Once among the most powerful programs in college football, Miami has largely been irrelevant in recent years, failing to win a conference title since their move to the ACC while losing 10 of their last 11 bowl games. This year has continued that disappointing trend with the listless Hurricanes (5-5) looking nothing like the perennial juggernaut that dominated the sport for decades. Following their loss to rival Florida State last weekend, the U promptly ousted athletic director Blake James with alums meeting to discuss the program’s future later this week.
The Canes’ frustrated fan base wants its pound of flesh and with James no longer acting as his meat shield, doomed head coach Manny Diaz has scapegoat written all over him. With a middling recruiting class ranked behind Rutgers, Boston College and even Vanderbilt, according to ESPN, Miami’s relevance appears to be dwindling, unless the five-time national champs pull a rabbit out of their hat in the form of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Before he became a wrestling sensation and one of Hollywood’s highest-grossing action stars, Johnson was a backup defensive tackle at the U, winning a national title under coach Dennis Erickson in 1991. Named as one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world, the Miami icon is as beloved and ambitious as any figure in entertainment with some suggesting the 49-year-old could even run for president if he wanted to.
It took all of 24 hours for Johnson to emerge as a candidate for Miami’s vacant athletic director position, with one devoted fan, Gavin Goldstein, going the extra mile by crafting a petition on Change.org. Goldstein’s movement has already gained traction online, eliciting praise from local radio host Brendan Tobin and podcast giant Dan Le Batard of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz.