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NCAA Basketball Syracuse Orange

Does Jim Boeheim Run a Clean Program?

Rich Barnes – USA TODAY Sports Images

In the world of ESPN and ratings, it isn’t popular to call out coaches with success. And as I write this piece, I understand that Jim Boeheim is one of college basketball’s best coaches and is a great teacher of the game. But does his involvement with his program and his dedication to the sport have him ignore concerns with players?

Most recently, the Orange’s starting forward James Southerland was suspended for an eligibility issue. He also repaid around $70 for a improper benefit. Rumor has it that a term paper is the culprit of the latest situation. An academic tutor may have improperly helped him with it. In a related story, Stan Kissel, Syracuse’s director of basketball operations, resigned unexpectedly. At the time, Kissel said he resigned for personal reasons, stating that he wanted to spend more time with his family. He worked at Syracuse University since 2005 and served as the liaison to the Academic Services Department, according to the 2011-12 team media guide. While there’s no way to tell if these two situations are related, it shows some definite concerns with the whole process.

There have been numerous incidents around Boeheim’s program over the years. And yet, he survives year-in and year-out. He’s certainly bought himself credibility, but issues popping up with this program begs to question if the NCAA has different rules for differing programs. A director of basketball operations resigning really doesn’t admit there’s much of a problem. His soldiers are willing to take the fall, but when does the buck stop at the top?