When the NCAA sanctions came down on the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball program back in March 2015, one of the biggest issues that went under the radar was the number of coaches SU could have on the recruiting trail at one time.
The NCAA reduced the number of coaches the Orange can have out actively recruiting prospects to two, which has put the staff in tough situations — especially with numerous AAU tournaments going on all on the same weekend in different cities throughout the country.
Over the past weekend, Jim Boeheim was in Virginia at the first Nike EYBL session of the 2017 season. He watched his son, Buddy, play for the Albany City Rocks go 4-0, and did so as a parent, not a coach/recruiter.
As long as coach Boeheim is watching the Albany City Rocks, he qualifies as a parent in the eyes of the NCAA — not a coach/recruiter. If he were to watch a different game, one that didn’t feature his son, he wouldn’t be viewed as a parent, but instead a D-I basketball coach that’s actively recruiting. And he would count against the number of coaches Syracuse has out recruiting.
Now why does this matter so much?
If Jim Boeheim were actively recruiting other players, or even watching a game that didn’t feature Buddy, it would be an NCAA violation.
SU assistant Gerry McNamara was in New York over the weekend watching 2018 target Eric Ayala, among others. And with Adrian Autry attending both the adidas Uprising in Dallas on Friday and the EYBL session over the weekend — Syracuse reached its limit for coaches on the recruiting trail.
So that means Jim Boeheim was a parent all weekend, not actively recruiting players. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t able to watch some top targets.
His son’s team played Team Final on Sunday, which featured Class of 2018 prospects Cam Reddish and Louis King — both of whom hold SU offers.
This also means that the newest SU assistant, Allen Griffin, held down the fort in Syracuse over the weekend.
Jim Boeheim is able to watch any practice, game or tournament that Buddy plays in, according to the compliance team at SU.
However, none of this matters starting on June 1, 2017. That’s when the NCAA’s ban on coaches on the recruiting trail is lifted and the Orange resume normality when it comes to recruiting prospects.
All four coaches could technically be recruiting at different events — which you can surely expect to see — beginning in June.
But for now, it’s quite the loophole Syracuse has. Expect Jim Boeheim to utilize this as much as possible — and rightfully so. Any coach would, and should.
Session two of the Nike EYBL, which is this coming weekend, takes place in Indianapolis.