University of Miami football Coach Al Golden told The Miami Herald Monday his integrity "speaks for itself" despite a recruiting scandal.
The newspaper reported Golden declined to comment on a Yahoo! Sports report Friday, contending Golden "had direct knowledge'' of former UM equipment manager Sean "Pee Wee" Allen's alleged "improper involvement with Miami recruits" to navigate around NCAA rules.
"It's your name," Golden told the Herald. "It's your integrity. But as I've found being around the other coaches and the ACC commissioner, I think my integrity and reputation over the last 18 years speaks for itself.''
UM linebackers coach Micheal Barrow, also targeted in the Yahoo! report, is still an assistant coach, but Golden wouldn't talk further about Barrow, the Herald said.
Shortly after UM's fall football camp opened in Coral Gables, Fla., last year, Yahoo! Sports reported allegations former UM booster Nevin Shapiro, now serving a 20-year prison sentence for a $930 million Ponzi scheme, gave "thousands of impermissible benefits'' to at least 72 UM athletes, from 2002 through 2010.
At the time, Golden was about to begin his first season with the Hurricanes and said he had no idea of the related NCAA investigation of UM. He spent most of last season pledging to overcome any obstacles.
The coach said Monday he still vows to move forward.
Golden's interview Monday ended minutes before the NCAA announced severe sanctions against Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Golden played and served as an assistant coach at Penn State.