This episode follows the rise to prominence of the University Of Miami after years of indifferent results. New coach Howard Schnellenberger revitalized the program by introducing fresh blood and fresh attitude into the team.

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Corben ...
Himself - Director
John Green ...
Himself - Vice President, UM (archive footage) (as Dr. John Green)
Luther Campbell ...
Himself - Hip Hop Artist, 2 Live Crew
Tolbert Bain ...
Himself - Defensive Back, 1983-1987
Bennie Blades ...
Himself - Defensive Back, 1984-1987
Howard Schnellenberger ...
Himself - Heach Coach, 1979-1983
Sam Jankovich ...
Himself - Athletic Director, 1983-1990
Bernie Kosar ...
Himself - Quarterback, 1982-1984
Art Kehoe ...
Himself - Defensive Line Coach, 1981-2005
Don Bailey Jr. ...
Himself - Center, 1979-1982
Willis McGahee ...
Himself - Running Back, 2000-2002
Duane Starks ...
Himself - Defensive Back, 1995-1997
Santana Moss ...
Himself - Wide Receiver, 1997-2000
Brett Perriman ...
Himself - Wide Receiver, 1984-1987
Jerry Rushin ...
Himself - GM, 99 Jamz & Hot 105


Throughout the 1980s, Miami, Florida, was at the center of a racial and cultural shift taking place throughout the country. Overwhelmed by riots and tensions, Miami was a city in flux, and the University of Miami football team served as a microcosm for this evolution. The image of the predominantly white university was forever changed when coach Howard Schnellenberger scoured some of the toughest ghettos in Florida to recruit mostly black players for his team. With a newly branded swagger, inspired and fueled by the quickly growing local Miami hip hop culture, these Hurricanes took on larger-than-life personalities and won four national titles between 1983 and 1991. Written by ESPN

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Release Date:

12 December 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Randall Hill: It wasn't my fault that they built that stadium where there was a tunnel in the endzone that I scored in. It wasn't my fault that the doors were open in that tunnel. It wasn't my fault that it was not illegal for me to run through that tunnel. Don't blame me. You can blame the architects of that stadium. You can blame the University of Texas for taunting us. You can blame Robert Bailey for setting up the whole thing by knocking the first person out. You can blame Craig Erickson for throwing me ...
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References Animal House (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

Another Winning Documentary for ESPN
17 December 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

30 for 30: The U (2009)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Extremely entertaining documentary taking a look at the Miami Hurricanes and their powerful run throughout the 1980s and early 90s. The school started off as nothing in a town full of racial violence but soon Howard Schnellenberger decided to go into the ghettos of the city and bring those men to the school. This here would continue with Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson coaching but soon the media and other schools started having second thoughts about what was really going on at the school. This is a rather extraordinary documentary that manages to do quite a few things. It does a lot but the one thing it forgets to do is to look at the program on a level playing field. Instead, Corben, a Miami native, has the players and coaches telling all of their stories about how great the program was and we never get to hear from other schools, players or coaches. To me this paints a rather unfair portrait where many of the controversial moments are either looked at and praised or glossed over all together. Towards the end of the film there's someone bragging about Miami players going out and robbing stereos!!! With that said, if you want a history lesson on what was going on during this period then you're going to have a hard time topping this. The film does a very good job at showing the "hurricane" coming through and destroying everything in its way. I thought the film did a wonderful job at explaining why Miami took off the way it did and how it eventually all came to an end. I'm sure a group of people could watch this film and debate on whether this school was good or bad for football but in my opinion it's great when a documentary can make you debate what it shows you. Again, for a history lesson this is great but I would have given it more credit had the other side been shown as well.

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