As you know by now, Syracuse Orange basketball coach Jim Boeheim's appeal results are in, and it ends up his nine-game suspension will be upheld. Only catch, however, is that that penalty now begins immediately. As in this Saturday against the hated Georgetown Hoyas.
Obviously this is not ideal -- especially following a lengthy wait on this appeal. So the reactions from Boeheim and elsewhere have come fast and furious over the last hour-plus.
We start with Syracuse University's statement:
"The Appeals Committee determined that the NCAA Committee on Infractions ‘abused its discretion’ by directing the suspension be served during conference play, because Coach Boeheim was not directly involved in the underlying violations of the case. The Appeals Committee determined the nine-game suspension may apply to non-conference games and be served immediately.
The University is pleased the Appeals Committee recognized that the initial sanction imposed on Coach Boeheim was too harsh. Nevertheless, we supported Coach Boeheim’s argument made during his hearing that any nine game suspension would be too severe based on previous cases, and his lack of involvement in the underlying conduct, which the Appeals Committee recognized.
As Chancellor Syverud said in March, Coach Boeheim has been a mainstay at Syracuse University for more than one-third of our 144-year history. As we now move forward as a University, we join Coach Boeheim in his continued focus on ensuring our student-athletes receive the best possible education and achieve their highest potential in the classroom and on the court."
Boeheim spoke to ESPN's Dana O'Neill soon after the news hit, and shared his frustration with the short time frame.
Jim Boeheim: "They gave us two days notice. If they were going to do this, why not six weeks ago? We'd been... https://t.co/oSNssmWcsI— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) December 3, 2015
Another ESPN employee who's never at a loss for words on the NCAA also weighed in right after. Jay Bilas, who's your spirit animal and mine, went H.A.M. the second the news hit:
NCAA continues to prove it doesn't know what it's doing: https://t.co/TC77fVI611 The process is a total mess, and untrustworthy.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) December 3, 2015
Syracuse: a 10-year investigation over 2 BKB, 3 FB players overpaid for YMCA job, a drug testing issue, and ONE PAPER. Disproportionate.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) December 3, 2015
The fact that Jim Boeheim is disallowed from communicating with staff or players during the suspension is unjustifiable. Horrible policy.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) December 3, 2015
Syracuse is trying to determine whether the athletic director is allowed to communicate with Boeheim during the suspension. They don't know.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) December 3, 2015
I challenge any NCAA administrator to justify policy that a head coach cannot communicate with players or staff during a suspension.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) December 3, 2015
Bilas's strong reactions also led to a conversation with the Daily Orange's Matt Schneidman, who has been posting key quotes from Jay:
Bilas: "This is an incredible waste of time, resources and the punishment was totally disproportionate to the violations."— Matt Schneidman (@matt_schneidman) December 3, 2015
.@JayBilas: "This is really simple, straightforward stuff and it’s just yet another embarrassment for the NCAA."— Matt Schneidman (@matt_schneidman) December 3, 2015
Bilas: "The game suspension is just a shaming device so going further than that strikes me as being unjustifiable."— Matt Schneidman (@matt_schneidman) December 3, 2015
Bilas told me he's spoken with many NCAA administrators and none can provide reason for Boeheim not being allowed to communicate with team.— Matt Schneidman (@matt_schneidman) December 3, 2015
Bilas on lack of institutional control: So now a coach is going to be responsible for everything that goes on at YMCAs? That makes no sense.— Matt Schneidman (@matt_schneidman) December 3, 2015
Bilas: Atmosphere of compliance, what the hell does that mean? Like you hang up an air freshener and you’ve got an atmosphere of compliance?— Matt Schneidman (@matt_schneidman) December 3, 2015
The D.O.'s Jesse Dougherty also breaks down the NCAA's report and what exactly Boeheim was up against:
Interesting part of the NCAA report: The burden of proof was fully on Boeheim to prove he promoted compliance. pic.twitter.com/9SXw4gHbIw— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) December 3, 2015
Here's what the NCAA said it will consider when determining whether a head coach rightly promoted compliance: pic.twitter.com/nlIi2PV1qA— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) December 3, 2015
RE that last tweet/screenshot: Looks like Boeheim was up against a pretty high standard when it came to proving he promoted compliance.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) December 3, 2015
NCAA concludes in the report that Boeheim repeatedly said he follows rules/expects others to do the same, but there was no "sufficient ...— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) December 3, 2015
..."evidence." I'm guessing that would be emails? Texts? Just not entirely sure how a coach can convincingly prove that.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) December 3, 2015
The NCAA wrote in report that the suspension was moved up from ACC play b/c of "No direct involvement or acquiescence by the head coach."— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) December 3, 2015
Keep an eye out for Schneidman's article coming out of the Bilas call. But in the meantime, some other reactions, some more serious than others. We'll be posting more on the over-arching story here as additional feedback comes out.
NCAA should have made decision on Boeheim prior to start of season and made it uniform with Larry Brown punishment. First 9 games overall.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) December 3, 2015
Boeheim said players probably found out from news/public before chance to be told. The NCAA: Always putting student-athletes first.— NunesMagician.com (@NunesMagician) December 3, 2015
It really is fascinating what Boeheim will do while he's out. It's been over 40 years since he did anything but basketball this time of year— Brent Axe (@BrentAxeMedia) December 3, 2015
God I wish JB would do tv commentary for these 9 games. Would be gold.— CNY Media Critic (@CNYmediaCritic) December 3, 2015
Maybe Boeheim can do what Valentine did. Bench coach Bim Joeheim? pic.twitter.com/xjyuYb2tnn— Chuck (@OrangeChuck) December 3, 2015
... Couldn't agree more, Jim.