Now that we've had some time to process the information in the Yahoo! Sports report and find out what else is going on, it turns out this isn't the massive program-destroyer that it was posited as.
The report hit and we heard things like "lack of institutional control" and comparisons to the Baylor Scandal, which by the way, involved a murder.
Then DOCTOR Gross came out and said the school has already self-reported these violations to the NCAA ("We self-report constantly").
Not only that, but the Daily Orange notes that the NCAA released a statement, saying "Syracuse University appropriately self-reported possible violations to the NCAA several months ago and we currently have an ongoing investigation."
And Gross told the Post-Standard that SU's self-report to the NCAA was "years ago."
You can add the fact that no current player is a part of this investigation and breathe easy on that.
Jake Crouthamel told the D.O. that he knew of several failed drug tests during his time as athletic director, but in those cases the players did not practice or play after failing (He was unaware of the Yahoo! report).
As for this drug policy that Syracuse has and must enforce, this is a whole can of worms. You're not required to have one by the NCAA, but if you do, then you have to enforce it. Brett McMurphy shared this list of school policies and they vary greatly depending on the school.
All of this boils down to...Syracuse should have followed it's own policies, it didn't, it will get its hand slapped (hopefully) and then new, stricter policies will be put into place by either the school or the NCAA moving forward.
Here's my video report on the, uh, report.
Now, this isn't to say that SU is out of danger here. The school may have been playing ineligible players after they should have been suspended. And if that's the case, in theory, games could be forfeited. And remember, this era includes the 2003 National Title season. So...it's dicey.
What's more interesting to me is the timing of all this. Now I don't want to get all conspiracy theory but while the timing of the report is interesting (day before Big East Tournament), it's when the investigation began that I'm most curious about. Robinson and Forde say this was a three-month report, which means they likely started it in December. Late December was just as the Bernie Fine Saga was starting to die down.
So the question becomes, is there a relationship between this story and the Bernie Fine story? Is this a payback shot from someone wronged? Is this a leverage attempt by someone with a financial interest? Or is this just the result of reporters digging around based on the initial story and finding out a brand new angle?
And a note on Pat Forde. I said in my initial post that I don't like the idea of him being involved with this. I think it speaks to a bigger issue, which is that Forde spends most of his time as a columnist, trading in opinion. He made his opinion of Jim Boeheim crystal clear in November. So for him to then engage in an investigative report on Boeheim and the man's program, it's impossible (for me) to separate the two entities and know for sure that Forde's intentions are pure. Either you're a journalist or you're a columnist (with rare exception). Maybe I'm just not trusting of many in the media anymore, but, it is what it is.
And so the weirdest season in the history of Syracuse basketball rolls on...