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Boeheim takes court for final game of year after NCAA ruling

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The NCAA has suspended Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim Friday, March 6, 2015, for nine games for academic, drug and gifts violations committed primarily by the men's basketball program.
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RALEIGH, N.C. >> Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim took the court with his Orange for the final time this season Saturday, a day after the NCAA hit the program with sanctions for numerous rules violations after a long investigation.

The school had previously announced a one-year postseason ban amid the ongoing case, making the trip to North Carolina State the final stop in the Hall of Fame coach’s 39th season and keeping the Orange out of next week’s ACC tournament in Greensboro.

But on Friday, the NCAA wrapped things up by hitting the school with penalties for academic, drug and gifts violations committed primarily by the men’s basketball team.

While the school faces financial penalties, scholarship reductions and five years of probation, possibly the biggest penalty was saved for Boeheim himself — a nine-game suspension for next year to be served during ACC games.

Many N.C. State fans stopped their “Wolf! Pack!” chant during Syracuse’s starting lineups long enough to strongly boo Boeheim when he was introduced.

Then others sang the chorus from the Village People’s song “YMCA” during Syracuse’s early possessions. It was a reference to some of the violations outlined by the NCAA, notably that a booster had provided more than $8,000 in cash to three football and two men’s basketball players for volunteering at a local YMCA.

Still, it was an awkward situation for the host Wolfpack. N.C. State is still trying to ensure its spot in the NCAA Tournament, and wins against three other Hall of Fame coaches — Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Louisville’s Rick Pitino and North Carolina’s Roy Williams — this year have helped its case.

Beating Syracuse and a fourth Hall of Famer would only help, but the national focus on the Wolfpack’s own Senior Day was the visiting team in orange and its beleaguered coach.

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