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Why Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde Is Wrong About Syracuse Basketball

Syracuse deserves to have made the Final Four.

Yahoo Sports Columnist Pat Forde is at it again. Last year Forde called for Jim Boeheim to leave Syracuse following the NCAA sanctions levied against the school. After SU’s remarkable comeback win over Virginia in the Elite Eight Sunday, the columnist published another story that induced a second collective fist clench from Orange nation.

Sunday’s piece is titled “On Probation vs. Under Investigation: Final Four marred by schools with scandals.”

The title refers to Syracuse and its ACC counterpart North Carolina. Never mind an all-time come from behind Elite Eight win, never mind the first Final Four berth ever for a 10-seed, never mind the miraculous roller coaster ride that has been this SU basketball season, let’s focus on how Syracuse shouldn’t even be here…

Five paragraphs in Forde writes, “They beat four teams each to make it to Houston, and you could argue they also beat the system.”

I’m sorry that the NCAA didn’t punish Syracuse hard enough to prevent them from making it to this stage, I really am. It must be so hard to see the Orange respond to one of the NCAA’s largest college basketball punishments ever with a run to the Final Four.

Stop it.

Did Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse basketball program make mistakes? Yes. Were they punished for it? Yes. The last time I checked Boeheim did serve his nine game suspension and SU started its loss of scholarships penalties this season.

This isn’t time to wine about how the NCAA should’ve guaranteed Syracuse didn’t make this far of a run.

How about celebrating just how incredible this run has been? Syracuse lost to St. John’s, a team that would finish its season 1-21 after that victory, without its Hall of Fame coach. That’s rock bottom. That same team is now playing in the Final Four. This is a historic turn around; it’s unfathomable.

Syracuse definitely did feel the effects of the NCAA’s sanctions. The 4-5 stretch under Mike Hopkins was ugly, losing Thomas Bryant to Indiana hurt and having limited time to recruit is a big blow.

Forde finishes out his post with this, “They haven’t enjoyed the trip through the enforcement labyrinth, but it hasn’t stopped them, either.”

My question for him is why does it have to stop them?

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Posted: Connor Morrisette

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