Drug policy violations — 2011-12 Syracuse year in Review

Each Monday during the summer, The Juice Online will be looking back to some of the biggest storylines in the 2011-12 Syracuse sports year. This week, we take a look back at a Yahoo! Sports report that said Syracuse basketball players had violated an internal drug policy.

With Syracuse already trying to recover from a sexual abuse scandal involving long time assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, the program took another hit on March 5 when Charles Robinson and Pat Ford of Yahoo! Sports reported that as many as 10 SU players over last 12 years violated the program’s internal drug policy.

The report, citing four sources with “intimate knowledge” of the basketball program told Ford and Robinson that all 10 of those players were allowed to practice and play when they should have been suspended by the athletic department.

» More Year in Review: Syracuse lax struggles

The report went on to state that Syracuse violated its drug policy in two areas. One for “failing to properly count positive tests” and two for “playing ineligible players after they should have been subject to suspension.”

“We self-reported issues with drug testing to the NCAA, and there is currently an ongoing inquiry,” Kevin Quinn, a spokesman for Syracuse, said in a statement. “The inquiry does not involve any current S.U. student-athletes. To ensure the integrity of the ongoing process, we are unable to comment further at this time.”

“This doesn’t bother our players or our team or me,” Syracuse coach Boeheim said regarding the NCAA inquiry on March 8. “None of this. This is a media thing, period. If things were bothering us we wouldn’t be 31 and 1.”

Nothing has been said about the report since, and it will be interesting to see what, if any, ramifications it has for the program.

» More SU basketball: Countdown the top 15 players of all time

WHAT WE SAID

It’s too early to make heads or tails of the Yahoo! report. We’re not sure if this will trigger an NCAA investigation. We’re not sure if this will lead to any sanctions. We’re not sure which players were alleged to have violated team policy. But here’s what we can be sure about: This won’t affect Syracuse’s performance on the court. Not even slightly. I’m not basing this on conjecture or speculation. We have all the evidence we need in front of us. — Wesley Cheng

WHAT THEY SAID

Ten years is a long time for an institutional coverup to go on and the athletic director and coach are ultimately responsible for everything under their watch. But all too often coaches care only about winning and ADs and presidents are nothing more than fund-raisers who realize the success of their football or men’s basektball team is the best way to insure development dollars. This latest story does not make Boeheim appear to be a conscientious steward of the program. — Dick Weiss, New York Daily News

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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