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Jim Boeheim sees NCAA double standard comparing UNC treatment to Syracuse

“Well, it's certainly applied differently."

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Syracuse vs Miami Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA’s unwillingness to take any action over North Carolina steering student athletes to classes that required little effort to earn a high grade for nearly two decades was bound to rub more than a few people the wrong way. One of those people is Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim.

In 2015, the NCAA forced Boeheim to vacate 108 wins (the largest number of vacated victories in the history of NCAA investigations) and suspended him for nine ACC games. Though Boeheim wasn’t directly involved in Fab Melo receiving improper assistance with coursework or two other players receiving a small amount of money from the YMCA of Oneida, N.Y., he was still hammered by the NCAA for a failure “to promote compliance of NCAA rules within his program for nearly a decade.”

Though the reasons UNC skated for 18 years of systematic academic fraud and Syracuse was hammered for one kid getting improper help and two others getting a small amount of cash are fairly convoluted, it’s not hard to understand why Boeheim would be frustrated by the apparent double-standard.

When asked about the issues at North Carolina during Syracuse’s basketball media day, Boeheim said he didn’t want to get into all of that. And then he got into all of that.

"I'm not going to comment on anything about that," Boeheim said. "But, as you mentioned many times, in your writings, head coach responsibility. That didn't apply to North Carolina. Screamingly obvious. And I'm surprised that you, in particular, haven't been all over that. I'm supposed to know about a 10-page paper and they don't know about 18 years of As?"

Former North Carolina player Rashad McCants told ESPN’s Outside the Lines he believed Roy Williams knew about the academic scam because the head coach once told him they were going to fix his academic issues by shifting around his transcript. In Boeheim’s eyes, even if a head coach wasn’t in on the fraud, a player having very low grades in one cluster of classes and very high grades in another (as McCants did) should have raised some eyebrows.

"I know every year what my players get and what courses they get them in," Boeheim said. "I get a report every semester. What course. What grades."

As for the NCAA rulebook that resulted in Syracuse being dealt a severe punishment and North Carolina being able to move on as if nothing happened? Boeheim says just because it’s supposed to be a single document that affects every school the same way.

“Well, it's certainly applied differently."

Boeheim might be the first coach to speak out about the North Carolina ruling this year, but he’s unlikely to be the last.