clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NCAA Sanctions: Jim Boeheim Reaps What He Sowed

You can argue the merits of the NCAA's sanctions but you can't argue with the fact that Jim Boeheim and Syracuse brought this on themselves.

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

There are three things I know I know I know.

1. The sanctions following the NCAA's investigation into Syracuse Orange basketball (and football) are pretty intense and could have a huge impact on the near future of the program.

2. Syracuse will appeal those sanctions and they will be reduced somewhat.

3. Jim Boeheim has no one to blame but himself.

I've already written at length about how Boeheim has always run a loose program, sometimes to its betterment and often to a fault.

Boeheim runs a loose program. You could make a good case he runs a program that's too loose. Sure, any coach who runs a major program for 30+ years is bound to run into trouble with the NCAA on multiple occasions, but remember, this current investigation started in 2007. Eight years ago. Think of all the troubling things that have happened since 2007. Someone felt the need to start an investigation BEFORE any of that stuff happened. Stuff that includes the entire Bernie Fine ordeal.

I'm still on Team BoeheimHadNoIdea when it comes to that stuff and I wouldn't be surprised if Boeheim had no idea about most of the transgressions that have cumulated over the years for Syracuse Basketball.

But that's the point. Maybe he, you know, should have...

What ultimately did Syracuse and Boeheim in when it came to the NCAA was not a shocking allegation involving an unforgivable act. Nor was the realization of a decade-long, purposefully-created cheating system.

What did the Orange in was the never-ending parade of infractions. Some tiny. Some bigger. A grade issue here. A booster payment there. An infraction here. An non-compliance issue there.

And when you let those things add up, wait too long to put reform in place and continue to act like nothing's wrong, well, you get what you got today.

Syracuse isn't innocent. As much as the NCAA is a joke, Syracuse got caught doing some dumb and shady things. The only reason the NCAA shone it's flashlight on us and not one of the other 300 programs where the same stuff is happening all the time is because we gave them a reason to.

Boeheim is a coach from a different era. We all know that. He's stuck in the old ways of college athletics in a lot of different ways. Some of those ways are harmless. Some just come off as Old Man Syndrome. But the long-standing belief that he can let his program float in the breeze and it'll be fine was always bound to fall flat, more so with every year he stays. Ironically, his inability to walk away from the program he built helped lead to sanctions that will hinder it's growth for the foreseeable future.

It's not catastrophic and it could have been worse, but it didn't have to be like this. Jim Boeheim could have stepped in sooner. But he didn't. Cause he's Jim Boeheim.