With the men’s basketball program under investigation for alleged violations of NCAA rules, Syracuse took the step of self-imposing a postseason ban for this year’s team. Not only does this mean that Jim Boeheim’s team won’t play in the NCAA tournament (should they have been selected), but they’re also unable to play in the ACC tournament or Postseason NIT.
“I am very disappointed that our basketball team will miss the opportunity to play in the post-season this year,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said in the release. “Senior Rakeem Christmas has been an outstanding member of the team for the past four years. However, I supported this decision and I believe the University is doing the right thing by acknowledging that past mistakes occurred.
“Our players have faced adversity and challenges before. I know they will rise to this challenge by keeping our program strong and continuing to make our University proud.”
The school originally self-reported violations to the NCAA back in 2007 according to the release, and in October Syracuse officials met with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in Indianapolis. Among the alleged violations Syracuse is being investigated for are impermissible benefits being given to players, and the academic issues involving former players Fab Melo and James Southerland.
This is the second postseason ban of Boeheim’s tenure at the school, with the first coming in the 1992-93 season. Yet unlike the current team that Syracuse squad was allowed to play in the Big East tournament, losing in the title game to Seton Hall.
It was also noted in the release that none of the current players are implicated in the investigation, which makes this punishment a tough one for them (especially Christmas, who’s out of eligibility after this season) to take. Whether Syracuse would have landed in the NCAA tournament or NIT, to make this decision at this point in the season is unfair to them.
But these decisions are made to placate the NCAA, and hopefully lessen the severity of the penalties handed down by the Committee on Infractions when it makes its decision.