NCAA: Syracuse Basketball Players Who Failed Banned Substance Tests Played Anyway – BuzzFeed News
Syracuse University has been hit with a number of major sanctions to its athletic program after an NCAA investigation found that the university did not “control and monitor its athletics programs.”
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Here are some examples of what that means:
*Between 2005 and 2007, an academic tutor reported to the university that three football players had completed internship obligations, but the NCAA says the tutor “had limited knowledge of activities completed.”
*In 2012, a basketball receptionist “completed coursework” for a player who had been deemed academically ineligible. When evidence of this incident became known to Syracuse’s Director of Basketball Activities, whose primary role was in overseeing the academic lives of players, he failed to report the incident and allowed the receptionist to continue working with student on the coursework.
*The same basketball receptionist was found to have extensively worked with another university tutor to assist players with their coursework. However, “the school determined academic misconduct did not occur, the panel noted revising or writing academic coursework for students was not a part of, or the intent of, the student-athlete support services provided by the school and exceeded the type of support generally available through the program.”
*Syracuse reportedly followed an “unwritten rules” policy on banned substances, and failed to make players sit out basketball activities after testing positive for banned substances.
A school booster paid five student-athletes – three football, two basketball – $8,000 in exchange for working at the local YMCA. The NCAA is very clear that students can’t be compensated for being an athlete. The violation occurred when “the staff members did not report the payments to the school as outside income or supplemental pay, as NCAA rules require.”
According to the NCAA report, “Students and staff committed violations freely or did not know that their conduct violated NCAA rules.”
As a result of the violations — many of which were initially self-reported by Syracuse – the NCAA has put the school’s athletic program on probation for five years.
Men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim has also been suspended for nine conference games.
They will also “vacate all wins in which ineligible men’s basketball students played in 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2010-11 and 2011-12 and ineligible football students played in 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07.” The full report does not specify the number of wins, but Syracuse said it is about 108.
In addition to vacated wins, the school will be fined $500 for each game in which an “ineligible student” was found to have participated. Again, the report does not specify the number of games or total amount.
The school will lose three athletic scholarships per year for the next four seasons.
University Chancellor Kent Syvereud issued a lengthy response to the NCAA’s findings, saying the school “is considering whether it will appeal certain portions of the decision. In addition, he mentioned steps the school has already taken to self-sanction:
A one-year ban from 2014-15 post-season competition for men’s basketball; A voluntary, two-year term of probation for the Department of Athletics;
Elimination of one scholarship for men’s basketball for the 2015-2016 season;
Elimination of a men’s basketball off-campus recruiter for six months during 2015-2016;
Vacation of 24 men’s basketball wins (15 in 2004-05 and 9 in 2011-12); and Vacation of 11 football wins: (6 in 2004-05; 1 in 2005-06; 4 in 2006-07).
Syvereud’s letter goes on to address each violation individually. Read the full letter here.