NCAA: Syracuse's Boeheim suspended 9 games; 12 scholarships lost
Syracuse men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim was suspended nine games and his program will lose 12 scholarships over four years as part of sanctions issued Friday by the NCAA as the organization released findings from its investigation into the school.
As part of the penalties handed down, Boeheim will sit out the first nine ACC games of the 2015-16 season. In addition, Syracuse was placed on probation for five years, from March 2015 to March 2020. The men's basketball program was forced to vacate all wins in which ineligible players played from the 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. The program will not be forced to vacate its 2003 national championship.
In all, 108 wins will be vacated by the team, which drops Boeheim's career wins total from 966 to 858. Boeheim had been second on the list of all-time wins by a Division I men's basketball coach, but he now falls to sixth, behind Jim Calhoun.
In February, Syracuse announced that it has self-imposed a postseason ban on the men's basketball team. The NCAA did not issue any further postseason bans.
According to the NCAA release, the self-reported violations, which date to 2001, include extra benefits, academic misconduct, impermissible booster activity and failure to follow its drug testing policy. The NCAA also found additional violations.
During the 10-year period of violations, the head basketball coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance within his program and did not monitor the activities of those who reported to him as they related to academics and booster involvement. Although the head basketball coach cited NCAA rules meetings with compliance staff and other initiatives, he operated under assumptions and did not follow up with his staff and students to ensure compliance. Many of the violations occurred in the program and involved his students and staff. Additionally, many of the academic violations stemmed from his director of basketball operations, who the head basketball coach handpicked to address academic matters in the program.
The Syracuse football program was also forced to vacate all wins in which ineligible players played from its 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.
The university chancellor released a statement saying the university agreed with some portions of the decision but disagreed with others.
"The university is considering whether it will appeal certain portions of the decision. Coach Boeheim may choose to appeal the portions of the decision that impact him personally. Should he decide to do so, we would support him in this step."
In a conference call with reporters, Britton Banowsky, the chief hearing officer and the commissioner of Conference USA, noted that because violations occurred prior to the implementation of a harsher penalty structure in August 2013, the Committee of Infractions panel used the more lenient structure.
"Everyone needs to be noting that we’re moving into a new place relative to the severity of penalties going forward," Banowsky said.
Banowsky also responded to Syracuse's contention in the statement that Boeheim "has taken actions that justify a finding that he was responsible for the rules violations." Banowsky said that it's "not enough to say I thought they knew the rules and thought they were following the rules."