A day after the Syracuse Orange men's basketball team announced its self-imposed postseason ban, opposing coaches, local and national media members are weighing in. Here's what they're all saying.
"That shocks me," said Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski Wednesday after his team earned another ACC victory. "Has that been done before?... I feel bad that's happening. I love Syracuse. I love Jim. You don't want anything bad to happen to any conference member. I'll have to find out more, but that's shocking news."
Syracuse has changed the rules here. That’s completely antithetical to how sports work. One does not begin the game under one set of rules only to be informed when the game nearly is complete that the rules are entirely different. This is a reprehensible act coming from an institution of higher learning. It would not be countenanced in any other area of the university.
Finally, Boeheim admitted as much.
And that he finally admitted as much when the Orange were on pace to miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven seasons ... well ... you can believe that's a coincidence if you want to believe that's a coincidence. But I don't believe that's a coincidence. Because it's not a coincidence as much as it's a smart and calculated decision, one which I can respect for those reasons.
Which is not to say this case is over. This was the school’s decision, not the NCAA’s. That hammer has yet to fall. There is no timetable for the NCAA’s final verdict, but it has the option of imposing even more penalties, and there is every reason to believe it will. The most obvious next-step options include reduction in scholarships and vacating of games. I’d expect the penalties will also include NCAA probation, which is more of an administrative hassle than anything. The biggest question of all is whether Boeheim will personally be penalized. Now that we are in the coach responsibility era, that is a real possibility, and it could include anything from a reprimand to suspension to, worst-case scenario, a show-cause penalty.
And that is why the postseason ban is not so insignificant: This is the leading edge of the stain creeping down the wall, and much of the damage to this point is still hidden behind it. It is the confirmation that things are bad for Syracuse, with the potential to be very bad. Maybe that was made plain by the school simply appearing before the Infractions Committee, as such meetings generally don’t involve much small talk. But there’s clarity now that this issue is serious. And now there are questions about what’s next, and what it says about the legacy of the man who built the program from studs up.
In case you hadn't noticed, Syracuse sucks this year. The team is 15-7 and is a long shot to make it to the NCAA tournament. At worst, Syracuse will have to miss out on the NIT, which nobody gives a shit about anyway.
"I don't think Jim Boeheim is going to all of a sudden retire or anything like that. I think Jim Boeheim is pretty stubborn, as Jim Calhoun was when he went through his NCAA investigation. Remember, UConn won it all and Jim Calhoun did not just retire. He didn't want the NCAA to determine when he went out, and I think Jim Boeheim will do the same. He's within reach of getting 1,000 wins. He does not want to go out this way.''
We're still not sure what offenses — and how many of them — were committed by the SU program, a breaker of rules it had agreed to obey. But they seem to have occurred from sometime before 2007 and into 2012. And they seem to be serious enough to have inspired the school to be proactive in a possible attempt to blunt what sanctions the NCAA may yet levy.
Former Syracuse star Eric Devendorf, who is currently working toward his degree and frequently works out at the Melo Center, was one of the most vocal supporters of Syracuse and critics of the NCAA.
On March 7, somewhere around 2 p.m., Syracuse will walk off the floor at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., either victorious or in defeat after playing N.C. State knowing full well that their season is over.
We all kept waiting for the NCAA to announce a punishment for Syracuse's mysterious/vague transgressions committed over an undefined period of time (eight years?). Lots of facts, I know. But today the University made the first move, at least in appearance. After a lot of reading and a lot of critical thinking (scary, I know), here are my two most likely scenarios at how we arrived at the announcement today.
The way the Orange (15-7, 6-3) have played and the tough schedule that lies ahead had cast doubt on whether SU would be good enough to make the NCAAs this spring or whether it would be relegated to the NIT. That's no longer in question.