The 2017-18 college basketball season has yet to begin, but Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is already his usual cranky self.
In his preseason press conference last Friday, he said he didn’t want to say much about the investigation about North Carolina, but Boeheim did raise questions about how the Tar Heels avoided any type of punishment.
“I’m not going to comment on anything about that,” Boeheim said when asked about the disproportionate penalties according to Syracuse.com. “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 A’s?”
The 10-page paper Boeheim is referring to is an assignment that former Orange center Fab Melo received help on from director of basketball operations Stan Kissel about five years ago. Boeheim was “deemed responsible” for Kissel’s behavior, and that was one of the major reasons Syracuse received harsh NCAA penalties in 2015.
But in Boeheim’s mind, the same rules weren’t applied to Roy Williams at North Carolina.
According to Syracuse.com, the NCAA discovered that the only people who violated rules were the head of the African-American studies programs Julius Nyang’oro and his secretary Debbie Crowder. Despite Crowder exchanging e-mails regularly with men’s basketball team academic adviser Wayne Walden, who works very closely with coach Williams, the North Carolina basketball program was free of any wrongdoing because Nyang’oro and Crowder don’t directly report to the head coach.
Through those two people’s efforts, though, North Carolina offered 18 years of classes that often required very little effort to pass with the intent of keeping athletes eligible to win championships.
Maybe cranky Boeheim has a point? Failing to monitor 18 years worth of classes does sound considerably worse than not knowing about a 10-page paper.
Regardless, the Syracuse-North Carolina matchup at the Carrier Dome on Feb. 21 could be a very interesting one.
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