Syracuse self-imposes postseason basketball ban

BY foxsports • February 4, 2015

Syracuse University announced Wednesday that it has self-imposed a ban on its men's basketball program for this postseason.

The university announced it had previously notified the NCAA of the ban as part of its pending case, which includes academics, before the NCAA Committee on Infractions. The university had appeared before the NCAA Committee on Infractions in October.

Syracuse imposed the ban "as a further means of acknowledging past mistakes," the university said in a news release.

"I am very disappointed that our basketball team will miss the opportunity to play in the postseason this year," SU basketball coach Jim Boeheim said in the release. "However, I supported this decision and I believe the University is doing the right thing by acknowledging that past mistakes occurred. Our players have faced adversity and challenges before. I know they will rise to this challenge by keeping our program strong and continuing to make our University proud."

The decision, which likely was made to head off possible NCAA penalties, could have been made easier because the Orange are 15-7 in what would be considered a "down" year under Boeheim.

The school said in the release that no current player is involved in the investigation.

"Much of the conduct involved in the case occurred long ago and none occurred after 2012," the release said. "No current student-athlete is involved."

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.

In March 2012, school officials said the university had self-reported possible violations of its internal drug policy by former members of the team and that the NCAA was investigating. None of the members of that team was involved.

The school also acknowledged the NCAA had inquired into old allegations that players were allowed to practice and play despite being in violation of the school's drug policy.

The probe also involves issues with football. Syracuse completed a two-day hearing before the Committee on Infractions in October, and among those who attended were Boeheim and football coach Scott Shafer.

“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," Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross said in the release. "My greatest disappointment is for the players who will be affected by this outcome even though they were not involved. I am also mindful of the passionate and loyal members of Orange Nation who look forward to post-season play. In the end, I am confident our program will continue to compete at the highest national level and remain strong."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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