The James Southerland Situation: Questions & Answers

USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Orange sixth-man James Southerland's appeal hearing was held today. If my Twitterfeed is any indication, you have questions. Let's answer them.

Syracuse Orange sixth-man James Southerland's appeal hearing was held today. If my Twitterfeed is any indication, you have questions. Let's answer them.

So what did James do today?

He had an appeal hearing in front of the Academic Integrity Office hearing panel.

Who's on this panel?

An odd-numbered collection of randomly-selected professors and students. All of these candidates have been trained to deal with these kind of situations. Along with the panel is a University representative who acts like the judge but has no voting power.

Is this a trial?

Not exactly, but then again not not exactly. Southerland basically had to answer questions and plead his case regarding the evidence of what he did. The charges must be proven "by a preponderance of the evidence."

What are the charges?

Technically, no one knows. Because Syracuse is a private institution, all matters are private (unless leaked). However, word on the street is that James turned in a term paper that was written by a tutor. But that might not be entirely true, or the whole story.

So how did it go?

No idea. The proceedings and results are private and confidential.

Wait, they held a hearing today, don't they have to announce their decision?

Nope. There is no specific timeline that the panel is required to follow in delivering their answer. Sometimes they've delivered their answer in an hour and sometimes it has taken two-three days.

So Southerland might win the appeal but still miss Sunday's St. John's game because they don't announce their decision until Monday?

Sure.

If he doesn't win the appeal, what happens?

I don't know for sure but I'm guessing his basketball career at Syracuse is over.

If he did win the appeal but no one said anything, will he play Sunday?

Almost definitely.

James practiced with the team following the appeal, that's a good sign, no?

Not necessarily. He's been practicing with the team the entire time he's been suspended, so it really means nothing.

But if he lost the appeal, he wouldn't even bother practicing, right?

While I see the logic there, I think it's trying to find answers in a place that doesn't hold any.

So when will we know?

Honestly, I have no idea. I wouldn't be shocked if Southerland just shows up in uniform on Sunday and there's no announcement, followed by Boeheim saying at the press conference that it's a private school matter and not something that requires a public answer, which would be so very Boeheim.

Of course, I could also see Southie sitting out the St. John's game and then getting an answer on Monday.

Is the season doomed if he loses this appeal?

No. We've lost some games and we've got serious depth issues but the guys who are playing are pretty good, you know.

What about MCW? I hear he's next for an academic suspension.

Well, the dude tweeted a letter that proved he's on the Honor Roll and has a way better GPA than you ever had. He also briefly noted the existence of said rumor on Twitter and scoffed at it. So I'm guessing your source inside SU Athletics sucks.

I heard Syracuse is on the verge of getting placed on academic probation, losing scholarships, getting banned from the postseason and both Jim Boeheim & Mike Hopkins are about to get fired.

Where did you hear this?

On a message board.

Go take a walk. Seriously.

Why is it we (and by we I mean Syracuse fans) need to create drama and rumors every season?

Because for whatever reason we are a negative bunch that cannot possibly accept not knowing everything about every situation and when things go wrong and the team loses a couple times, we need to justify that losing and those issues by assuming the worst, which manifests itself in absurd rumors and message board chatter.

Got it. I'm gonna go listen to some Ke$ha and take my mind off things for a while.

Good idea. She promotes a lifestyle of no inhibitions and living for the moment, which is a good idea for you right now.

Wouldn't it be cool if she were called Ke$Uha?

No. Not at all.

Should I keep asking you, Brent Axe, Mike Waters and Donna Ditota for updates?

To paraphrase Brent, if we knew something, do you think we'd save it for when you ask or do you think we'd report it?

Since you're no help, should I tweet the SU basketball players for updates?

I can't think of a dumber idea.

Right up my alley!

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