 2010.

Wesley McGriff spent three seasons at Miami (2007-10) before he became Vanderbilt’s defensive backs coach in January. He was not listed by Shapiro, who is serving a 20-year sentence for a $930 million Ponzi scheme, as one of the seven Miami football and basketball coaches who directly participated in or had knowledge of the activities.

McGriff, a college assistant coach for the last 20 years, would not say if he knew Shapiro or witnessed any of the allegations.

“All I will tell you about that is I am a coach at Vanderbilt and that is a Miami issue,” McGriff said Wednesday night. “I don’t have any comment about that situation down there.”

Setting the standard: Franklin did not hold back during Wednesday’s two practices. 
Unhappy with how his defense failed to pursue wide receiver Wesley Tate all the way to the goal-line after a 70-yard touchdown run, the coach temporarily stopped the morning practice and huddled up the entire defense.

“I saw three guys that were chasing him,” Franklin said. “They didn’t go all out to the goal line. There was a time they didn’t feel like they were going to catch him and they kind of gave into it. That’s not how we are going to do things around here. The running back could have fumbled the ball. Stranger things have happened. I want our players to feel like they can catch anybody.

“That’s how we are going to practice. That is how we are going to play. I’m not going to tolerate it from anybody. The assistant coaches, as well as myself, better be reinforcing it.”

He turned up the volume when he yelled at senior defensive tackle T.J. Greenstone to get off the field during 11-on-11 drills and called for junior Colt Nichter to replace Greenstone.

“He’ll play when he earns it,” Franklin yelled. “I’m sick of babying him.”

“It is a wake-up call for everybody,” Franklin said when he met the media following the workout. “You better come and you better be ready to play every single day. I love them all. I have tremendous respect for T.J. Greenstone, Chris Marve, Larry [Smith], all those guys who have played here in the past. But there is job is to come out here on this field, no different than it is going to be the rest of their life, they are going to have to wake up every single morning and go earn it.

“Nobody is going to give them any favors the rest of their life and I’m not going to do it on this football field.”

Injury update: Running back Warren Norman wore a red injury jersey and did not practice. He has been wearing a knee brace since late last week.

He underwent surgery on his right knee during the offseason.

Freshman running back Jerron Seymour, who had impressed Franklin in earlier practices, has been out the last three days. On Monday, he was wearing a wrap on his left leg.

Offensive lineman Mylon Brown returned to practice after sitting out on Tuesday.