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Winning at any cost: Did Cuse ignore drug tests?

According to a report by Yahoo! Sports' Charles Robinson and Pat Forde, Syracuse University's nationally-prominent men's basketball program has been "awash in positive drug tests" since 2001. The report alleges that the university failed to enforce its own internal drug policies on the basketball program and allowed ineligible players to play.

Specifically, they found that at least 10 players were allowed to practice and play during that period, "when they should have been suspended by the athletic department, including instances when some players may not have known of their own ineligibility."

Furthermore, the NCAA has apparently looked into the matter. According to Yahoo!:

A fifth source, a former Syracuse basketball player, told Yahoo! Sports he was questioned by the NCAA regarding the school’s drug testing policy. It is unknown whether the positive tests or potential NCAA investigation affect the current Syracuse basketball team, which is 30-1 and ranked No. 2 in the nation under Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim. However, four sources said the breadth of potential violations could apply to Syracuse seasons as far back as 2001 and include the 2002-03 national championship season.

Syracuse could potentially be punished by the NCAA for violations dating back for the past decade if it is found that they were "Willful Violators," according to the report, and they may also be charged with a lack of institutional control for concealing positive results as Baylor was in 2005.

The NCAA does not require that schools have a drug-testing policy in place, but does subject the schools that do internally have programs to oversight and sanctioning. The NCAA also tests athletes at all of its championship events, including the NCAA basketball tournament.

Syracuse can add this to a list of other scandals, including the Bernie Fine pedophilia allegations, a report that an agent loaned former guard Donté Greene's uncle $50,000, and various legal and disciplinary issues affecting numerous players in recent years.


In accordance with NCAA regulations, it is the University's practice to self-report possible violations to the NCAA. We self-reported issues with drug testing to the NCAA, and there is currently an ongoing inquiry. The inquiry does not involve any current SU student-athletes. To ensure the integrity of the ongoing process, we are unable to comment further at this time.