Rap recording could threaten Miami's progress
How long does it take to undermine more than five years of hard work improving the image of a once-tainted football program?
It could be as little as 9 minutes, it turns out.
That's the approximate length of the spectacularly profane, stunningly offensive and utterly irredeemable rap song that appeared on the Internet this week, recorded by a group calling itself the 7th Floor Crew.
And wouldn't you know it, some members of the crew are Hurricanes football players.
For fans of old stereotypes, you've been handed an old gun. Still smoking.
The song begins with a disclaimer of sorts from a guy identifying himself as "Marvelous." Quoth Marvelous: "This song in its entirety is not meant to disrespect any women, in its entirety. Well, you know what I mean. All right, play the track."
The track then launches its disrespectful assault. The subject matter: group sex. Multiple men, individual women.
As Kyle Munzenrieder, Miami student and author of the blog Miamity.com describes on his Web site, "It was recorded by team members who lived on the 7th floor of the Mahoney Residential College [campus housing at the University of Miami] and is about their shared All-American past-time of gang bangin' bizzatches."
Or, as one member of the 7th Floor Crew so delicately put it, "We 'bout to run a seven-man train all up in you."
Sorry for the crudity, but there's really no other way to convey the subject matter. My tally of the profanities laced throughout this song: 29 F-bombs, 15 references to "hos" and 18 references to "bitches." Plus many other words and phrases unfit even for cyberprint.
Lovely. Miami football, which has made significant strides over the years to eradicate the old image of Thug U., needed this like Doc Gooden needs another trip to central booking.
According to Munzenrieder, the university's director of football operations asked for the posting to be taken off the Web site.
How many players were involved, current or former, is unclear.
In an ESPN.com chat Wednesday, Miami receiver Sinorice Moss was asked about the song. The exchange:
"Mike (Boston): Sinorice!!!! What do you think about the rap song that some of your teammates put out? 7th floor crew or something like that."
"Sinorice Moss: That's something that they did like two years ago. A couple of the freshmen and older guys made a rap song. It was a really cool song."
Miami's administration was less glowing in its review. It says it is looking into the recording.
"The Athletic Department has been made aware of a private audio recording made two years ago by students in a residence hall, some of whom were student-athletes," athletic director Paul Dee told ESPN.com Wednesday night in a statement through the school's sports information department. "The content of the recording is unfortunate, inappropriate and demeaning. This speech is not appropriate and does not reflect the values of the University or the Athletic Department.
"While the recording was made privately, it was not intended for public distribution or use. To be clear, the University and the Athletic Department disapprove of the content and its references. To those who may hear this material, we apologize. Any students whose voices can be identified will be subject to appropriate discipline and/or counseling."
That discipline and/or counseling remains unspecified, spokesman Rick Korch said Wednesday night. Korch also said that coach Larry Coker declined comment and deferred to Dee to speak for the athletic department.
Attempts to reach Miami president Donna Shalala were unsuccessful Wednesday night.
Munzenrieder, the blogger, said the song is not quite reality rap.
"I live on the 6th floor, and have good friends on the 7th floor, and those two floors are where a lot of football players live," he wrote me in an e-mail Wednesday night. "The song really isn't indicative of the attitude of the current football players, and the 7th floor isn't some sort of hedonistic fantasy dorm zone."
That news isn't likely to lessen the sick feeling in Coral Gables administrative offices today. All the effort put into making Miami football more than a default punchline for bad-boy jock jokes, and now this.
They've tried to win big without backsliding to the Dennis Erickson/Jimmy Johnson renegade days. Korch pointed out that Coker has never had a player convicted of a crime in his time as head coach. Some of the Miami players I've interviewed have been among the most interesting and eloquent in the country.
Coker took a chance -- and took some heat -- for bringing in Willie Williams, a talented football player with a lengthy arrest record. He redshirted Williams last year, and thus far this season the kid has only made headlines for playing football.
Now a few players have gone and put ammo back in their critics' guns.
At 8-1, this should be a time for Miami to revel in its forceful return to college football's center stage. The Hurricanes are still in the national championship hunt, and control their own destiny in seeking a BCS bowl berth. The news should all be positive surrounding this program right now, and it had been.
Until the 7th Floor Crew's misogynistic music hit the Internet. Now 9 minutes threatens to stain more than five years of good work.
Pat Forde is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at ESPN4D@aol.com.