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Syracuse Basketball: NCAA Screws Innocent Student-Athlete Out of Scholarship

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Stop me if you've heard this one before. We all know that the NCAA punishing student athletes for program's sins is the business, but Syracuse now has a human face to this struggle.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Christian White isn't exactly someone Syracuse Orange Basketball fans will immediately recognized. Last year, the Rochester native walked on to the Cuse basketball team from Monmouth University. He played in four games, nailing a lone three pointer versus Cornell.

But this season, White may become a little bit more recognized. Mike Waters' piece over at Syracuse.com explains how White could be "the face of" the NCAA's sanctions against the Orange....

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who had extra scholarships available after underclassmen Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant left for the NBA, did award White a full scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year.

This year, however, White is not on scholarship. In March, the NCAA announced sanctions against the Syracuse basketball program. Those sanctions include the loss of three scholarships a year for four years.

Syracuse currently has 10 scholarship players on its roster. That puts the Orange three under the NCAA's limit of 13 scholarships. So even as Syracuse officials await the results of the school's appeal of the NCAA's penalties, Syracuse will start serving its punishment — whatever it may be — this season.

That means White is not on scholarship this season. Instead, he will pay approximately $40,000 in tuition plus room and board for the 2015-16 academic year.

"Obviously, on my part, not being given a scholarship is tough, but I see it as I'm at one of the best programs in the country,'' White said. "I'm getting an unbelievable education and I have to pay for my senior year of school. It is what it is. I really haven't thought about it at all.''

White is currently majoring in Computer Sciences. He plans on attending grad school following his graduation in May.

Regardless of what you think of the whole "walk-on scholarship" idea, the point is pretty clear: White came to SU for non-basketball reason. Basketball is legitimately something that comes second to him being a student. Therefore, the governing body that is supposed to protect student-athletes is indirectly punishing White for putting his non-basketball reasons first.

Take it away, Jay!