According to CBSSports.com, an anonymous source with direct knowledge of the situation claims that the Syracuse athletic department has been under investigation for major violations over the course of “years.”
The source claims the first violations the NCAA is looking into is a 2007 case involving three former players and a claim of sexual assault. Collegiate athletics’ governing body is also looking into former star player Fab Melo’s academic eligibility.
The school itself cannot comment on any pending or current investigation, but CBS’ same source has stated that the school has received a preliminary letter of inquiry from the NCAA. The preliminary letter is sent to schools as formal notice that an investigation is being conducted. After that, a notice of allegations outlines the types of punishments the athletic program can expect.
The case primarily involves basketball players, but football players are involved too. The NCAA has been conducting interviews on the Syracuse campus for more than a year at this point.
Back in 1992, the school was put on probation by the NCAA for providing extra benefits to student-athletes. Since then, coach Jim Boeheim’s basketball team has been clean. Recently, one of his assistants, Bernie Fine, was accused of sexually assaulting young boys. However, Fine was acquitted of all charges after it was discovered that those accusing him were lying the entire time.
What is of substance, however, is the fact that at this time last year, ‘Cuse admitted to an investigation into potential violations of its drug policy.
When asked, however, Syracuse’ Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, Kevin Quinn, was tight-lipped.
“As we said last year at this time, we are collaborating with the NCAA as part of an ongoing inquiry,” said Quinn. “Given this process is ongoing, we are unable to comment further at this time.”
Jim Boehiem, who has been at the helm of the Orange basketball team since 1976, was similarly hushed regarding the situation. Further, he seems extremely frustrated by the entire thing.
“Same story they had last year at this time,” Boeheim said. “I guess that’s annual. I guess next year we’ll get it again.”
A public school would have to reveal the letter of inquiry, as it would be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. However, as a private university, ‘Cuse may not necessarily have to divulge that information. Again, not that Boeheim is focusing any further than a few days into the future.
“We’re concerned about playing Montana,” Boeheim said. “What people write or say, you know there’s 30,000 people in the [Carrier] Dome yelling at me all the time.”
We will keep you updated here as new information is made available.