The NCAA finally got around to ruling on Jim Boeheim's appeal of the nine game suspension handed down due to violations from an eight year investigation into the basketball program. The nine game suspension stands, but will be served immediately and can include non-conference games rather than being specifically nine conference contests.
Because the NCAA waited as long as they did to make a ruling, the nine games will still include ACC games. The nine game suspension starts immediately with Syracuse's game against the Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday. That makes the punishment seem very personal, knowing how important the rivalry with Georgetown is to Boeheim. The renewal of that rivalry will now not include him because of the NCAA's negligence.
The suspension will also include Colgate, at St. John's, Cornell, Montana State, Texas Southern, at Pittsburgh, at Miami and Clemson.
He will return against North Carolina on January 9th.
The appeal was submitted by coach Boeheim on March 20th and it took over eight months for the NCAA to make a ruling. That seems obscenely long. This proves, once again, that the NCAA is a horribly run organization that uses personal vendettas to punish.
During the appeal, Boeheim is not allowed to have contact with the program in any way including practices, coaches, players, game plans, etc.
As if things could not get worse, Boeheim added some comments and details with an interview with ESPN's Dana O'Neil proving the NCAA's ridiculousness knows no bounds.
"They gave us two days' notice," Boeheim said in the ESPN interview. "If they were going to do this, why not six weeks ago? We'd been preparing to use the next few games and practices to prepare the coaching staff for what was going to happen. Now we have less than two days. It's less than ideal.
"The players are in class. I can't pull them out of class. They're going to know from the public before they hear it from me."
Boeheim admitted to ESPN that missing these games will be tough for him to deal with.
"I've missed three games in 40 years and that's when I was being treated for cancer," Boeheim said. "That's it. It will be a very difficult process. We just have to work through it. The team will be alright. The coaches are prepared."
Kevin Quinn, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, released the following statement regarding the ruling.
"Today, the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee issued its decision in response to Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim’s appeal of the sanction imposed on him on March 6, 2015. Coach Boeheim submitted his appeal on March 20, 2015.
“The Appeals Committee determined that the NCAA Committee on Infractions ‘abused its discretion’ by directing the suspension be served during conference play, because Coach Boeheim was not directly involved in the underlying violations of the case. The Appeals Committee determined the nine-game suspension may apply to non-conference games and be served immediately.
“The University is pleased the Appeals Committee recognized that the initial sanction imposed on Coach Boeheim was too harsh. Nevertheless, we supported Coach Boeheim’s argument made during his hearing that any nine game suspension would be too severe based on previous cases, and his lack of involvement in the underlying conduct, which the Appeals Committee recognized.
“As Chancellor Syverud said in March, Coach Boeheim has been a mainstay at Syracuse University for more than one-third of our 144-year history. As we now move forward as a University, we join Coach Boeheim in his continued focus on ensuring our student-athletes receive the best possible education and achieve their highest potential in the classroom and on the court."