Syracuse investigation will ramp up Boeheim retirement speculation

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At this point, it shouldn’t surprise you that Syracuse had a bombshell drop the day before they were to begin NCAA tournament play.

That’s just how it works in Upstate New York. I was just shocked that Fab Melo wasn’t ruled ineligible again.

This time, however, things look like they might be a bit more seriously, as CBSSports.com and Syracuse.com are both reporting that the NCAA is starting to dig around the hoops and the football program. Syracuse.com went a bit more in-depth with their report, so here’s some of the relevant information:

An NCAA investigator was in Central New York in August questioning at least one former SU associate dean about the university’s handling of a 2007 sexual assault complaint against three basketball players.

The investigator, Meg Babcock Locker, spent two hours interviewing former associate dean David Potter at his home in Manlius, he said last week. Potter recommended Locker also interview SU professor and former dean Cathryn Newton.

Locker, contacted by The Post-Standard last week, refused to comment.

Locker’s questions focused on how SU handled the October 2007 complaint from a freshman who said she was sexually assaulted at an off-campus party by basketball players Jonny Flynn, Scoop Jardine and Rick Jackson in their freshman year, Potter said.

It seems like there is still plenty of legwork left to do in this case, but that’s not what’s interesting to me.

Last week, we wrote about how the speculation around Jim Boeheim’s retirement after the season wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. This certainly won’t change that.

He’s 68 years old. He’s hand-picked his successor, Mike Hopkins, and that successor is interviewing for other head coaching jobs. The Orange are leaving the conference that he helped build. And now there is an NCAA investigation into his program.

The storyline and the narrative was perfect for Boeheim to leave prior to this investigation making headlines.

It’s not like this is going to make his final years in Syracuse easier.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.