NCAA notes: Syracuse being investigated by NCAA

  • Article by: ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • March 20, 2013 - 11:51 PM

Syracuse has been under investigation for possible NCAA violations, mostly in its basketball program, for at least a year, according to two media reports.

CBS, citing an unidentified source, reported Wednesday that the school has received a letter of preliminary inquiry from the NCAA.

The Post-Standard reported NCAA investigators have been conducting interviews with Syracuse employees and former employees. The newspaper said the investigation includes the handling of former player Fab Melo’s academic eligibility.

In 2012, the star center was declared ineligible for the NCAA tournament days before it started.

“Same story they had last year at this time,” coach Jim Boeheim said in San Jose, Calif., before the Orange played Montana in their opening game of the NCAA tournament. “I guess that’s annual. I guess next year we’ll get it again.”

Boeheim would not answer any specific questions about the report but said he wasn’t bothered by the timing of it on the eve of the tournament.

“We’re concerned about playing Montana,” he said. “What people write or say, you know, there’s 30,000 people in the Dome yelling at me all the time. People yell at their television sets. I tell them I can’t hear them, but they still yell at them. There’s no distractions for me. And these players, there’s absolutely no distractions for them. They’re here to play Montana and that’s it.”

Big East newcomers

The reconfigured Big East officially got three new members — Butler, Creighton and Xavier — and will start play next season with its tournament at Madison Square Garden and a lucrative broadcasting contract from Fox.

The reworked league, put together after a split with the old Big East was completed earlier this month, will feature the so-called Catholic 7 schools from the old conference plus the three new arrivals.

Together, the basketball-oriented schools have a 12-year deal with Fox worth about $600 million, according to a person with knowledge of the details. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the value was not made public.

Alford’s new deal

New Mexico announced a new 10-year contract for basketball coach Steve Alford that could be worth up to $2 million a year counting base salary and bonuses.

With the third-seeded Lobos getting ready to play No. 14 Harvard on Thursday in a West Regional game, Alford’s contract was the hot topic in his day-before news conference.

Alford, who was directed to Albuquerque by his former coach at Indiana, Bob Knight, is 155-51 over six years at New Mexico. The Lobos are in the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years and their 29 victories are second most in school history. Alford won 30 in 2009-10.

Obama picking Indiana

President Obama is picking Indiana to go all the way in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. ESPN revealed that Obama picked the Hoosiers to win it all in his 2013 bracket. He predicted Louisville, Ohio State and Florida would round out the Final Four.

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