Syracuse University announced on Wednesday that they will take a self-imposed postseason ban, which is to include the ACC tournament, NCAA tournament, and NIT.
The self-imposed ban comes in light of an ongoing investigation that has been under review since 2007 by the NCAA. The possible violations include athletic and academic misconduct. The school reported that the latest incidents involved the 2012-13 Syracuse team, specifically center Fab Melo and forward James Southerland. Both players were suspended on separate occasions during the season for academic misconduct. While Melo was ineligible for the NCAA tournament that season, Southerland did play a big role in helping the Orange get to the Final Four.
The school’s self-ban was supported by ACC Commissioner John Swofford.
“We are fully supportive of Syracuse and its decision to self-impose sanctions by removing themselves from any men’s postseason opportunities,” said Swofford.
The upside for Syracuse to self-impose sanctions is pretty obvious. The Orange are in a transition year.
The Orange had a successful season last year (including starting 25-0), and saw a few talented players jump to the next level. With players like Tyler Ennis, C.J. Fair, and Jerami Grant leaving the program, it was apparent that this season would be a minor setback.
Despite a decent 15-7 record, the season has been marked with frustration and inconsistency. So much so that coach Jim Boeheim went on a postgame rant that included the gem:
“You learn in about 9th grade to catch the ball with two hands. And if you haven’t learned that by this time, you either can’t learn it, which is a big problem, because we’re not talking about running a play into X, Y into Z. We’re talking about, you have to catch the ball.”
So, with Syracuse already on the bubble, and the toughest part of it’s ACC conference schedule coming up, the Orange made a clever move. Instead of risking it’s future, they will take their punches now, while their stock is low.
Can you blame them? The future looks bright past this season.
The 2015 class has four members already, which include Malachi Richardson (four-star SG), Moustapha Diagne (four-star PF), Tyler Lydon (four-star PF), and Franklin Howard (four-star SG). All four are good athletes, and have the potential to add a lot of depth to a young Syracuse team. The Orange also have a chance for athletic big man Cheick Diallo (five-star).
Add that class to the Orange’s already solid, young core of Chris McCullough, Kaleb Joseph, and Tyler Roberson, and it is easy to see why Syracuse would rather sacrifice this season than risk any future seasons.
Is it scamming, manipulating, or cheating the system? That’s for the fan to decide.
Your move, NCAA.
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