An NCAA teleconference was held earlier this afternoon to discuss the sanctions handed down to the Syracuse Orange men's basketball program on Friday, sanctions that included a loss of 12 scholarships over four years. Britton Banowsky, the commissioner of Conference USA and the chief hearing officer in the case, answered questions during the teleconference. Here are some of the highlights.
1. The investigation was too long:
Much has been made about the length of the eight-year investigation into Syracuse's athletic department. Banowsky criticized the NCAA enforcement staff for allowing the case to drag out for as long as it did.
Banowsky: Investigation went on for an extreme and excessive time.— chris carlson (@ccarlsononSU) March 6, 2015
Banowsky: "I think it's really harmful for these processes to go on too long."— Phil D'Abbraccio (@PhilDAbb) March 6, 2015
Banowsky said he hopes future cases will have "more timely" resolution.
2. Was Boeheim at all lucky? Perhaps:
The NCAA suspended Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim for the first nine games of conference play next season, a punishment that Banowsky feels is fair.
Banowsky: 9 games is half of ACC schedule and "feels like the right place to be" as far as length of suspension.— Phil D'Abbraccio (@PhilDAbb) March 6, 2015
But Banowsky also said he believes Boeheim would have been eligible for a yearlong suspension under the current NCAA policy. Nine conference games is certainly a hefty price to pay, but it might not be the worst penalty imaginable.
3. Boeheim at fault, according to Banowsky.
Banowsky said during the teleconference that he believes Boeheim has "a duty to monitor" his program and that "the head coach is accountable for any and all violations with his team."
Banowsky: In this case the panel felt the head coach should be responsible for the people that report directly to him.— chris carlson (@ccarlsononSU) March 6, 2015
4. Was a postseason ban discussed? Banowsky wouldn't say:
In early February, Syracuse self-imposed a 2015 postseason ban in response to the NCAA's investigation. The NCAA didn't hand down any further postseason bans today, but Banowsky wouldn't say whether or not the NCAA took Syracuse's 2015 ban into consideration.
Banowsky on self-imposed ban: "We noted it and accepted it. That's it." Wouldn't speculate on what would have happened it there was none.— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) March 6, 2015