Syracuse bans men's basketball team from NCAA, ACC tournaments

Syracuse bans men's basketball team from NCAA, ACC tournaments due to possible infractions

Syracuse University announced a decision to ban its men's basketball team from the 2015 NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference tournaments, citing an ongoing investigation into possible team infractions.

In a statement released Wednesday, school officials said the self-imposed ban had to do with "potential violations" that the university reported to the NCAA in 2007. Most of the potential misconduct occurred years ago and none of the allegations involved any student-athletes currently affiliated with the school, according to the statement.

"The university has taken this matter seriously and worked with the NCAA for nearly eight years to investigate and address potential rules violations. The process has been exhaustive," Chancellor Kent Syverud said in the statement. "We have taken responsibility for past violations and worked hard to ensure they are not repeated. I am disappointed for our current men's basketball players who must shoulder this postseason ban."

The school declined to elaborate on the nature of the possible infractions, citing the ongoing NCAA probe. The school last faced controversy during the 2012 NCAA tournament, when center Fab Melo was ruled ineligible.

The Orangemen, who have reached the NCAA tournament the last six years in a row and advanced to the Final Four in 2013, were no lock to crack the field of 68 this season. The team has not been ranked in the Associated Press top 25 since November and had a middling record of 15-7 as of Wednesday.

The ACC tournament will feature 14 teams this year, with Syracuse dropped from the field that will compete for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

League Commissioner John Swofford applauded the college's decision.

"We are fully supportive of Syracuse and its decision to self-impose sanctions by removing themselves from any men’s basketball postseason opportunities," Swofford said in a statement. "They’ve been cooperative throughout the NCAA process, and I commend Chancellor Syverud and the Syracuse University leadership for taking this proactive step.”

Syracuse's ban extends to all potential postseason tournaments, including the National Invitational Tournament.

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