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Say Goodbye to Syracuse Basketball as You Know It

Jim Boeheim

Jim Boeheim

Syracuse basketball will never be the same.

The NCAA committee on infractions hammered Syracuse on Friday, suspending coach Jim Boeheim for nine ACC games next season and restricting scholarships for widespread violations regarding academics and extra benefits.

For certain, the tarnish that comes with this sort of penalty will put Boeheim’s legacy into question. The man who built the program won’t join his friend Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000-win club, at least according to the official record books. He might not get back to 900.

Feel free to disregard the vacated wins on Boeheim’s ledger — the NCAA could take away up to 135 of them. The past is the past no matter how the NCAA requires Syracuse to remember it. 

Instead, the future of Syracuse basketball is more cloudy than ever.

More than the vacated wins, the suspension of Boeheim or the financial penalties, Syracuse will feel the most pain from harsh scholarship limitations combined with the inevitable retirement of its Hall of Fame coach.

On Friday, the NCAA announced it will dock the Orange 12 scholarships over the course of four seasons. Syracuse will be on probation until 2020. The Orange will lose a quarter of its roster to the scholarship limit provided Syracuse doesn’t get any back on appeal.

If the Orange begin to serve the penalty in 2016-17 — so it does not need to run off players already committed — the program won’t be back to a full scholarship allotment until 2020-21.

And there lies the second peg in what could be a disastrous sanction for Syracuse basketball. At the start of the 2020-21 basketball season, Boeheim will be 76 years old.