MiamiHerald / University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga, his face showing the strain of an ongoing FBI investigation, spoke publicly about the recruiting corruption probe for the first time on Monday. He read a prepared statement and then answered questions at the Watsco Center, where the Hurricanes open their season in two weeks.
“I cannot state more emphatically that I have absolutely no knowledge of any wrongdoing by any member of our staff and I certainly have never engaged in the conduct that some have speculated about,” said Larrañaga, who acknowledged that he and his attorneys believe he is the man labeled as “Coach 3” in the FBI complaint. He added he was “relieved” by that because it means his assistant coaches are not connected.
“I’ve tried to live every single one of my 68 years on this earth with integrity, character and humility, and to set an example for my children, grandchildren and the hundreds of young men I’ve had the opportunity to coach. To have those values that I cherish so dearly even questioned is disheartening and disappointing.”
Although neither UM nor Larrañaga were mentioned by name in the court documents, they are clearly identified as “University-7” and “Coach-3” amid allegations that defendants, including an AAU coach, an agent and Adidas executives conspired – supposedly with the knowledge of “Coach-3” – to funnel a payment of $150,000 to a recruit as a way to steer him to commit to the Hurricanes.