Mike Hopkins has already starting stepping into his role as the face of the Syracuse Orange basketball program when Jim Boeheim is unable (or unwilling) to do so. Next season, he will serve as the head coach for the first nine ACC games as Boeheim serves a suspension over NCAA sanctions.
We figured that would mean Boeheim would have to take a step back on game days. Perhaps we didn't quite realize the extend to which Boeheim will be separated from his squad. Basically, during those nine games, he will be absolutely no different than any other normal Syracuse fans out there.
The NCAA report stated that "the head men's basketball (may) not be present in the arena where the games are played and shall not have any contact or communication with members of the men's basketball coaching staff and men's basketball student-athletes during the suspension period.''
The NCAA suspension also bars Boeheim from practice, film study, team meetings and traveling with the team to road games.
In addition, Boeheim would not be permitted to recruit during his suspension. He can't attend games to scout, nor can he contact potential recruits.
Boeheim is basically persona non grata at Syracuse University during that timeframe. As Mike Waters points out, this season's first nine ACC games encompassed the entire month of January and that's probably what will happen next year as well.
You know that dream you have of walking into Faegan's, seeing Jim Boeheim sitting at the bar, ordering Cherry Wheats for you both and then shooting the shit while watching the Orange play? Well the chances of that happening this upcoming January just improved tenfold.
Of course, Boeheim is appealing the suspension and there's a chance it could be reduced. But even if it's taken down to four or five games, that's still sizable chunk of time to see what Syracuse Basketball will look like without James Arthur Boeheim.