This, of course, comes less than two weeks after the NCAA released its findings from its eight-year investigation into the Syracuse athletic department. Those findings resulted in penalties that included a loss of 12 scholarships over four years for the program.
Having had 24 hours to digest the news, here are five positive things to take from Wednesday's announcements:
1. Gross had to go.
Remember, this wasn't the first time Gross worked in an athletic department that committed NCAA violations resulting in major penalties. He served as USC's senior associate athletic director prior to coming to Syracuse in 2004. USC was stripped of football scholarships and was banned from bowl games in both 2010 and 2011 for recruiting violations of Reggie Bush, who played for the Trojans from 2003 to 2005. That's alarming.
And even if you're inclined to defend Gross in wake of the NCAA sanctions, here's an undeniable truth: Syracuse and chancellor Kent Syverud had to get rid of someone after the athletic department was shamed the way it was. That someone had to be someone at the top of the food chain, and it certainly wasn't going to be Boeheim. That leaves one option: Gross.
(And, yes, Syverud forced Gross to step down. This wasn't Gross's choice, regardless of what he says. But you already knew that.)
2. We have a Boeheim timeline.
This is important. Before yesterday, we didn't know how long Boeheim planned on sticking around. We assumed it wouldn't be much longer, but we didn't know. One more year? Two? Five? Another decade?
Now, we know: Boeheim will be here for three more seasons. And at least as a fanbase, we can rest easy knowing that Mike Hopkins likely won't be bolting for another coaching opportunity, now that he has only three years before he almost certainly becomes the next head coach at Syracuse. Because as much as I appreciate Boeheim, I wouldn't want him sticking around for too long, to the point that Hopkins would be prompted to find a head coaching job elsewhere.
3. Three more Boeheim years is more than many expected.
Depending on who you are, this might not be a good thing. Maybe you've grown tired of Boehem, and you would rather see him retire after next season. But if you didn't want to see the Boeheim Era end that quickly, now you won't have to. The Hall of Fame head coach has three more seasons, and given the incoming recruits, he should have at least one or two more opportunities at winning his second National Championship. And that's not to mention that we get three more years worth of snarky Boeheim press conferences. We're all winners here!
4. It's possible that Hopkins can start with a clean slate.
This is pure speculation, but fellow staffer Brian Tahmosh brought up an interesting idea in the TNIAAM chat room yesterday: it's possible that, when Syracuse appeals its sanctions, the NCAA cuts the scholarship reduction to a two-year penalty, rather than a four-year penalty, to accommodate Hopkins. That way, he could start with a clean slate when he steps in as head coach in 2018. In a perfect world, the NCAA would at least consider it, as it seems unfair to have Hopkins pay the price for violations committed under Boeheim's watch.
5. Recruits can now be in the know.
Yesterday's news almost certainly makes it easier for Syracuse to reel in top recruits in the coming years. That's because recruits won't have to worry about committing to play for SU, just to see Boeheim unexpectedly jump ship. Just like the rest of us, they know the deal: Boeheim coaches three more seasons and then it's (presumably) the Mike Hopkins show. No surprises.