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NCAA Sanctions: The Forgotten Impact on Syracuse Football

The NCAA hit Syracuse basketball right in the mouth today, but that's not the only team to get dinged today...

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA ran over the Syracuse basketball program like a freight train today, as you're well aware of. You can see all of the various effects on Orange hoops on the TNIAAM story stream, but all of those stories (which are great work by this humble staff, by the way) leave out a major victim:

Syracuse football.

Now, of course, we'll have jokes. And ultimately, the Orange football team won't lose scholarships the way basketball will or deal with a postseason ban. But they do lose wins, including those recorded from 2004 through 2006 (11 in all). That could (I'd assume) strip the Orange of that co-Big East title under Paul Pasqualoni, and then, of course, scrub the first two years of GERG's reign of terror. Again, that's less unfortunate than anything that's happening to hoops, but it certainly makes football's dark days even darker.

Without those five wins under GERG (one in 2005 and four in 2006), that leaves just five more on the record for his tenure. It also knocks Syracuse out of the 700-win club for football programs, at least temporarily until they hopefully win at least three games in 2015 and get right back in. Even more damning, as I joked in the link earlier, the LOSSES STILL COUNT. Several things there:

First: How? If the wins never happened, can the losses have, either? We have SUFFERED ENOUGH, NCAA.

Second: That would make SU a resounding 5-37 (/dies) under Robinson if we're listening to the NCAA. We're not, but just stay with me here.

Third: I still have the Iowa game and the Akron game not only in my mind, but on the books, too.


Beyond those lesser notes, however, is the true depths to which Syracuse football fell in the mid-00s and how far we still have to go, though. The fact that the program went 11-24 in the years there were violations is incredibly damning, and an insult to Orange football fans. I've joked that "don't cheat, but if you're going to cheat, you better win" before but... well, I think the point kind of stands here. During SU's worst stretch of football in its history, it committed violations -- violations that didn't even help them win games, but rather, were due to a series of unnecessary gaffes by the athletic department (covered everywhere on the site today).


Again, no lasting impact for football in the same way there will be for basketball. But for those of us who are long-time followers of the program through success and failure, this oddly hurts. Maybe I (we) care too much. Maybe there are bigger fish to fry with these sanctions -- there are. But ignoring football's involvement seems like a bigger black eye on the program than the one it already had for those downtrodden seasons, no?