James Southerland is set to have his appeal to have his academic eligibility restored on Friday. This is huge news for both the senior and his Syracuse teammates.
He was the second leading scorer on the team before his suspension and currently the third leading scorer for the Orange at 13.6 points per game. Clearly a vital aspect to the Orange offense and he also brings senior leadership and is one of the best outside shooters on the No. 9 ranked Orange.
Syracuse started the season 15-1, but since Southerland’s suspension the Orange are only 4-2. He was declared ineligible before his team took on Villanova on Jan. 12.
Southerland was ruled ineligible due to issues dealing with a term paper from a previous year. Not much information about the details of the issues, but the NCAA found them during an investigation of the Syracuse academic basketball records.
Since there is little information about the details of the suspension, there are also few details regarding the appeal process. Also Syracuse officials are unable to comment on the situation due to privacy laws. This also creates a lack of details in the entire situation.
The appeal process will begin on Friday and it is unknown if Southerland’s suspension is lifted, if he will be able to play in the Orange’s next game on Saturday against St. John’s.
The process can take either a couple of hours or possible two to three days depending.
Regardless if he can play on Saturday or not, Syracuse needs Southerland in the line-up at the end of the season if they want to make a postseason run. He will have his first chance for his suspension to be lifted when his appeal is heard on Friday.