Reports: NCAA investigates Syracuse

McClatchy news servicesMarch 21, 2013 

Syracuse has been under investigation for possible NCAA violations, mostly in its basketball program, for at least a year, according to two media reports.

CBS Sports.com, citing an unidentified source, reported Wednesday that the school has received a letter of preliminary inquiry from the NCAA.

The Post-Standard newspaper of Syracuse, N.Y., reported NCAA investigators have been conducting interviews with school employees and former employees. The report said the investigation includes the handling of former player Fab Melo’s academic eligibility.

In 2012, the star center was declared ineligible for the NCAA tournament days before it started.

“Same story they had last year at this time,” coach Jim Boeheim said in San Jose, Calif., before the Orange played Montana in its opening game of the NCAA tournament. “I guess that’s annual. I guess next year we’ll get it again.”

Boeheim would not answer any specific questions about the report but said he wasn’t bothered by the timing of it on the eve of the tournament.

The school also acknowledged last year that the college sports governing body had inquired into old allegations that players were allowed to practice and play despite being in violation of the school’s drug policy.

RULES CHANGE STOPPED

The NCAA’s plan to update the recruiting process has hit another snag.

Three more rules that were passed by the board of directors in January will get a second look from the board in May after at least 75 schools, the minimum needed, signed a petition to override the legislation before Wednesday’s deadline.

That means the legislation intended to eliminate rules about how coaches communicate with recruits and how often they can contact recruits outside the traditional non-contact periods has been put on hold.

The board has three options: Stick with the legislation it originally passed and submit it for an online vote of Division I members, rescind the legislation or modify it and subject it to another 60-day override effort.

OBAMA PICKS INDIANA

President Barack Obama is picking Indiana to go all the way in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

ESPN said Obama picked the Hoosiers to win the title in his 2013 bracket. He predicted Louisville, Ohio State and Florida will reach the Final Four.

FRIENDS FACE OFF

Akron coach Keith Dambrot says he loves VCU’s Shaka Smart like a brother. He still wants to beat his former assistant.

Dambrot thinks an upset is possible if the 12th-seeded Zips can slow down the fifth-seeded Rams today.

The Rams have their highest seeding since being a No. 2 in 1985. Back then, Smart was 7 and Dambrot was a 26-year-old coach at Tiffin University.

FAST BREAKS

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