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NCAA penalizes Syracuse, Boeheim

 Jim Boeheim
ESPN.com news
Brett Carlsen / Getty Images

The NCAA on Friday suspended Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim for nine ACC games, took away 12 scholarships, and ordered that 108 wins be vacated as a result of a multiyear investigation into the university's athletic programs.
"Over the course of a decade, Syracuse University did not control and monitor its athletics programs," the NCAA said in a statement, "and its head men's basketball coach failed to monitor his program."
Syracuse's penalties also include a five-year probation and the vacating of all wins in which ineligible men's basketball student-athletes played during the 2004-07 and 2010-12 seasons, and in which ineligible football student-athletes played in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

In addition, the NCAA agreed to accept the university's decision for the men's basketball team to not participate in any postseason games this season, including the ACC tournament.
The NCAA said that the violations, which were self-reported by Syracuse and dated back to 2001, included academic misconduct, extra benefits, failure to follow the drug-testing policy and impermissible booster activity.
Other violations included impermissible academic assistance and services, Boeheim's failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance and monitor his staff, and the school's lack of control over its athletics program.

The basketball program must vacate 108 wins -- the most ever taken away from a program, according to Syracuse.com. As a result, Boeheim -- who had needed only 34 wins to join Duke's Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000-win club -- is left with 858, which drops him to sixth on the all-time list.
Boeheim, who must sit out the first nine ACC games of the 2015-16 season, would not immediately comment on the NCAA sanctions. Boeheim plans to appeal his suspension, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told ESPN's Andy Katz.
Recruiting restrictions will also be enforced for two years.
"Improper institutional involvement and influence in a student's academic work in order to gain or maintain eligibility is a violation of NCAA rules and a violation of the most fundamental core values of the NCAA and higher education," the NCAA's committee on infractions wrote in its decision. 

"The behavior in this case, which placed the desire to achieve success on the basketball court over academic integrity, demonstrated clearly misplaced institutional priorities."
Syracuse chancellor Kent Syverud said the university is considering appealing portions of the decision.
"Although the university recognizes the seriousness of the violations it has acknowledged, it respectfully disagrees with certain findings of the Committee," Syverud said in a statement. 

"Specifically, the university strongly disagrees that it failed to maintain institutional control over its athletics programs, or that men's basketball head coach Jim Boeheim has taken actions that justify a finding that he was responsible for the rules violations."
The Division I appeals committee is made up of five members who would hear the appeal of Boeheim's nine-game suspension and any other appeals Syracuse decides to make.
The committee's schedule of meetings is not made public, according to the NCAA. The five members are attorney W. Anthony Jenkins of Dickinson Wright PLLC; Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams; Miami (Ohio) faculty athletic rep Susan Lipnickey; Patricia Ohlendorf, Texas VP of institutional relations and legal; and George Washington law professor Jack Friedenthal.
The sanctions do not affect Syracuse's 2003 national championship or that team. The university, however, must reimburse the NCAA for all revenue earned during the NCAA tournaments from 2011 through 2013.
The NCAA finished its investigation into Syracuse athletics in late October 2014. Boeheim and football coach Scott Shafer were among the school officials to appear before the NCAA's committee on infractions.
The school initiated the case, which includes academics, when it self-reported potential athletic department violations to the NCAA in 2007.
Syverud said that the university cooperated with the NCAA throughout, but "we hope everyone will agree that eight years is too long for an investigation and that a more expeditious and less costly process would be beneficial to student-athletes, public confidence in the NCAA enforcement process, and major intercollegiate athletics in general."
In an effort to be proactive, Syracuse self-imposed the postseason ban on the men's basketball team for this season in February.

The NCAA said Boeheim did not promote an atmosphere of compliance and failed to monitor the activities of those who reported to him regarding academics and boosters.
The NCAA said several violations involved students and staff. The report added that academic 
violations stemmed from the director of basketball operations, who was handpicked by Boeheim to address academic matters.
In 2012, Syracuse declared former center Fab Melo ineligible for the NCAA tournament days before it started. Melo also missed three Big East games during the season because of an academic issue. Early in the 2012-13 season, former forward James Southerland sat out six games for an academic issue but helped lead the Orange to the Final Four.
In March 2012, school officials said the university had self-reported possible violations of its internal drug policy by former members of the team and that the NCAA was investigating. No members of that team were involved.
The committee also found that from 2001 through 2009, the school did not follow its own written policies and procedures for students who tested positive for banned substances. NCAA rules require that if schools have a drug-testing policy, it must include substances on the banned list and the school must follow its policy. Syracuse had a written policy, but both Boeheim and athletic director Daryl Gross admitted they did not follow it.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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