March 6, 2015 / 5:43 PM / 3 years ago

NCAA hits Syracuse basketball coach with nine-game suspension

(Reuters) - The NCAA suspended Syracuse University basketball coach Jim Boeheim on Friday for nine Atlantic Coast Conference games and took away scholarships after a lengthy investigation of the school’s athletic programs.

Mar 2, 2015; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim watches the action during the second half of a game against the Virginia Cavaliers at the Carrier Dome. Virginia won the game 59-47. Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse discovered and self-reported 10 violations, over an eight-year period dating to 2001, that primarily involved men’s basketball but also football, the NCAA Committee on Infractions said.

Those infractions included academic misconduct, extra benefits, failure to follow the school’s drug testing policy and impermissible booster activity.

“Over the course of a decade, Syracuse University did not control and monitor its athletics programs,” the committee said in a statement, “and its head men’s basketball coach failed to monitor his program.”

Boeheim’s suspension will cover the first nine ACC games of the 2015-2016 season.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s penalties include five years’ probation, financial penalties, and a reduction of three men’s basketball scholarships per year through 2018-19.

Also Syracuse will vacate all wins in which ineligible men’s basketball students played in 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2010-11 and 2011-12 and all wins in which ineligible football students played in 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07.

Boeheim, a Hall of Famer who has been the Syracuse head coach since 1976, won 135 games in those five seasons and 108 of those wins will be wiped out.

“Syracuse University did not and does not agree with all the conclusions reached by the NCAA, including some of the findings and penalties included in today’s report,” Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a statement.

“However, we take the report and the issues it identifies very seriously, particularly those that involve academic integrity and the overall well-being of student-athletes.”

The NCAA agreed to accept the university’s decision for the men’s basketball team to not participate in any post season games this season, including the ACC tournament.

Two staff members completed course work for an academically ineligible student “when the school was under investigation for other potential violations,” the NCAA said in its report.

“Improper institutional involvement and influence in a student’s academic work in order to gain or maintain eligibility is a violation of NCAA rules and a violation of the most fundamental core values of the NCAA and higher education,” the committee wrote.

Among its financial sanctions, Syracuse must return to the NCAA all money it received through the former Big East Conference for its appearances in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; editing by Susan Heavey and Matthew Lewis

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