As his Louisville Cardinals readied for their Sweet 16 NCAA tournament matchup Friday against North Carolina State in Syracuse, N.Y., head coach Rick Pitino defended Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim in the wake of recent NCAA sanctions against Boeheim and his program.
“There’s not an ounce in him that would ever break the rules knowingly,” Pitino said of Boeheim, whom he formerly served as an assistant for, according to a New York Times report.
“He is a man of great integrity and sometimes, in today’s culture, anything can happen.”
Pitino also critiqued the duration of the NCAA's investigation, saying the organization should hire more people with the revenue it brings in from the NCAA tournament.
On Mar. 6, the NCAA suspended Boeheim for the first nine games of the 2015-16 ACC season and docked the school 12 scholarships in response to what it termed a failure of Boeheim to "monitor his program" and "promote an atmosphere of compliance." It also vacated more than 100 of Boeheim's wins.
Syracuse self-reported 10 violations to the NCAA that date back to 2001. The violations included both academic misconduct and impermissible benefits for players.
In a press conference on Mar. 19, Boeheim defended himself, his players and school.
"It's a myth that I somehow run things at Syracuse University," Boeheim said at the press conference. "I assure you if I did I wouldn't be the 45th highest paid coach in the country."
In Feburary, Syracuse self-imposed a postseason ban for the 2014-15 season.
- Will Green