A.D. Steps Down as Syracuse Prepares N.C.A.A. Appeal

March 19, 2015

Syracuse University's head basketball coach, Jim Boeheim, will retire in three seasons, its athletics director has resigned and the university will appeal some of the sanctions imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association earlier this month. The three announcements were all included in an e-mail sent by Kent Syverud, Syracuse's chancellor, to students and faculty members on Wednesday. Syverud said the university remains "disturbed by the severity of certain penalties" imposed by the N.C.A.A. over allegations that the university and its basketball coach did not properly monitor the program, leading to academic fraud, improper payment to athletes by a booster and failure to follow its own drug testing policies.

The university will appeal the vacating of certain wins for the men's basketball team (the N.C.A.A. would like to vacate more than 100 of them) and the reduction in men's basketball scholarships. "The decision to appeal is not taken lightly," Syverud stated. "However, based on the facts and a review of previous N.C.A.A. infractions decisions, the university believes the impact of these specific penalties is excessive and disproportionate. The university also will support Coach Boeheim should he choose to appeal penalties that affect him personally."

Boeheim has not announced yet whether he will appeal any penalties, but Syverud said Wednesday that Boeheim will retire in three seasons, bringing an end to his 40-year career as head coach. "His goal in making this decision and announcement now is to bring certainty to the team and program in the coming years and enable and plan for a successful, longer-term transition in coaching leadership," Syverud said.

Daryl Gross, who has been the university's athletics director for a decade and helped lead Syracuse's transition from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference, resigned from his position on Wednesday. He will remain with the university as Syverud's vice president and assistant and as an adjunct professor of sport and human dynamics. "Our vision was to graduate student-athletes and provide them with the tools with which they can make a positive impact on society, and I feel that goal was accomplished," Gross said in a statement.

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