Syracuse forward James Southerland's suspension is due to an NCAA investigation into the Syracuse basketball program’s academic records, according to a report from Mike Waters in The Post-Standard.
SU announced before last Saturday's game against Villanova that Southerland, its go-to scorer off the bench, would be ineligible to play indefinitely.
Waters reported that Southerland was first temporarily suspended just before the Orange took on Providence on Jan. 9, but was cleared to play after he made "a payment to reimburse for improper benefits." This current suspension, which came two days after the game against Providence, relates to whether a tutor wrote some of one of Southerland’s term papers, Waters reported.
SU head coach Jim Boeheim cited privacy issues when declining to elaborate on the reasons for Southerland's eligibility. But he opened up somewhat in a subsequent interview while touring ESPN's studios on Monday.
"Kids are going to get in situations and over the years they have,'' Boeheim said. "We have been fortunate to be very careful. We have two academic advisers, we have several people that work with our players through all kinds of issues and I think that's why we never had that many problems over the years. But when they do strike, obviously, it is troubling.The sixth-ranked Orange will travel to take on No. 1 Louisville on Saturday. If Southerland is not reinstated, he will not be allowed to make the trip with the team.
"We will get through it and, hopefully, James will get through this.''