The Syracuse Orange men's basketball team announced on Feb. 4 that they will go on a self-imposed postseason ban in response to an ongoing NCAA investigation regarding alleged infractions the school committed. The ban includes the NCAA tournament, ACC tournament and NIT.
The Syracuse Orange men's basketball team announced a self-imposed postseason ban on Feb. 4.
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According to a press release on the Orange's official atheltics website, the self-imposed postseason ban is part of an ongoing NCAA investigation on infractions the team allegedly committed in past years.
The university initiated the investigation when it told the NCAA about violations within its athletics department eight years ago. None of the infractions occurred after 2012 with no current student-athlete being involved in any of them. Since then, Syracuse University has strengthened its policies and procedures to prevent future violations. Syrcause appeared before the NCAA Committee on Infractions in Oct. 2014, per Cuse.com.
The Cuse.com press release says the postseason ban kicks in after the current 2014-15 NCAA season. It is a one-year ban that includes the NCAA tournament, ACC tournament and NIT. Aside from this ban, Syracuse also has other self-imposed penalties which weren't specified just yet. The NCAA Committee on Infractions will announce additional penalties it will give out once its final report has been released to the public.
Syracuse athletics director Dr. Daryl Gross chimed in on the development, per Cuse.com:
"This has been a long process and while this is a tough decision it is in the best interest of the Athletics Department and the University. My greatest disappointment is for the players who will be affected by this outcome even though they were not involved. I am also mindful of the passionate the passionate and loyal members of Orange Nation who look forward to postseason play. In the end, I am confident our program will continue to compete at the highest national level and remain strong."
On the other hand, Orange head men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim expressed his disappointment about missing the postseason is pleased Syracuse is trying to atone for its past mistakes:
"I am very disappointed that our basketball team will miss the opportunity to play in the postseason this year. Senior Rakeem Christmas has been an outstanding member of the team for the past four years. However, I supported this decision and I believe the university is doing the right thing by acknowledging that past mistakes occurred. Our players have faced adversity and challenges before. I know they will rise to this challenge by keeping our program strong and continuing to make our university proud."
One of the issues which Syracuse tackled in the past involved former center Fab Melo. The university declared him ineligible for the postseason in 2012. An academic issue forced him to sit out three Big East games during the 2012 regular season. Former forward James Southerland missed six games during the 2012-13 NCAA season due to academic issues as well, per ESPN.
Syracuse reported possible violations of its internal drug policy to the NCAA in March 2012. Those alleged to be involved were former members of the Orange, per ESPN.
ACC commissioner John Swofford told ESPN the conference fully supports Syracuse's decision. He said,"We are fully supportive of Syracuse and its decision to self-impose sanctions by removing themselves from any men's basketball postseason opportunities."
Orange men's basketball team captains Rakeem Christmas, Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije issued a joint statement obtained by ESPN which expresses their disappointment. They said,"We are all tremendously disappointed that we are going to miss out on playing in the postseason based on issues that do not involve us."
The Orange have struggled to a 15-7 record through Feb. 4. They also have only eight scholarship players available due to injury issues. Nonetheless, Boeheim will enjoy the luxury of a top recruiting class in 2016, per ESPN.
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