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Report: Syracuse Basketball Violated School’s Drug Policy, Played Ineligible Athletes

Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

Jim Boeheim was able to focus his team and play to a 30-1 regular season record in the midst of sexual molestation allegations against former assistant coach Bernie Fine.
Now, with the Big East Tournament ready to begin and March Madness to follow, a Yahoo! Sports probe of the men’s basketball program finds the school may have ignored positive drugs tests and played athletes who should have been ruled ineligible by the school’s own standards.

Over the course of a three-month investigation, four sources with intimate knowledge of the Syracuse men’s basketball program told Yahoo! Sports at least 10 players since 2001 have tested positive for a banned recreational substance or substances. The sources said all 10 of those players were allowed to practice and play at times when they should have been suspended by the athletic department, including instances when some players may not have known of their own ineligibility. The four sources said Syracuse violated its drug policy in at least two areas: failing to properly count positive tests; and playing ineligible players after they should have been subject to suspension.

A fifth source, a former Syracuse basketball player, told Yahoo! Sports he was questioned by the NCAA regarding the school’s drug testing policy. Syracuse officials released a statement Monday evening about two hours after Y! Sports’ report was published, saying the university has self-reported potential violations to the NCAA and the inquiry doesn’t involve current players. However, four sources said the breadth of potential violations could apply to Syracuse seasons as far back as 2001 and include the 2002-03 national championship season.

The report from Yahoo! Sports says the NCAA confirms that Syracuse did self-report the violations ‘several months ago.’

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