It was revealed this week that Syracuse University will place a self-imposed ban on its basketball program in regards to an investigation in 2007 when it reported possible NCAA violations regarding student-athlete support services.
The ban will now prohibit the Orange from playing in any postseason tournament, including even the ACC tournament. As a staple of the NCAA Tournament, regardless of the situation, the absence of the Orange in the Big Dance will be felt and their presence will be missed.
That all said, it really is a travesty the NCAA is accepting of this “punishment.” With a record of 15-7 (6-3 in the ACC) and an RPI of 75 (according to KenPom.com), the Orange were clearly on the bubble. Syracuse likely had some work to do and could have gotten in, but I guess we’ll never know now. It is with this delicate line of ‘maybe we will/maybe we won’t get in the tournament’ thinking that triggered this preemptive ban.
This reeks of a corrupt circumvention of “justice.” Regardless of the penalty itself (which could be for all intents and purposes minor) and, of course, the hypocrisy of the NCAA, this is just a flat-out sham and mockery of the system. A system that is, by the way, unequivocally broken.
When you have an unruly child and you have to ground them, you don’t accept an appropriate time from them that suits their schedule, do you? While we’re at it, why don’t I ban myself from dating Kate Upton!
With a good chance at not receiving an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, or at minimum not expecting to do much damage if they had been offered an invitation, Syracuse is choosing to swallow the pill now, if you will. That’s a tad gutless, isn’t it?
This is just completely unacceptable in every sense of the word. It’s unfair to the kids playing now, as I’m sure they would like to go out with a bang and at least have a chance. And that’s the whole point—a chance to be the one in control of their destiny.
If you punish Syracuse in the offseason, the kids on the team would have the opportunity to address the situation themselves, and with a lot of thought behind it. With this hastily rushed-together ban, you are taking that decision away from Syracuse’s players. Who knows whether they wanted to stick around the program on a team that was about to have a postseason ban.
For something that occurred eight years ago, this is just a crummy series of events the players of Syracuse have to deal with, especially senior Rakeem Christmas. Christmas has played the supporting role for the last three years with Syracuse making the tournament all three years he was there, including a run to the Final Four in 2013.
However, Christmas has now turned into a star and is carrying the Orange at the moment. He is averaging 18.3 points per game to go with 9.1 rebounds per game (both stats are among the top-5 in the conference), which should place him on the ACC First Team. Now his season will be viewed as hallow as it seemingly all went for for naught. Considering how well he has been playing, it’s possible he could have led the Orange on a run. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
For Jim Boeheim, who’s had an illustrious career and has had his issues with the NCAA, he should have known better. He seemingly wanted to get this penalty over with and looked for the nearest exit and ran.
While he’s been a stand-up guy for the majority of his career, he could have done the right thing and faced the music at the appropriate time. And the NCAA could have also said thanks, but no thanks to Syracuse.
Between the NCAA, Syracuse administrators and Boeheim, they all should be ashamed of themselves as they all dropped the ball big time.
It’s not the crime that is at the fulcrum of this debate. It’s just the way the punishment was handled. Sorry, but it’s affront to “NCAA Justice.”