CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- That wasn't exactly a huge sigh of relief that emanated from the University of Miami on Tuesday when the NCAA released the list of penalties the school will serve for transgressions in its football and basketball programs.
To do so would have been unseemly.
But you have to think the Hurricanes are pleased the NCAA accepted most of the school's self-imposed penalties, among them a two-year bowl ban, when it handed down sanctions for violations its 31-month investigation turned up.
A statement released by the university said that Miami "accepts the findings and the additional penalties as detailed in the Committee on Infractions report and will not appeal."
Those "additional penalties" are a cut of nine scholarships over a three-year period and limiting prospects on unofficial visits to complimentary tickets for only one home game over the next two years for the football program and a reduction of three scholarships over the next three seasons for the basketball team.
In addition to the bowl ban and passing on an appearance in last season's Atlantic Coast Conference championship game, Miami had already cut back on the number of official recruiting visits and evaluation and contact periods over the last two years.
The bottom line: football coach Al Golden and his staff no longer are operating under the cloud of "potential" NCAA sanctions that has hovered over his program since Golden took what he called a "dream job" back in December 2010.
Golden was still at Temple when this saga began back in late 2009 when Miami notified the NCAA it was conducting an internal investigation into potential violations.
The university and NCAA conducted joint interviews the following year, but the real explosion came in February 2011 when a booster, a convicted Ponzi scheme organizer named Nevin Shapiro, unleashed allegations he had provided players illegal extra benefits dating back to December 2001.
In August 2011, Yahoo Sports detailed many of Shapiro's allegations, and Golden began his first season with several key players serving suspensions varying from one to six games.
The NCAA delivered a "notice of inquiry" to Miami that same month and began conducting interviews, starting a process that would drag on until last June, when Miami's case was brought before the Committee on Infractions.
By then, the NCAA itself had come under fire for the way its investigators had handled the process. The lead investigator was fired, and some of the evidence the NCAA had against Miami was thrown out because of the way it was obtained.
The Hurricanes have had to wait until now to get a final verdict, which comes with them halfway through the 2013 season.
With a 6-0 record entering Saturday's game against Wake Forest, the Hurricanes are in the running for their first appearance in the ACC championship game and a possible appearance in their first BCS bowl since winning the 2003 season's Orange Bowl.
Obviously, these NCAA penalties have no effect on those opportunities.
As for the scholarship cuts to the program, considering the reductions levied on programs at Penn State and Southern California in recent years, Miami could have been hit considerably harder.
Both the Nittany Lions and Trojans had roster limits placed on their programs. Penn State was limited to 70 players for the 2014-15 academic year (later increased to 75) and won't be back to the maximum limit of 85 until 2016. USC is limited to 75 players until 2015, when the full maximum of 85 is restored.
The loss of nine scholarships over a three-year period can be worked around when it comes to signing prospects, one former Miami assistant who has since moved on told The Sports Xchange.
"It impacts you," said the coach, who was not involved in the investigation, "but another thing you do as a coach is you turn around and say, hey, listen, we don't have as many but there are going to be more opportunities for you to play and make an impact right now. You're going to be playing at an elite level and still have opportunities to go to bowl games and everything else."
Miami might have to target more versatile players, like a defensive back with good hands who might have the potential to fill in at receiver or a kicker who can punt as well, the coach added.
"They are going to be of more significant value," he said.
Miami currently has 25 or 26 players committed in its 2014 class, depending on the recruiting service you look at.
Interestingly, Scout.com announced a 26th commitment just hours after the NCAA penalties were made public. Among Scout's list were three five-star prospects and four rated with four stars.
Both Rivals.com and ESPN list 25 "commitments," though none rating five stars. ESPN had 13 four-star players, Rivals 11. In national rankings, both Scout and Rivals list Miami with the fifth-best class, ESPN giving the Hurricanes the fourth-best in the country.
A look at the past may be an indicator of what is to come.