Two days after the NCAA announced the sanctions it handed down to the Syracuse basketball program, which includes the loss of 12 scholarships over a four-year period beginning with the 2016-17 season and the vacating of a number of games in which ineligible players participated, head coach Jim Boeheim discussed what lies ahead for his program.
Boeheim made his remarks at the 44th annual Hardwood Club dinner, which was attended by some 700 fans. According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Boeheim remarked that he’s “not going anywhere” in regards to his future as head coach of the program.
“I think there’s a hell of a battle ahead of us,” an emotional Boeheim said according to the Post-Standard. “I came here…in 1962. I’m not going anywhere.”
This statement was met with a standing ovation from those in attendance, and it came one day after Boeheim did not speak to the media following the team’s loss at NC State. In a statement, Boeheim stated that assistant Mike Hopkins would meet the media because he wanted “the focus is on our players, and all they have done to make our University proud.”
Sunday evening Boeheim also praised his players, who continued to compete in spite of the postseason ban that was self-imposed by the school. Syracuse will not have to sit out next postseason, and the preemptive move is a big reason why.
“I don’t think these players could’ve done much more given the set of circumstances that they dealt with this year on the basketball court,” he said. “It showed an awful lot of heart and determination and grit, and I think they should be saluted.”
While it was reported Friday that Boeheim will appeal the sanctions levied against him, which includes a nine-game suspension to be served when ACC play begins next season, the Post-Standard reported that Boeheim has yet to confirm that he will do so. In a statement released Friday afternoon, Syracuse chancellor Kent Syverud stated that the school will support Boeheim should he decide to file an appeal.
Syracuse self-imposed a postseason ban in February, meaning that their season came to an end Saturday. Center Rakeem Christmas, who on Sunday was named first team all-ACC as well as the league’s most improved player and a member of its all-defensive team, was the lone senior on this year’s team.