Mario Cristobal arrived in Coral Gables on December 6 and is in the middle of remaking Miami's college football program in his image. He's made some serious changes, and another came on Wednesday. Cristobal revealed he's getting rid of Miami's iconic "turnover chain."
Back in 2017, then-defensive coordinator Manny Diaz suggested rewarding players who snagged interceptions or recovered fumbles in some way. Local jeweler "AJ King of Bling" Machado created a gold Cuban rope chain with a large "U" covered with orange and green sapphires. A defensive player that took a ball away via turnover got to wear it.
When Diaz took over as head coach in 2019, he kept the tradition alive and new versions were developed. It became a popular gimmick and some other teams copied it with their own versions and over-the-top celebration. Cristobal is done with it.
On Wednesday, Cristobal said he was retiring the chain because, "It's not part of our culture."
There will be some backlash to this decision. The turnover chain seemed like some good, harmless fun for college kids to enjoy. Cristobal clearly wants to be taken seriously and doesn't think the gimmick is worth it. On top of that, he almost certainly wants to distance his new program as far as possible from the disastrous Diaz era.