Just a few days ago the Syracuse Orange were on the brink of leaving the Big East with the “final” Championship trophy, and now it looks like the program could be crumbling. According to CBSsports.com’s Dennis Dodd, Syracuse’s basketball program has been under investigation for “years.”
Of course the school won’t get into too many specifics but Dodd reports ‘the specific nature of the alleged violations was not disclosed by the source but the transgressions were described as both major and wide-ranging in nature. The investigation also encompasses football but is believed to primarily involve basketball.’
It actually gets worse, when asked about the violations a source told CBSsports.com “throw a dart at the [NCAA] Manual [and you would hit a violation by Syracuse].”
Oh what a week it’s been for the Orange. First they almost run the table in the Big East Tournament and now these allegations come just as Syracuse is getting to begin play in the NCAA Tournament. It shouldn’t be difficult for the players to brush off the investigation but it could play a role in the outcome of the tournament for the Orange.
Historically Syracuse has been a clean school but that image has been tarnished in the past few years. Last year at this time the university acknowledged violations of the NCAA’s drug policy, then there were the sexual abuse allegations against assistant coach Bernie Fine and now the reports of widespread violations could be enough to destroy their image for a long time.
The report has got to be tough on the school and its alumni, who can do nothing but await the results of the investigation. It could also lead to even more speculation that head coach Jim Boeheim will retire after this season. There have been rumors about him stepping down and we can only wonder if Boeheim knew about any of this during the season.
Regardless of what happens from here, one thing is clear, Syracuse basketball appears to be in a lot of trouble with the NCAA and they may never be the same again. There is no telling what the sanctions could be but the NCAA seldom goes easy when they find major infractions and Syracuse could be looking at vacating wins, Big East titles and who knows about their lone NCAA Championship?
Am I going too far? No one knows and that’s the point. Until the NCAA finishes its investigation we won’t know but imaginations always run wild.
No one knows how this will end but one thing is clear, Syracuse basketball is in big trouble.