Syracuse has self-imposed a ban on the postseason this year, and let’s face it – this is as bad as the Orange program hopes it gets. There’s no doubt there was funny business going on around the program a few years ago. Whether it was Fab Melo’s academic eligibility, the Yahoo! Sports report about failed drug tests, or any other problems big-time college programs usually run into, SU had some stained sheets. The problem is (trying not to sound like a Syracuse apologist) this is pretty damn normal.
Recruiting violations. Academic violations. Bending, breaking rules. Someone welcome UConn, North Carolina, Kansas and Memphis into the room. All of which have been top programs, played for national championships, and have dealt with major investigations.
The interesting thing is not that this happened – it’s that Syracuse is trying to play the chess game here. We wish we didn’t have to miss the money that comes with the postseason. We wish we didn’t have to take a March ban as a black-eye. But we know we aren’t going very far this year, so let’s take the bullet now.
Sure, they could’ve waited for the NCAA to make a decision. Risk a scholarship reduction or lighter punishment, and roll the dice. Or take the medicine now, and hope it’s enough for the NCAA cops to track back to their office since next year’s class will be much better suited to make a deep run. Sucks for Rak. He deserves to play in the postseason this year. But overall, most SU fans knew it would end badly anyway this March. So as SU clearly concurred: don’t play and try to stay ahead of the storm.