Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
The prep school that James Southerland attended before coming to Syracuse is currently under investigation by the NCAA for academic fraud. Is there a correlation between this and Southie's suspension?
Ed. Note: I wrote all of this without checking to see when the Yahoo! report was from. It was from September 2012 and not this week. So...it's that much more likely the two are unrelated. But still...
Before he was Syracuse Orange sixth-man James Southerland, he was Notre Dame Prep star James Southerland. The forward was coached there by Ryan Hurd as he became one of many players on the roster to accept a scholarship to a major college basketball program.
Now, the NCAA is investigating Hurd and Notre Dame Prep in the wake of two recruits being declared academically-ineligible, per Yahoo! Sports.
Parents of former players from the Fitchburg, Mass., prep school told Yahoo! Sports they have been contacted by NCAA investigators and asked about topics including academic and eligibility issues, financial irregularities and recruiting practices at the longtime basketball powerhouse. The NCAA has already ruled Maryland recruit Sam Cassell Jr. and Xavier's Myles Davis academically ineligible to play.
According to claims by parents and former players, students paid tuition directly to Hurd and not the school and that academics were a joke.
"It was a joke," Charles Swain said. "Players didn't take it seriously. They knew they would receive A's whether they attended or they didn't. [Players] wouldn't do well in most classes but they would just get passed along. They'd get A's because that's what they were there to get. A lot of time they would skip class. A lot of times they would come in there, sleep, get on their computers."
It's still early in the process as more former players talk to the NCAA about what's going on at ND Prep but I think it's worth considering that there's a link here. Is the NCAA concerned about Southerland's academics from ND Prep? Seems strange considering he's a senior. Is it just a coincidence then?
Right now we can only draw conclusions without any fact, so, we'll leave it at that. But it's worth noting especially since Paul Harris also went to ND Prep before coming to SU. Some of the accusations involve coaches and schools acting inappropriately, so, enjoy that as Today's Gut-Churning Syracuse News Of The Day.