Steve Fisher, Jim Boeheim

That SDSU-Syracuse game on an aircraft carrier? It might not happen

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I really hope you haven’t spent money on tickets for or a flight to that season-opening game between Syracuse and San Diego State on the USS Midway out in San Diego.

Because it looks like the game won’t be happening.

According to a report from Mark Ziegler, the fan fest on the pier, the concert for charity and the gala dinner scheduled to take place along with the game have all been cancelled, and he has a handful of sources saying that the game is going to be getting the axe next.

The first domino to fall was the president of the San Diego Sports Commission, the group hosting the event, left the organization. As a result, sponsorship money has been, well, nonexistent.

Ziegler explains:

That left a lone basketball game scheduled in a temporary outdoor stadium that holds about 4,000. There is a television deal with Fox Sports San Diego to produce and distribute the game nationally, but promoters have yet to announce any national sponsors – the lifeblood of any one-off event with a modest seating capacity. Tickets for the game are upwards of $1,000; the game is not sold out, although tickets have not yet been offered to the general public.

With the promoter and sports commission unable to generate sponsorships, the sources said, Fox Sports San Diego, SDSU and Syracuse have been frantically trying to arrange enough financial backing to salvage a game that is a mere five weeks away.

Representatives from promotions company Syndicus Entertainment did not return messages. SDSU officials declined comment.

“I am just starting to hear dribbles (of information),” said Mac McLaughlin, president and CEO of the Midway Museum. “I know they have had sponsorship challenges. That’s all I know. We’re the Midway. We’re just here to service San Diego State and the game. If there’s a game and we’re playing it on the Midway, we’re here for them.”

My theory?

Jim Boeheim torpedoed the game.

Because he really, really hates leaving New York before Big East play kicks off.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
Associated Press
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Wednesday the NCAA made its ruling on two appeals of sanctions made by Syracuse University, with the news being mixed for the men’s basketball program.

On the positive side the NCAA ruled that Syracuse will be docked two scholarships per season for the next four years, as opposed to the original ruling of three. As a result Jim Boeheim’s program only has to account for the loss of eight total scholarships, meaning that they’ll have 11 to fill in each of the next four seasons as opposed to ten.

One scholarship may not seem like a big deal, but in a sport where you only get 13 (when not dealing with sanctions) getting that grant-in-aid back really helps from a recruiting standpoint.

As for the negatives, they both concern Boeheim. Not only has there yet to be a ruling on Boeheim’s appeal of his nine-game suspension that goes into effect when ACC play begins in January (that appeal is being heard separately), but the appeal to reinstate the wins that were vacated as part of the sanctions was denied. As a result Boeheim officially has 868 wins instead of 969 (not counting today’s game against Charlotte).

And with Mike Hopkins set to take over as head coach in 2018, the denial means that college basketball will have to wait quite some time before anyone threatens to join Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000 wins club.

While not having the wins officially reinstated does hurt, getting a scholarship back for each of the next four seasons is a bigger deal when it comes to the long-term health of the Syracuse program. Also of great importance will be the ruling regarding Boeheim’s suspension, as a suspended coach is not allowed to have any contact with his players or coaching staff while serving the penalty.

And with the original ruling due to take up half of Syracuse’s league slate, not having Boeheim (or the chance to speak with him) is a big deal when it comes to this current team.

St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe cleared by NCAA

Chris Mullin
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
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St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season and will be eligible immediately, the school announced on Wednesday.

Yakwe is a 6-foot-8 forward that reclassified and enrolled at St. John’s this fall. He attended the same high school as Kansas forward Cheick Diallo, who was also cleared by the NCAA to play today.

St. John’s played in the Maui Invitational this week, and Yakwe did not take part. His first game with the Johnnies will be on Dec. 2nd against Fordham if the program plans to play his this season.

The question that must be asked, however, is whether or not he will suit up or simply redshirt. The Johnnies are in the midst of a serious rebuild and will be without their other elite recruit this season, Marcus Lovett. Lovett was ruled a partial qualifier. Would it make sense to burn a year of eligibility on what make amount to a wasted season, or will head coach Chris Mullin opt to save that year for down the road?