Syracuse basketball has received one scholarship back per year from NCAA appeal

The NCAA has made a ruling on Syracuse basketball's appeal against sanctions imposed nearly nine months ago. Details inside.

The NCAA has made a ruling on Syracuse basketball's appeal into sanctions made against the program for various violations including academic misconduct. The original punishments included vacation of wins, five years of probation, suspsension of Jim Boeheim for the first nine ACC games this season, reduction in number of off-campus recruiters from four to two through May 31, 2017 and a loss of three scholarships per year over four years. 

The wins will remain vacated, according to a release by the NCAA, but Syracuse will receive one scholarship back per year. That means only two scholarships will be lost each year, leaving them with 11 available per season. That also means there is now a spot for 2016 four star center Taurean Thompson should he want to commit.

Syracuse also received a $1.23 million reduction in the financial penalty. 

Jim Boeheim's appeal of his nine game ACC suspension is still pending, according to the NCAA.

From the NCAA release:

After its review, the Infractions Appeals Committee found the vacation of men’s basketball and football records was not an abuse of discretion by the Committee on Infractions. However, the Infractions Appeals Committee determined the scholarship reductions in men’s basketball were a departure from precedent and modified the reduction.  The scholarship reduction of 12 imposed by the Committee on Infractions was reduced to eight scholarships over a four-year period – two scholarships for each academic year (2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19).

In March, the Committee on Infractions found that over the course of a decade, Syracuse did not control and monitor its athletics programs, and its head men’s basketball coach failed to monitor his program. Syracuse self-reported a number of the violations, dating back to 2001, including academic misconduct, extra benefits, the failure to follow its drug-testing policy and impermissible booster activity. The Committee on Infractions also found impermissible academic assistance and services were provided to student-athletes.

Statement from Syracuse Senior VP of Public Affairs Kevin Quinn

Today, the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee issued its decision in response to Syracuse University's appeal of the sanctions imposed on the University on March 6, 2015.  The University submitted its appeal on March 20, 2015.

The appeal decision resulted in the reduction of a significant penalty.  The Infractions Appeals Committee ruled that the University will gain back one men’s basketball scholarship per year over the next four years. This will result in a total reduction of 8 scholarships over 4 years (2 per year from 2015-16 through 2018-19), rather than 12.

In addition, even before the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee issued its decision, the University won a significant victory by achieving a $1.23 million reduction in the financial penalty previously imposed.  In formulating its appeal, the University discovered the NCAA Committee on Infractions had incorrectly penalized it by requiring the forfeiture of monies received from the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  The Committee on Infractions acknowledged the error and corrected its earlier decision by reducing the financial penalty.

The University is pleased with these two positive outcomes resulting from our appeal.  We strongly believed the original scholarship reduction penalty was too severe when compared to other infraction cases.  Also, the scholarship reduction penalty directly impacts current and future student-athletes and their academic and athletic opportunities. We remain disappointed in the decision to vacate a significant amount of men’s basketball wins, a decision that was upheld.

Although the appellate panel did not grant every one of our requests, it recognized there was merit in our appeal. We simply sought to be judged according to the same standards as other institutions, and we did our best to achieve that goal.  Regardless of today’s outcome, our top priority is to give our student-athletes the best possible education and teach them how to achieve their highest potential in the classroom and on the playing fields. We look forward to a bright future for all of our student-athletes and teams.

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