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.
Tuesday SMU head coach Larry Brown became the second coach this year to be suspended by the NCAA as a result of NCAA violations that occurred on his watch. Brown’s suspension, which will run for 30 percent of the Mustangs’ games, begins with the team’s season-opener November 13. And that’s in addition to the postseason ban handed down by the NCAA.
That differs from the punishment handed down to Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim in March, with the NCAA ruling that he has to sit out his team’s first nine ACC game as a result of NCAA rules violations.
With that being the case it was reported Wednesday by ESPN.com that Boeheim would be appealing his suspension. However, according to Donna Ditota of the Syracuse Post-Standard Boeheim will not be filing a second appeal of his suspension. That’s because the initial appeal has yet to be heard, with the expectation being that a ruling will come at some point in November.
Boeheim and the school appealed the penalties handed down by the NCAA in April.
How the NCAA rules on the appeal will be interesting, although it should be noted that Syracuse’s case differs from that of SMU. While the SMU men’s basketball investigation focused on academic fraud committed to get one player (Keith Frazier) qualified, Syracuse’s case was far more wide-reaching in scope.
But even with that being the case, both coaches will miss approximately 30 percent of their team’s games. The difference: Boeheim’s nine-game suspension falls at a more critical point in the season than Brown’s.
Karl Malone is in town for the Syracuse and LSU football game to support his son, Tigers offensive lineman K.J. Malone. But the former NBA MVP and Hall of Famer also took some time to stop by the men’s basketball practice facility to speak a bit with the Orange on Saturday.
On the Twitter feed of Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins is a brief video and photo of Malone’s visit to the Melo Center.
A cool moment for Syracuse to get some advice from one of the best and most consistent players in recent NBA history.