Update: No surprise, Jim Boeheim immediately shut down questions about the NCAA investigation at media day.
"This is the last time we're going to talk about this." - Boeheim, when asked about possible NCAA violations pic.twitter.com/1rzw4IVwCF— Matt Schneidman (@matt_schneidman) October 17, 2014
Original: Jim Boeheim let it slip in his upcoming book Bleeding Orange that the Syracuse Orange basketball program was under investigation for potential NCAA violations related to academic issues involving Fab Melo. Now Syracuse.com is reporting that school officials have been invited to an NCAA hearing later this month regarding that and other potential violations.
Syracuse.com describes the investigation as a "multi-year inquiry."
The hearing in front of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions signifies the lengthy investigation into Syracuse is complete. It will serve as one of the final steps before determining whether the school has committed NCAA violations and if it will be punished.
Emily James, a spokesperson for the NCAA, said she can't comment on specific or possible cases, but when investigations necessitate hearings, they involve at least one Level I or Level II violation.
That's not good. Level I would be a "severe breach of conduct" violation, the worst kind.
Violations that seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws, including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit.
Level II would be a "significant breach of conduct," which isn't all that much better...
Violations that provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage; includes more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit; or involves conduct that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws.
According to Syracuse.com, Jim Boeheim walked away from a reporter when asked if he was attending the hearing and DOC Gross refused to answer. They also point out that the hearing may not be solely related to SU basketball and could be further-reaching.
Academics have long been a sore spot for Syracuse Basketball. Fab Melo and James Southerland both missed games in recent years due to academic issues. Meanwhile, there's also the sexual assault allegations against multiple players in 2007, self-acknowledged violations of the school drug policy, various minor infractions and of course everything surrounding the Bernie Fine affair.
We do know that this investigation began in March 2013, as reported by CBS Sports at the time.
Gird those loins, Syracuse fans. This one might get a little ugly, especially considering you're dealing with the NCAA. There's no way to know how severe their penalties will be because they make them up as they go.