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Syracuse Basketball: NCAA Allows Orange to Count 3 Scholarships Towards Penalty This Season

The last leg of this whole NCAA mess is serving the scholarship ban. Because of Syracuse recruiting strategically just in case, the Orange will get a slight head start on serving the penalty.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Back in November, the NCAA decided to lessen the penalties imposed on the Syracuse Orange basketball team after an appeal by the University. Originally, the penalty was to be three scholarships a year for four years for a total of 12. The revised penalty in place is now two scholarships a year for four years for a total of 8 scholarships.

Now, because NCAA, they've decided to "allow" Syracuse to serve a three scholarship suspension for this year to lower the overall scholarship ban remaining to 5 over the next three seasons. The Orange currently only have 10 scholarship players, three under the NCAA limit and one under their suspension limit. Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud sent a letter on December 23 to the NCAA Committee on Infractions stating,

"University has taken the recent major infractions case and resulting penalties very seriously" and "that applying the scholarship reductions as we have proposed will hold Syracuse University fully accountable for the violations that occurred without causing undue harm to student-athletes by withholding a scholarship unnecessarily."

So, Merry Christmas?

As Mike Waters points out, next season the Orange are guaranteed to lose two current scholarship players to graduation in Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney. Those two scholarships will be filled by Matthew Moyer and Tyus Battle. The Orange are still recruiting Taruean Thompson, which would place the Orange at their 11 scholarship limit.

This should then free up the Orange in 2018-19 as they will be allowed 12 scholarship players in the last year of the NCAA punishment.