Jim Boeheim

Things continue to go sour for the ACC, as recently added perennial powerhouse Syracuse was hammered with significant sactions after several investigations by the NCAA:

The director’s solution, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, was for athletics staff members to access and monitor the e-mail accounts of several players, communicate directly with faculty members as if they were the athletes, and then complete coursework for them. In one case, an athlete had his eligibility restored by turning in a paper to raise a grade he had earned the previous year. The paper was written by the director and a basketball facility receptionist.

It’s no surprise when universities are found to be cutting corners, particularly at the highest levels of winning. Many fans believe that all of the major universities “cheat” to some degree. However, the most damning aspect of the Syracuse violations is probably the fact that staff members were actively posing as the athletes in emails and schoolwork, sometimes without even the athlete’s knowledge.

Frank Howard basketball

Syracuse had a big day shuffling players yesterday after Jerami Grant declared for the NBA draft and Frank Howard committed to the Orange:

Howard, a high school junior, made a verbal commitment to the Orange during a television appearance on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Monday night. He picked SU from a final list that included Maryland, Georgetown, Virginia, N.C. State and Ohio State.

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Syracus Pitt ACC
Photo: Flikr/brilestakespictures

In a shocking 24 hour turn of events, two new teams have joined the ACC: Syracuse Pittsburgh, formerly two mainstays of the Big East and two teams that will bring their own history of star college basketball to the Atlantic Coast Conference. The ACC announced the move on Sunday morning:

The Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents has unanimously voted to accept the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University as new members. The invitation followed the submission of letters of application from both universities.

“The ACC is a strong united conference that is only going to get better with the addition of the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University,” said Duke University President Richard Broadhead, chair of the ACC Council of Presidents. “Both schools are committed to competing at the highest level of academics and athletics. We welcome them as full partners in the ACC.”

“The ACC has enjoyed a rich tradition by balancing academics and athletics and the addition of Pitt and Syracuse further strengthens the ACC culture in this regard,” said Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford. “Pittsburgh and Syracuse also serve to enhance the ACC’s reach into the states of New York and Pennsylvania and geographically bridges our footprint between Maryland and Massachusetts. With the addition of Pitt and Syracuse, the ACC will cover virtually the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States.”