On Wednesday, The Syracuse University Athletics Department imposed a postseason ban on men’s basketball as a result of a prolonged NCAA investigation.
According to the University’s website: the ban is part of its pending case before the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
The Orange currently own a 15-7 overall record (6-3 in the ACC) and the news comes before Saturday’s game against conference rival Pittsburgh.
Here is what you need to know about the ban:
1. The University Says That the Issues Occurred Years Ago
The school maintains that none of the alleged infractions the committee is investigating occurred after 2012:
Much of the conduct involved in the case occurred long ago and none occurred after 2012. No current student-athlete is involved.”
The University initiated the investigation when it self-reported potential violations to the NCAA in 2007.
Head coach Jim Boeheim was disappointed about the decision, but optimistic about what can be learned from it:
I am very disappointed that our basketball team will miss the opportunity to play in the postseason this year,” SU basketball coach Jim Boeheim said in the release. However, I supported this decision and I believe the University is doing the right thing by acknowledging that past mistakes occurred.
Boehim goes on to speak about how this affects this year’s team:
Our players have faced adversity and challenges before. I know they will rise to this challenge by keeping our program strong and continuing to make our University proud.
2. The Ban Includes the ACC Tournament, NIT and NCAA Tournaments
The 2014-15 Syracuse team is currently sitting in 5th in the overall ACC standings. That may be an aberration considering Duke is 5-3 in conference and is expected to finish ahead of Cuse in the end.
Although Cuse has been one of the nation’s the most successful program since 2009, the team was expected to finish as a middle-of-the-pack team in the conference this season, and, perhaps, as a bubble team once the NCAA Tournament selections are announced.
3. As of Right Now, the Ban is Just for 2014-15
By taking immediate action and enforcing the postseason ban this year, Syracuse likely helped preserve NCAA Tournament appearances for future teams. This year’s team hasn’t had the success thus far that teams in the last 15 years have had, so the ban should prove beneficial later on.
The last time the team missed the postseason entirely was the 1992-93 season. That team also sanctioned by the NCAA. The difference between this incident and the incident 22 years ago is that team was allowed to play in the Big East (when the conference still existed) Tournament that year.
Syracuse Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross said:
This has been a long process and while this is a tough decision it is in the best interest of the Athletics Department and the University. My greatest disappointment is for the players who will be affected by this outcome even though they were not involved.
Gross is directly referring to the team’s lone senior Rakeem Christmas, who will not be able to close out his career with a postseason appearance.
4. Other Self-imposed Penalties Will Be Announced When the NCAA Issues its Final Report.
Until that time when the final penalties come down, the University plans to maintain its cooperation in the ongoing eight-year investigation. School Chancellor Kent Syverud said:
Syracuse’s history demonstrates a strong commitment to integrity, responsibility and fairness—values I have personally observed in practice many times since becoming Chancellor last year.
The University has taken this matter seriously and worked with the NCAA for nearly eight years to investigate and address potential rules violations. The process has been exhaustive. We have taken responsibility for past violations and worked hard to ensure they are not repeated. I am disappointed for our current men’s basketball players who must shoulder this post-season ban.
I also recognize that not participating in post-season play will be disappointing for many in the University community and to all Orange supporters. However, we look forward to moving past this matter and I am confident the men’s basketball program will be strong and successful both on the court and in the classroom in the years ahead.
5. There Is Controversy Surrounding the Decision
The ban situates the University well off into the future, but most analysts know that this year’s team may have been less-equipped for a postseason run than previous years’ teams have been. Because of the timely decision of the announcement, analysts believe that the University is going to get off much easier than Universities have gotten off with in the past.
Here are a few tweets: