Syracuse just completed a terrific regular season in which it lost only one game, but it appears that Jim Boeheim’s crew may have more to worry about this week than its opponents in the Big East Tournament.
A report by Yahoo’s Charles Robinson and Pat Forde has apparently revealed that over the past decade-plus, Syracuse has repeatedly violated its own internal drug policy.
Here is a brief summary of the findings.
Over the course of a three-month investigation, four sources with intimate knowledge of the Syracuse men’s basketball program told Yahoo! Sports at least 10 players since 2001 have tested positive for a banned recreational substance or substances. The sources said all 10 of those players were allowed to practice and play at times when they should have been suspended by the athletic department, including instances when some players may not have known of their own ineligibility. The four sources said Syracuse violated its drug policy in at least two areas: failing to properly count positive tests; and playing ineligible players after they should have been subject to suspension.
Click to read the entire article: Syracuse’s basketball program repeatedly violated its internal drug policy.
The context Robinson and Forde provide – namely, that NCAA member institutions are not required to have a drug policy but must adhere to it should they set one – are important.
This story is just now breaking, so it’s unclear what, if any, impact it will have on Syracuse as it prepares for the Big East Tournament and then NCAA Tournament, for which it will undoubtedly be a top seed. But whether or not it involves any current players, we know that distractions are never good when the stakes are as high as the NCAA Tournament, so at a minimum the timing of the story breaking will be a major nuisance; how debilitating a nuisance remains to be seen.
Not included in the report is evidence of whether Jim Boeheim was personally violating the Syracuse drug policy the morning he woke up and put this outfit on: