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Cavinder Twins respond to NCAA sanction on Miami basketball

Nakos updated headshotby:Pete Nakos02/25/23


Haley and Hanna Cavinder have issued a joint statement following the NCAA’s decision Friday to issue an infraction against Miami women’s basketball.

College athletics’ governing body sanctioned the Miami basketball program after two of the most prominent names in the NIL era had an impermissible meal with Miami booster John Ruiz during their transfer portal recruitment.

The twins were not sanctioned, and Ruiz was not disassociated from the program. Miami head coach Katie Meier sat out the first three games of the 2022-23 season. The NCAA said the ruling will not be a precedent for future NIL-related cases because this case was processed before the organization lowered its violation standard on Jan. 1.

The program incurred a one-year probation and a fine. This was also part of a strategy from the NCAA to settle with the program, instead of possibly going to court.

In a TikTok released Saturday morning on their joint account, the twins responded to the NCAA.

With a sound bite playing in the background, the Cavinders are seen in the locker room dancing with the caption “BFFR.”

“Dear NCAA, scared that female athletes have value?” Haley tweeted with the video. “Let’s hoop tho.. .”

The twins are represented by Everett Sports Management in their NIL ventures. When approached Friday, ESM informed On3 the Miami basketball players would not be making a comment.

Their attorney, Darren Heitner, has been open on Twitter, though. The IP attorney has become a notable figure in the NIL world, known for working with both athletes and collectives. He also assisted in crafting Florida’s initial NIL law.

“It’s funny that the NCAA’s 1st act was related to players who DID NOT choose to transfer based on #NIL while countless players across the country are changing schools PRIMARILY based on NIL offers,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning.

How did the Cavinder Twins get here?

The Cavinder Twins announced their decision in March to enter the transfer portal after playing at Fresno State. After being two of the most marketable names in the college game, the chance to move to a Power Five school and compete for an NCAA Tournament berth was a no brainer.

On April 13, Ruiz tweeted out a picture of his family, along with the Cavinder family, in front of his house. “Wishing the Cavinder Twins all the best in their quest to find their next home to play basketball,” he wrote.

In the NCAA’s news released Friday, it detailed how that meeting came to be.

“At the event, the booster and his family approached the coach to talk about the prospects’ upcoming visit to the university,” the NCAA said in its Friday morning statement. “The head coach later called the booster to learn more about him and his work, unaware that the booster had already been in touch with the prospects’ agent, until the booster informed the coach that the prospects’ agent had initially declined a meeting during their upcoming visit to campus.

“Regardless, the booster informed the head coach that he was ‘here to help’ and wanted women’s basketball to be ‘huge’ at Miami.”

Miami is 17-11 this season with a 10-7 mark in the ACC. In the latest bracketology, the Canes are projected to grab one of the last four byes. A strong finish to the season would guarantee they’re not sitting near the bubble.

Haley has started all 28 games for the Hurricanes this year. She’s currently averaging 12.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Hanna has come off the bench in each game this season for Miami, averaging 3.7 points.