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Miami Preparing Appeal; Players Still Out

December 30, 1987|Associated Press

MIAMI — The University of Miami said Tuesday night that not only has it received new evidence from lawyers representing suspended players George Mira Jr. and John O'Neill, but it also was preparing an appeal to the National Collegiate Athletic Assn.

At the same time, however, Athletic Director Sam Jankovich said he fully supports Coach Jimmy Johnson's decision not to play Mira and O'Neill against Oklahoma in Friday night's Orange Bowl game unless the NCAA grants permission.

"Bernard Clark will start--and play--at middle linebacker Friday night, and Rod Carter will back him up," Johnson said tersely after Tuesday's practice. "I'm not concerned with it anymore."

Mira, Miami's all-time leader with 490 tackles, and O'Neill, a starting offensive tackle, were automatically declared ineligible last Thursday when traces of a banned diuretic turned up in an NCAA-administered drug test.

Circuit Judge Michael Salmon on Tuesday refused to allow another drug test for Mira and O'Neill.

Meanwhile, 24 players from each team were retested Tuesday.

Mira's attorney, W. Sam Holland, said that the NCAA "can't come in here and object to retesting, and, two days later, when we win on Thursday say he can't play because he hasn't been retested."

O'Neill and Mira both plan to seek an injunction Thursday to allow them to play New Year's night.

Jankovich said he could not disclose what new evidence that the players' lawyers might have since "I have not seen the final documents" that Miami will submit to the NCAA.

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