Jim Boeheim will still have to serve his nine-game suspension, but can do it during the non-conference schedule, the NCAA announced Thursday.
The NCAA suspended Boeheim in March after a prolonged investigation into the Syracuse athletic program. Syracuse also loses eight scholarships over a four-year period and must vacate 108 victories from 2004-2012.
The original decision ruled that Boeheim must serve the suspension during ACC play, but Thursday’s ruling lets him begin it with Saturday’s game against Georgetown. He will still miss three conference games, against Miami, Clemson and Pittsburgh. Associate head coach Mike Hopkins will coach the team during the suspension.
Boeheim is unhappy with the timing of the decision.
“They gave us two days’ notice,” Boeheim told ESPN on Thursday. “If they were going to do this, why not six weeks ago? We’d been preparing to use the next few games and practices to prepare the coaching staff for what was going to happen. Now we have less than two days. The players are in class. They’re going to know from the public before they hear it from me.”
During the suspension, he cannot enter team facilities and cannot contact any player or staff member. Once it begins on Saturday, he will have no input until the day of Syracuse’s game against North Carolina on Jan. 9.
“It’ll be difficult, very difficult,” Boeheim said. “I’ve missed three games in 40 years, and that’s when I was being treated for cancer. That’s it. It will be a very difficult process. We just have to work through it. The team will be all right. The coaches are prepared.”