No. 4 seed Syracuse will begin their quest for the school’s first national title in 10 years just before 10:00 p.m. ET tonight in San Jose, but the Orange will be playing in the shadow of another reported NCAA investigation.
Citing “a source with knowledge of the case,” CBS Sports reported on Wednesday that Syracuse basketball has been under NCAA investigation for years, with the report stating that the potential violations are “both major and wide-ranging in nature.”
According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, who cites “two named and two unnamed sources,” the investigation includes former Syracuse big man (and current Boston Celtic) Fab Melo’s academic eligibility (Melo was ruled ineligible in his last year at Syracuse) as well as an alleged 2007 sexual assault case that involved three players.
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, who has led the program since 1976, addressed the issue at a media session on Wednesday, stating “Same story they had last year at this time. I guess that’s annual. I guess next year we’ll get it again,” Boeheim said. “We’re concerned about playing Montana. What people write or say, you know there’s 30,000 people in the [Carrier] Dome yelling at me all the time.”
In addition to dealing with Melo’s ineligibility last season, Syracuse had to deal with an inquiry into possible drug policy violations and a highly publicized scandal revolving around accusations of child molestation against Boeheim’s longtime assistant coach, Bernie Fine. Fine was not charged in the matter and federal authorities dropped their investigation into the allegations in November, citing insufficient evidence. CBS Sports reports that the current investigation is not related to the allegations against Fine.