Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Syracuse Hit Hard By NCAA Penalties: Boeheim Suspended 9 Games, 12 Scholarships Lost Over 4 Years
The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions found that Syracuse did not control and monitor its athletics programs and that basketball coach Jim Boeheim “failed to monitor his program.”
The school last month self-imposed a postseason ban for this season and won’t face future postseason bans, but it was hit very hard in other areas.
Penalties in this case, not including those self-imposed by the school, include five years of probation; financial penalties; reduction of three men’s basketball scholarships per year for four years; vacation of wins in which ineligible students participated; a nine conference game suspension for Boeheim; and men’s basketball recruiting restrictions for two years.
Boeheim plans to appeal the ruling, ESPN reported, and his full statement is below.
“During the 10-year period of violations, the head basketball coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance within his program and did not monitor the activities of those who reported to him as they related to academics and booster involvement,” the NCAA said in this release.
Penalties and measures prescribed by the panel are below:
**Five years of probation from March 6, 2015 through March 5, 2020.
**Vacation of all wins in which ineligible men’s basketball students played in 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2010-11 and 2011-12 and ineligible football students played in 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07. The public decision contains additional details. (As the Syracuse Post-Standard reported, Boeheim will lose 108 wins, dropping him from second to sixth on the all-time list.)
**Fine of $500 per contest played by ineligible students.
**The school must return to the NCAA all funds it has received to date through the former Big East Conference revenue sharing for its appearances in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Suspension of the head basketball coach from the first nine conference games of 2015-16.
**Reduction of men’s basketball scholarships by three for the 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years. If the school has already executed scholarship offers for the 2015-16 year, the school may begin the four-year penalty with the 2016-17 year.
**Reduction in the number of permissible off-campus recruiters from four to two during June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2017.
**The panel also accepted the school’s self-imposed postseason ban for the 2014-15 season, but noted that self-imposition of penalties after the conclusion of infractions hearings does not influence the outcome.
**Jim Boeheim’s statement:
Initially, I would like to express relief that the NCAA’s unparalleled 8-year investigation of the University and the Men’s Basketball Program is finally over. As I expressed at the Committee on Infractions Hearing, I acknowledge that violations occurred within the Men’s Basketball Program, and as the Head Coach of the Program, I take those violations very seriously.
That being said, I am disappointed with many of the findings and conclusions as stated in the Infractions Report. The Committee chose to ignore the efforts which I have undertaken over the past 37 years to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the Men’s Basketball Program. Instead they chose to focus on the rogue and secretive actions of a former employee of the local YMCA and my former Director of Basketball Operations in order to impose an unprecedented series of penalties upon the University and the Men’s Basketball Program.
Much is made in the Infractions Report regarding the actions of a former employee of the local YMCA. As I explained to the Committee, this individual was not someone who was allowed unique access to the Men’s Basketball Program. This was a highly regarded individual who worked for the one most respected organizations in the country. I cannot think of a place where I would rather have my student-athletes spend their free time than a community YMCA. My coaches and I knew and trusted this man, and he was thoroughly vetted by the Office of Athletic Compliance before he was permitted to interact with our student-athletes. If the Committee is correct that this individual abused the trust that had been placed in him by the YMCA, the University, and me, then I am deeply disappointed.
Much is also made in the Infractions Report regarding alleged academic violations that occurred within the Men’s Basketball Program. As the Head Coach of the Program, I demand academic excellence from my student-athletes. However, under NCAA rules, I am not permitted to intervene in academic matters nor am I permitted to review academic work performed by student-athletes.
In short, I am disappointed with the Infractions Report. At this time, however, I will have no further comment on this matter as I consider my options moving forward.
**Syracuse Chancellor Kent Syverud issued the following statement including this portion:
We believe the NCAA’s investigation of Syracuse University has taken longer than any other investigation in NCAA history. The entire process has taken close to eight years and involved a review of conduct dating back to 2001. By comparison, the investigation into the fixing of the 1919 World Series took two months and the 2007 investigation of steroid use in baseball took 21 months.
The University and the NCAA devoted massive resources to this process. Hundreds of thousands of documents were reviewed, hundreds of interviews were conducted, and thousands of hours of human capital were expended.
Syracuse University cooperated throughout the investigation, and its length is a product of decisions we made separately and together. Nevertheless, when I became Chancellor in 2014, I concluded that the process had gone on long enough, and it needed to reach a prompt conclusion. We have worked hard with the NCAA during the last year to complete this matter, and we have done so.
Syracuse University did not and does not agree with all the conclusions reached by the NCAA, including some of the findings and penalties included in today’s report. However, we take the report and the issues it identifies very seriously, particularly those that involve academic integrity and the overall well-being of student-athletes. Syracuse University regrets, and does not dispute, that the following significant violations cited by the NCAA occurred:
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.