NCAA investigating Syracuse men’s basketball, football programs

Syracuse men’s basketball and football is under investigation by the NCAA for allegations of providing “extra benefits and academic issues” according to an ESPN report issued Thursday night. The report adds that the investigation dates as far back as 10 years.

Syracuse has a hearing scheduled with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in Indianapolis later this month, according to a Syracuse.com report last week. That hearing will be conducted on Oct. 30-31 according to ESPN. CBS Sports reported in March, 2013 that the NCAA had initiated an inquiry into the Syracuse men’s basketball program.

Southerland

James Southerland was out with an eligibility issue in 2013

The added wrinkle from the ESPN report includes the Syracuse football team, which had a “two or three” year stretch around 2004 to 2005 involving allegations of extra benefits. The Orange was coached by Paul Pasqualoni in the 2004 season, and he was replaced by Greg Robinson in the 2005 season. The report says no allegations occurred under former coach Doug Marrone, who took over in 2009, or current coach Scott Shafer.

» Related: Can Syracuse basketball duplicate last year’s victory total despite distractions?

Robinson is currently the defensive coordinator of San Jose State, while Pasqualoni is an assistant coach with the Chicago Bears.

Still, according to the ESPN report, the focus appears to be on the basketball program, which has had its share of eligibility issues in the past few years. Jim Boeheim has been the head coach of the program since 1976.

The majority of the allegations — and the most serious — involve the men’s basketball program. Among the allegations facing the men’s basketball team are receiving extra benefits and academic issues, a source said. Those allegations go back about 10 years and are as current as the 2013 season, a source said.

“There were things going on consistently (with the men’s basketball program) for a long time,” a source said.

In 2012, center Fab Melo was declared ineligible for a three game stretch, but returned for the remainder of the regular season. He was then declared ineligible again for the entire NCAA tournament. In 2013, forward James Southerland was also suspended briefly for an academic issue, a source  familiar with the situation told The Juice Online. Southerland later returned to the team.

According to reports, when the NCAA initiates hearings, it is investigating a Level I or Level II violation.

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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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