NCAA Suspends Jim Boeheim Nine Games, Revokes Scholarships

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The NCAA has handed down its punishment against Syracuse University for a series of self-reported violations that took place over the last decade. In the NCAA's terms, the school is being punished for failing to "control and monitor" its athletics programs, and men's head basketball coach Jim Boeheim specifically is being punished for failing to monitor his program.

Here's the full list of sanctions, from the NCAA:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Based on the NCAA's report, 'Cuse was up to the usual shenanigans. There's mention of members of the basketball staff completing coursework for a player who was trying to regain eligibility, tutors who wrote assignments on the behalf of players, and a booster handing out cash to players and coaches. Syracuse also failed to properly enforce a drug-testing policy. From the NCAA:

From 2001 to early 2009, the school did not follow its own written policies and procedures for students who tested positive for banned substances. NCAA rules require that if schools have a drug testing policy in place, it must include substances on the banned list and the school must follow its policy. Syracuse had a written policy; however, the head basketball coach and athletics director admitted they did not follow the policy. The athletics director said the department followed an "unwritten policy" because the written policy was confusing. As a result, basketball students who tested positive on more than one occasion were not withheld from practice and games, as the written policy directed.


The silver lining for Syracuse is that the NCAA did not hand down any additional postseason bans. Earlier this year, the university announced a self-imposed postseason ban on the men's basketball team, which wasn't on track to make the NCAA tournament anyway.