Just as many college basketball fans began to forget about the NCAA’s investigation of the Syracuse Orange, the governing body of college basketball laid down one of its harshest penalties in recent memory, suspending Orange head coach Jim Boeheim for nine ACC games and vacating 108 wins that spanned during the multi-year investigation. On top of this, the program will lose 12 scholarships for their lack of organization control during that same period.
“Over the course of a decade, Syracuse University did not control and monitor its athletics programs,” the NCAA said in a statement, “and its head men’s basketball coach failed to monitor his program.”
Furthermore, Syracuse has been put on five years probation for playing with ineligible students during the 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. The violations had been self-reported since the 2001 campaign and allowed for NCAA to be completed in a timely manner. Syracuse’s violations include academic misconduct, extra benefits, failure to follow the drug-testing policy, and impermissible booster activity.
As you may remember, the University had already suspended the program from post-season play, but the more severe sanctions have now come to light. Despite previously being just 34 wins away from the reaching the 1,000 win plateau, coach Boeheim dropped to sixth on the all-time wins list after vacating the 108 wins. The violations, however, may have a more significant impact on the legacy of coach Boeheim much deeper than any win total might state.
This set of punishments proves to the landscape of college sports that no one program is invincible and that you must follow the strict rules laid down by the NCAA, or you will face the consequences. In turn, Syracuse will face a tough road ahead if they hope to return to the success of the 2003 National Championship team.
*Section Photo credit to Rich Barnes, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Mark Konezny, USA Today Sports