SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse University announced Wednesday that it has instituted a self-imposed postseason ban for the current men’s basketball season as part of its case pending before the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
The school initiated the case, which includes academics, when it self-reported potential athletic department violations to the NCAA in 2007. School officials said Wednesday none of the conduct occurred after 2012 and no current student-athlete is involved.
“This has been a long process and while this is a tough decision it is in the best interest of the Athletics Department and the university,” athletic director Dr. Daryl Gross said. “My greatest disappointment is for the players who will be affected by this outcome even though they were not involved.”
Syracuse appeared before the NCAA Committee on Infractions in October 2014 and has continued to cooperatively engage with the Committee. As a further means of acknowledging past mistakes, the school notified the NCAA that it will be voluntarily withholding the men’s basketball team from post-season competition following the current 2014-15 season.
This one-year ban includes the ACC Tournament and any additional postseason tournaments such as the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament and the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). This action is accompanied by other self-imposed penalties the school also instituted and which the NCAA Committee on Infractions will make public when it issues its final report.
“I am very disappointed that our basketball team will miss the opportunity to play in the postseason this year,” head coach Jim Boeheim said. “Senior Rakeem Christmas has been an outstanding member of the team for the past four years. However, I supported this decision and I believe the University is doing the right thing by acknowledging that past mistakes occurred.”
In 2012, Syracuse declared former center Fab Melo ineligible for the NCAA tournament days before it started. Melo also missed three Big East games during the season because of an academic issue. Early in the 2012-13 season, former forward James Southerland sat out six games for an academic issue but helped lead the Orange to the Final Four.
“Syracuse’s history demonstrates a strong commitment to integrity, responsibility and fairness — values I have personally observed in practice many times since becoming Chancellor last year,” Chancellor Kent Syverud said. “The university has taken this matter seriously and worked with the NCAA for nearly eight years to investigate and address potential rules violations. The process has been exhaustive. We have taken responsibility for past violations and worked hard to ensure they are not repeated.
“I am disappointed for our current men’s basketball players who must shoulder this postseason ban.”