NCAA sanctions Syracuse; 12 lost scholarships, nine-game suspension for coach Jim Boeheim

39 Comments

Four months after Syracuse administrators met with the NCAA Committee on Infractions, the NCAA announced the penalties that it has given the school for rules violations in both football and men’s basketball. Both programs are on probation for the next five years due to the NCAA’s conclusion that the school did not control its athletics programs, and there were other penalties specific to the basketball program.

As a result of violations that date back to 2001, Syracuse men’s basketball will lose 12 scholarships over the next four years. Also, head coach Jim Boeheim was given a nine-game suspension for his “failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance” with NCAA rules. The suspension will be served during Syracuse’s first nine ACC games next season.

Boeheim will appeal the penalties that he was given by the NCAA, and the university stated Friday afternoon that it will support the Hall of Fame coach during the process.

The self-reported violations, dating back to 2001, include academic misconduct, extra benefits, the failure to follow its drug testing policy and impermissible booster activity. The other violations found included impermissible academic assistance and services, the head basketball coach’s failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance and monitor his staff, and the school’s lack of control over its athletics program.

With the program self-imposing a postseason ban for this season, no further action was taken in that regard meaning that the school’s move in this area had its desired effect. Of course that did the current team, led by senior Rakeem Christmas, no favors as none of them played a role in any of the rules violations.

Among the other penalties handed down by the NCAA are the vacating of games (200 to be exact) played by players deemed to be ineligible in the 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, and there’s a fine of $500 for each game played by an ineligible player in those particular seasons. The vacating of games will impact Jim Boeheim’s win total (he loses 108 wins), as he was closing in on 1,000 wins prior to the disciplinary measure.

In addition to the fine for playing ineligible players, Syracuse will have to return any revenue it received from the Big East for its appearances in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 NCAA tournaments. And from June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2017, only two of the four coaches (Boeheim and his three assistants) will be allowed to recruit off campus.

But the biggest issue for Syracuse is the lost scholarships. With the four-year period beginning in 2016-17 since the school has already signed four players for next season (pushing the number of scholarships to 13), the program will lose three scholarships in each of those four seasons. Who moves on remains to be seen, but this will have a significant impact on the program and its depth moving forward.