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Breaking News: NCAA Drops the Hammer on Syracuse with Laundry List of Sanctions

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Well... eff.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

(Sorry for the delay here – back-end issues on the site prevented posting for WAY longer than we would have liked)

Well, today was the day. And boy did the NCAA decide to make Syracuse its whipping boy in one final show of power before likely fading into the background of college athletics governance. You can read the NCAA’s statement on the sanctions here, but a bulleted summary for you up front:

  • Five years of probation from March 6, 2015 through March 5, 2020.
  • Vacation of all wins in which ineligible men’s basketball students played in 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2010-11 and 2011-12 and ineligible football students played in 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07. The public decision contains additional details.
  • Fine of $500 per contest played by ineligible students.
  • The school must return to the NCAA all funds it has received to date through the former Big East Conference revenue sharing for its appearances in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
  • Suspension of the head basketball coach from the first nine conference games of 2015-16.
  • Reduction of men’s basketball scholarships by three for the 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years. If the school has already executed scholarship offers for the 2015-16 year, the school may begin the four-year penalty with the 2016-17 year.
  • Reduction in the number of permissible off-campus recruiters from four to two during June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2017.
  • The panel also accepted the school’s self-imposed postseason ban for the 2014-15 season, but noted that self-imposition of penalties after the conclusion of infractions hearings does not influence the outcome.
  • Additional self-imposed penalties can be found in the public decision.

So first of all: Fuck. Plain and simple, this is a complete and utter dismantling of the Syracuse basketball program, courtesy of the NCAA’s clownfraud investigation. And given what we see above, they’ve basically decided to level SU for what amounts to $8,000 in booster cash and some shady academic tutors for Fab Melo. JUST THAT earned us some of the harshest penalties we’ve seen from the NCAA, and an insanely difficult hole to dig ourselves out of from 2016-17 through about 2024, when things are finally wrapped up.

Now, Syracuse can – and definitely will – appeal this ridiculous ruling, and hopefully that lessens some of these excessive penalties for the Orange. But surely, you have questions, like:

Is Syracuse banned for the 2015-16 postseason?

Nope – despite the confusing language by the NCAA, we’re okay there.

What does this mean for next year’s recruits?

All issued scholarships are okay, but you can bet Thomas Bryant is not coming now, which should resolve that transfer question – unless kids decide to transfer out now due to the weight of these penalties on the coming years.

How much money is Syracuse going to have to give up?

Several millions, I’d bet. Someone smarter than me will probably calculate the final figure at some point today.

Should we have just let Fab Melo play and won it all in 2012?

Based on these penalties, why yes! Yes we should have.

What does this mean for Jim Boeheim?

A loss of a whole lot of wins, and the reality that his legacy is pretty much tarnished at this point. That retirement question is going to start popping up again, and well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hang it up after 2015-16 – his last legitimate shot at winning a title before the sanctions start to drag us down.

And Daryl Gross?

Certainly nothing good… don’t be shocked to see the DOCTOR lightly shown the door by (justifiably) no-nonsense Chancellor Syverud.

Fuck the NCAA?

Fuck the NCAA.

***

Now that I’ve gotten those emotions out of the way, you may want to read through some of these quotes directly from the 90-page public report. TNIAAM resident lawdog Lisa Nelson grabbed these out as the most important notes:

"In total, the self-reported and agreed- upon violations made up 10 of the 14 allegations in this case. The other four violations included academic extra benefits, the institution's failure to follow its written drug testing policy, the head basketball coach's failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance and monitor his staff and the institution's lack of control over its athletics program."

(Oh shit.)

"A key indicator of an effective process is timely resolution, which did not occur in this case. The institution failed to control and monitor athletics and academic initiatives it set in motion – ultimately resulting in extensive academic misconduct, including four instances of academic fraud and three instances in which student-athletes received academic extra benefits."

"The institution also encouraged student-athletes' and staffs' relationships with a known representative of the institution's athletics interest without ensuring that those relationships continued to comply with NCAA requirements. The institution did not have adequate controls in place and functioning, with the result being a series of violations spanning in excess of 10 years."

"Because the violations in this case straddled the implementation of the new penalty structure, the institution was entitled to the more lenient penalty structure."

(THIS IS "LENIENT?!")

***

This is a lot to digest, and surely we’re all emotional and distraught. But PLEASE do not turn on each other in the comment section. At the end of the day, we’re all Syracuse fans, and this is awful for all of us. Let’s discuss in the comments with cool heads and supportive mindsets.

… and to Penn State (more on you people later), UConn, Georgetown, Clemson, etc. fans – there’s little tolerance for trolling today, so get banned at your own risk.