How do you know the Syracuse Orange are about to play an NCAA Tournament game? An NCAA violation report rears its ugly head.
Syracuse University basketball has been under NCAA investigation for a period of "years," a source with knowledge of the case told CBSSports.com.
That source said the school has received a letter of preliminary inquiry from the NCAA.
The specific nature of the alleged violations was not disclosed by the source but the transgressions were described as both major and wide-ranging in nature. The investigation also encompasses football but is believed to primarily involve basketball. Syracuse has been penalized only once by the NCAA in a major case according to the association's legislative database. That was in 1992 in a case that focused on extra benefits in the basketball program.
According to Dodd's anonymous source, "Throw a dart at the [NCAA] Manual [and you would hit a violation by Syracuse]."
SU being under NCAA investigation isn't news in and of itself. We've known that since the James Southerland suspension. What does make it newsy is the whole "major and wide-ranging in nature" part.
One other thing to keep in mind at the speculation stage...Stan Kissel, SU director of basketball operations, the guy in charge of player academics, unexpectedly resigned in December. Ahem.
Down the rabbit hole we go. Again. Again.
Seriously, it wouldn't be a Syracuse basketball season if there wasn't program-shaking drama at least once every three months...
Update: I've had a few minutes to think about the story now and I've got a couple thoughts...
1. There's actually not that much in here that we didn't already know. Yeah, there's some speculation that sounds bad and an anonymous quote that's foreboding, but...nothing specific.
2. The whole "day before the NCAA Tournament" thing is officially fascinating. If Syracuse doesn't make the NCAA Tournament, is this story even ever written? And if the answer is no, doesn't that mean it shouldn't have been written in the first place?
3. For those asking, "Why didn't the Post-Standard break this?," refer to No. 2.
4. Boeheim is not going to be a happy camper this evening. Or tomorrow. Oh God, the post-game presser tomorrow...
5. Good news? Looks like James Southerland will live to actually play in the NCAA Tourney. You know you were all waiting for that to be the bad news... (H/T: MegV44)
Update 2: John O'Brien at the Post-Standard elaborates on some details that might come into play, including the way the 2007 sexual assault case involving Jonny Flynn, Scoop Jardine and Rick Jackson was handled and how that might be a part of the discussion.
The NCAA’s interest in the sexual assault case dates back to 2007 or 2008, when SU philosophy professor Sam Gorovitz called the association’s then-president, Myles Brand, and spoke to him directly. Gorovitz knew Brand from days when they were on a committee with the American Philosophical Association.
Ridpath, the former compliance officer, said the NCAA puts a four-year statute of limitations on most infractions. But there’s no expiration date for investigating more serious cases of "gross, willful and wanton disregard for the rules," he said.
NOW you should be worried.