A quick take on the NCAA’s scathing report issued regarding its investigation into infractions at Syracuse University, which dated back to 2001:
WHAT HAPPENED: The NCAA issued its report roughly four months after it held a hearing in Chicago. The 94-page report issued at 12:00 p.m. ET Friday placed the Syracuse football and basketball teams on probation for five years, and the basketball team will lose three scholarships a year for four years for a total of 12. The basketball team will also have to vacate an unheard of 108 wins lowering Boeheim from second to sixth on the career victories list, and Boeheim will be suspended for nine ACC games next season. The football team will vacate 11 victories. The NCAA seemingly accepted Syracuse basketball’s self-imposed post-season ban as it did not impose any additional tournament punishments, but did order the school to return all proceeds from three NCAA appearances, amounting to millions of dollars.
ANALYSIS: On as dark a day as one could imagine for Syracuse athletics, let’s at least start with the good news. Syracuse will avoid any further post-season bans, as the NCAA didn’t impose any tournament limitations beyond this year. The Orange will also keep its scholarships for next season, which means that SU’s class of Franklin Howard, Tyler Lydon, Moustapha Diagne and Malachi Richardson will remain intact. The bad news? The scholarship loss amounts to a third of SU’s roster over a four year period, and recruiting will be further limited by permissible off-campus recruiters. Then there is the unprecedented financial hit, a return of all NCAA proceeds from three years of tournament appearances, that’s huge money, and will lead to speculation of a change in athletic department leadership.
HERO: Well, none. While many can gripe about the harsh penalties, Syracuse put itself in this position to begin with. As the title of the NCAA report says, Syracuse did not control its athletic teams, and its “basketball coach failed to monitor” the program.
ZERO: The suspension of Boeheim will occur over the first nine ACC games of the 2015-16 season, so presumably Associate Head Coach Mike Hopkins will take over the team during that time. The taking of 108 victories ends all official discussion of Boeheim joining the minute 1000 victory club, a number he had privately fascinated about in recent years. Also, some of the violations leading to the football wins being vacated occurred during the Greg Robison era, which further tarnishes his record-losing period at SU.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will likely appeal the ruling, while the NCAA sets its sights on a different ACC target, North Carolina.