Jim Boeheim was suspended for nine games this season as a result of NCAA sanctions on a litany of charges against Syracuse. During his absence associate head coach Mike Hopkins took over and the Orange went 4-5. With Boeheim on the bench this season, they are 13-3. Now we’re being told that the team’s time without Boeheim on the bench will be discounted by the NCAA Tournament selection committee, which is absolutely ridiculous.
If Rothstein’s report is correct, it basically means that Syracuse’s losses to Georgetown, St. John’s, Pittsburgh, Miami and Clemson won’t be considered because their head coach was suspended. Would the committee be treating this the same way if a team struggled while a player was injured or suspended? This is hot, flaming garbage flung into a tire fire. You have to consider the entirety of a team’s resume, I don’t care who is coaching or playing. Good teams rise above those circumstances.
Wisconsin had a coaching change midseason and according to Rothstein, the Badgers won’t get special consideration:
This makes no sense and the backlash against the NCAA for this would be enormous. Indiana lost second-leading scorer James Blackmon, Jr. for the year thanks to a knee injury and the Hoosiers are clearly a different team without him. Should the embarrassing losses Indiana suffered at the hands of Wake Forest, UNLV and Duke be wiped off its slate because Blackmon played then and isn’t playing now? Of course not. You can’t do some kind of voodoo math with this stuff. Syracuse is 17-8 and has a few bad losses, period.
On top of everything, it’s not like Boeheim had a health issue and had to sit out, this suspension was his own doing. The NCAA determined that he oversaw a rogue program that didn’t follow the rules for nearly a decade. The violations included the unholy trinity of failed drug tests, academic misconduct and extra benefits to players. He earned every bit of that suspension (arguably more, really) and his team suffered as a result. The selection committee deciding to weigh those games differently essentially lets Boeheim and Syracuse off the hook for problems of their own making.
On Selection Sunday Syracuse’s entire resume must be considered or the process will be completely corrupted. Certain teams can’t be given special consideration at the expense of others.