News Release

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Miami disciplines coach

11/25/2002

Miami announced today (Nov. 25) that assistant football coach Taver Johnson would face a series of financial and professional penalties for damaging the visiting coaches‘ box at Marshall University Nov. 12.

Johnson admitted he struck a shelf and put holes in the wall of the coaching box after Miami‘s last-second, 36-34 loss to Marshall.

As a result he will pay for the damages to the box, forego any pay increase next year, attend anger management counseling at his own expense, attend the “Coaching with Character” seminar, expand his community service efforts with the football team, apologize in writing to Marshall University officials and its football team, and apologize in person to Miami‘s football team and coaching staff.

He will remain on suspension with pay until Nov. 30 and will be barred from off-campus recruiting until Feb. 5, 2003.

Miami also is imposing a “zero tolerance” clause in Johnson‘s contract, dictating termination for any future “unprofessional or intemperate conduct.”

The disciplinary actions, while severe, also “reflect the fact that this is a young coach who let his emotions get away from him but who immediately admitted and apologized for his actions,” explained Interim Athletic Director Steve Snyder. “There have been no similar incidents in the past; in fact, to the contrary he has been an active, good citizen with a long record of community service. We are taking these steps to help Coach Johnson learn from his mistake.”

Miami President James C. Garland said Johnson‘s actions ran counter to “good sportsmanship that has been the hallmark” of Miami University athletics ever since the university was founded nearly two centuries ago. “We are proud of our reputation and resolve to be worthy of it in all of our games and in all of our sports.”

Both Garland and Snyder emphasized that Johnson‘s case was treated independently from that of Jon Wauford, Miami‘s defensive coordinator who is accused of striking a fan after the Marshall game.

“The two incidents are different. We will decide on Coach Wauford‘s situation once all the facts are in, and that investigation is still continuing,” said Snyder. Wauford remains on suspension.

(Editor's note: For President Garland's complete statement click here.)

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