Many Syracuse fans are surprised it took this long, but head coach Jim Boeheim has finally filed an appeal of the suspension that prohibits him from coaching the first nine ACC games. There are no details about the date of the appeal or when we can expect the appeal to be resolved.
It is puzzling that he waited this long. It is understandable that he didn’t want to file during the season but now that he has waited so long he is risking the decision being handed down after the season actually begins, which would be a huge distraction.
As for the appeal itself, it is hard to see Boeheim’s punishment getting cut down and it is almost impossible to imagine that it will be completely taken away. The issue facing Boeheim is that there is very little he can say at his appeal.
He has come out and publicly said that Syracuse violated the NCAA’s academic integrity policy and that he had, at the very least, known about the violations as they were happening. What can he say to justify a reduction in the suspension?
The answer is that there is pretty much nothing he can say. He could try to point to other schools that have been punished and how his personal punishment was more severe, but every case is different so it’s almost impossible to compare.
The only thing Boeheim may have going for him is that the punishment is unfair, not just to him, but also to the team. It is unprecedented to have a coach start a season and two months into the season, have to sit out for two months before coming back to finish the season. Presumably, Mike Hopkins will take over the bench in Boeheim’s absence, but is it really fair to the team to have to go back and forth between coaches in the middle of a season?
Maybe the inevitable sanctions against UNC will take some of the attention off of Jim. Then again, that might just be wishful thinking. In reality, there just isn’t much reason for optimism when it comes to the Boeheim appeal.