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.
Syracuse held its annual Orange Madness on Friday night from the Carrier Dome.
The dunk contest was won by sophomore forward Doyin Akintobi-Adeyeye, a 6-foot-6 walk-on. Akintobi-Adeyeye won the event with a 360 slam. The clip was captured by associate head coach Mike Hopkins.
Akintobi-Adeyeye has an interesting road to the Syracuse program. He was unable to tryout for the team his freshman season because his medical insurance had expired. In his second year on campus, his insurance issue resolved, he was invited into the gym by Rakeem Christmas after he was seen lurking around the team’s practice facilities, Donna Ditota of the Post Standard wrote in a feature story last October.
Akintobi-Adeyeye appeared in only four games in his first season with the Orange.
Syracuse is counting on former McDonald’s All-American Dajuan Coleman to be healthy this season after missing most of the last two seasons to injury. We’ve heard from head coach Jim Boeheim this fall that Coleman is healthy and has been playing for the last month, but now we have eyes outside the Syracuse program who can verify that Coleman looks good.
According to a report from Donna Ditota of Syracuse.com, Coleman doesn’t seem to have any issues stemming from the knee problems.
“Dajuan Coleman looks as physically fit as I’ve ever seen him,” Ditota wrote. “His body looks lean and powerful; he seems to be moving without evidence of the knee trouble that has plagued his college career. But he is still working through rust issues from those two years of basketball inactivity. He needs more scrimmaging, more game experience to perfect his timing.”
While it remains to be seen if Coleman can stay on the floor as a healthy and productive player this season, it’s certainly a positive sign that Coleman appears to be a good shape. If the Orange have Coleman at their disposal, it answers a lot of questions about their interior play this season.