In a scathing report released Friday, the NCAA announced a number of punishments leveled against Syracuse University, including a nine-game suspension of Syracuse men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim, following a violations investigation into the school's athletic program.
"Over the course of a decade, Syracuse University did not control and monitor its athletics programs, and its head men’s basketball coach failed to monitor his program," the NCAA wrote in a press release.
The NCAA said the university discovered and self-reported 10 violations dating back to 2001, mostly involving the men's basketball team, which it detailed in a 93-page report. The school's football team also had violations.
The NCAA said violations included academic misconduct, extra benefits, the failure to follow its drug testing policy and impermissible booster activity.
The NCAA's report focused most of all on Boeheim, who has been head coach of the program since 1976. The NCAA said Boeheim failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and monitor his staff. It added that Syracuse did not monitor the athletics program.
Responding to the decision in a statement on Friday per ESPN, Boeheim acknowledged the violations and said he is relieved that the "unparalleled 8-year investigation" has concluded.
He added that he is "disappointed" with many of the findings and conclusions in the report and called the penalties "unprecedented."
"The Committee chose to ignore the efforts which I have undertaken over the past 37 years," Boeheim said, adding that the NCAA instead "chose to focus on the rogue and secretive actions" of a YMCA employee and former director of basketball operations."
The NCAA said many of the team's violations came from its director of operations, who, the NCAA noted, was "handpicked" by Boeheim to address academic matters.
A number of academic violations were also outlined, including athletes who received credit for coursework. A number of the program's staff members even completed coursework for a student in 2012.
Issues also extend to the school's booster program. Three basketball and two football players were given $8,000 in cash from one booster for volunteering at the YMCA.
In addition to Boeheim's suspension, the NCAA also accepted the school's self-imposed post-season ban, which it announced in February. However, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions would not elaborate on whether the school's move affected the committee's decision.
"I don't want to speculate about that," Britton Banowsky, chief hearing officer, said on a call with reporters when asked whether the NCAA would've handed Syracuse a post-season ban had the school not done so itself.
"We noted it and accepted it. That's it."
The school will also face a five-year probation, financial penalties, a vacation of wins and the men's basketball team will also have recruiting restrictions for two years. The basketball program will also lose 12 scholarships for the next four years.
The exact number of wins is yet to be determined by the school and NCAA officials and will be announced no less than 45 days from the report's release on Friday.
Here is a list of the full penalties, announced by the NCAA against Syracuse:
- 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 from 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.
- Additional self-imposed penalties can be found in the public decision.
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