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Blake James out as Miami AD

Is this an isolated movement or foreshadowing of bigger changes ahead?

Blake James is out as Miami's athletics director, the school announced Monday. Jennifer Strawley will run the department on an interim basis. 

James had run Miami's athletics department since 2013. The belief within the profession has long been that James has been eyeing a move into conference-level administration. 

Miami statement

The move comes weeks after Miami president Julio Frenk pledged to increase his involvement in Hurricanes athletics. “We are fully committed to building championship-caliber teams at The U," he said at the time.

Replacing the athletics director is often a precursor to moving on from an embattled head football coach. After rallying to three straight wins -- two of them over ranked teams -- Miami lost to Florida State on Saturday, its first los in the rivalry since 2016. 

That dropped Miami to 5-5 on the season and 19-15 under Diaz's leadership.

Though James was not Diaz's biggest cheerleader in the public -- "I can't look into the future," he told the Miami Herald when asked point-blank if Diaz's job was safe -- he was criticized for not running a full search following Mark Richt's retirement in the winter of 2018. 

Diaz was hired the same day Richt retired, called away from a Temple job he'd taken a month earlier.

At 12:30 in the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 30, Richt stepped down as Miami's head coach. By 6 p.m. that evening, "the deal was in place," Diaz said.

The Hurricanes will need to win at least one game against Virginia Tech and Duke to avoid their first sub-.500 regular season since 2007.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.