The fallout from the scandal that rocked Syracuse's athletic department is just beginning weeks after the NCAA imposed sanctions that will affect the basketball program's past, present and future. In the last 48 hours, basketball coach Jim Boeheim announced his plan to retire in three years, university AD Daryl Gross was fired and others in the athletic department are also on the way out.
With so much attention and speculation on Boeheim and the future of Syracuse athletics, the 70-year-old coach took to a podium and held a press conference hours before the NCAA Tournament began on Thursday morning. Boeheim offered harsh criticism of the NCAA and said he will appeal the sanctions on the basketball program:
Given the circumstance, I believe that the penalty imposed on the university as a whole and me individually are unduly harsh. And I feel that the NCAA is punishing current and future student athletes for the conduct of a few individuals who are no longer associated in any way with Syracuse University. For these reasons, I have chosen to appeal the Committee on Infractions decision. I believe in what we are doing at Syracuse University and I will continue to build on the great program that we have established.
Boeheim will appeal the nine-game suspension in ACC play he received as part of the NCAA's punishment. His press conference touched on his future plans, the allegations in the NCAA's findings and why he believed the wrongdoings in the athletic department were mostly done by individuals beyond his control.
Boeheim threw the football program under the bus
Syracuse football has been through enough, Jim pic.twitter.com/HY4UKvGbIr— Brendan Porath (@BrendanPorath) March 19, 2015
I don't want the football program to be penalized. I love the football program. I have supported it and been to every game since I've been here. They were the first student athletes to go to the Y. The first. They were involved, obviously, in the drug-testing program. They had three cases of academic fraud. There were no charges brought.
Boeheim blamed impropriety on those above him
Boeheim says Stan Kissel "took it upon himself to provide impermissible" to engage in academic fraud. Boeheim said he met with Kissel daily.— Syracuse Basketball (@syrbasketball) March 19, 2015
Boeheim on Cornish: "There was no reason to believe that this man would provide impermissible benefits to student-athletes."— Syracuse Basketball (@syrbasketball) March 19, 2015
Boeheim said that Syracuse is "far from a program where academic fraud is committed freely." He said only one case of academic fraud was found during the 10-year investigation, and again cited director of basketball operations Stan Kissel for his role in the incident.
Boeheim on the future of Syracuse basketball
Boeheim on retirement: "I am 70 years old. It's obvious that there is a timeframe for me as the head basketball coach."— Syracuse Basketball (@syrbasketball) March 19, 2015
Boeheim: "I fervently hope" that Mike Hopkins becomes the next head coach, but knows it's up to Syverud and Board of Trustees.— Syracuse Basketball (@syrbasketball) March 19, 2015
Boeheim said he plans on being here next year, "but beyond that I have no plans." Calls three years "a long time."— Syracuse Basketball (@syrbasketball) March 19, 2015
The school announced Wednesday that Boeheim will be out in three years, but Boeheim made it seem like he might not last that long. He dismissed concerns that his status would prevent Syracuse from being able to find success recruiting.
Hopkins has been been perceived as the longtime successor to Boeheim, but it appears that's far from locked in. Boeheim has turned Syracuse into a great program during his time as head coach and it's likely that the job will be appealing to outside candidates, even after this scandal.
Boeheim on the way Fab Melo's situation was treated by the NCAA
Boeheim: "I think there's a little racism involved when they talk about not taking this guy or that guy." Mentions foreigners (like Melo).— Syracuse Basketball (@syrbasketball) March 19, 2015
Jim Boeheim knows how to write a paper, too