So now that we know the sanctions the NCAA has handed down on the Syracuse Orange for the forthcoming years, it seems only right that we get Syracuse's side of the coin. Chancellor Syverud came out with a letter addressing the community and filling us in on what happened.
He lays the timeline out from the initial 2007 self reporting, through the 2012 investigation and on to today. Syverud also stated the following:
We believe the NCAA's investigation of Syracuse University has taken longer than any other investigation in NCAA history. The entire process has taken close to eight years and involved a review of conduct dating back to 2001. By comparison, the investigation into the fixing of the 1919 World Series took two months and the 2007 investigation of steroid use in baseball took 21 months.
He called out how massive the investigation was, equating to "thousands of hours of human capital," and that Syracuse made sure to be fully cooperative through every step of the process. All good things.
The Drug Education and Deterrance Program and improper benefits violations, which it calls out were self reported, were acknowledged. The Academic Integrity issues however were noted as investigated by the university and found a single men's basketball player to be in violation of academic misconduct and that this was rectified and dealt with. When looking at this issue, other issues on three other student athletes were discovered to be potentially in violation of the policy.
Detailed information was submitted through the University's faculty-led academic integrity process. In each case, faculty failed to find evidence supporting a violation. NCAA bylaws dictate that they must accept an institution's academic integrity determinations. Notwithstanding, the NCAA determined the same conduct constituted an "extra benefit" to these student-athletes. The University disagrees with the NCAA's position.
Needless to say, the University doesn't agree with the NCAA findings in this case.
Possibly the biggest thing to come out of the letter, since an appeal was all but guaranteed on that laundry list of penalties, was the list of other self imposed penalties that the University has taken moving forward.
In addition to these important changes, the University already self-imposed a series of significant penalties that include:
- A one-year ban from 2014-15 post-season competition for men's basketball;
- A voluntary, two-year term of probation for the Department of Athletics;
- Elimination of one scholarship for men's basketball for the 2015-2016 season;
- Elimination of a men's basketball off-campus recruiter for six months during 2015-2016;
- Vacation of 24 men's basketball wins (15 in 2004-05 and 9 in 2011-12); and
- Vacation of 11 football wins: (6 in 2004-05; 1 in 2005-06; 4 in 2006-07).
The letter finishes with Syverud stating that the University is considering an appeal and will stand behind Coach Boeheim if he decides to appeal his portions of the penalties.
Overall the statement sheds some light on what has gone on through the years with the investigation. The statement that the University "strongly disagrees" with the allegations over institutional control and will stand behind Boeheim is also quite welcome. It would be hard to fathom an appeal not coming down the pipe in the near future.