Syracuse Basketball is just an example of the changing times, and Coach Jim Boeheim is the comic figure in all of this. Ordering teams in violation of the rules to vacate wins is something the NCAA has done recently. In the past, NCAA penalties only meant the violating team lost scholarships and couldn’t play in the post-season. If you want to go way back, the violations resulted in being banned from having their games televised. But that’s history, because there’s too much money to be made.
This vacating of wins stuff started with the scandal at Penn State involving Jerry Sandusky. Jim Boeheim should have to vacate 108 wins because his violations resulted in many of those wins. Had he not cheated, Syracuse Basketball would not be considered a National Power. In fact, I’m not sure they were ever considered one. Syracuse Basketball is like the Boise State Football of college basketball. No one really wants to watch them play, but they just keep showing up like a bad penny.
Penn State is a different matter altogether. This first class football program was, and will be again, a National Power. Had Jerry Sandusky not been turned on by boys, and kept his pants up, Penn State would still have won the games they were ordered to vacate. Penn State’s violations had nothing to do with the football program.
The NCAA should take away the 108 games from Syracuse, and no one outside of Syracuse would care. But they shouldn’t have taken the 112 wins away from Joe Paterno, because people all across the United States do care. The NCAA obviously knows this, otherwise they wouldn’t have given them back. Of course, there could be another reason. Perhaps the NCAA wanted to clear their conscience. But I don’t think so. The NCAA has no conscience.