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SU athletic director Daryl Gross steps down; coach Jim Boeheim to retire in 3 years

Boeheim-MGoblog.jpg
MGoBlog
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via Flickr
Syracuse University men's basketball coach Jim Beoheim, center.

The impact of an NCAA investigation into Syracuse University's athletics department has come to bear: Daryl Gross is out as athletic director and men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim will retire in three years.

The university also announced Wednesday it will appeal the vacation of more than 100 wins as ordered by the NCAA.

A week and a half ago, the governing body for college sports released the results of an investigation into Syracuse University's sports program, primarily men's basketball. The NCAA found instances of academic fraud, drug policy violations, extra benefits given to players and a "failure to promote an attitude of compliance" over the course of a decade.

In a letter to the university community, Chancellor Kent Syverud announced Daryl Gross will step down as athletic director and move into a different position within the university's sports management department. 

While the NCAA report directed the blame at Boeheim, Gross was reportedly a part of a major instance of academic fraud that was a center piece in the investigation. 

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Credit Syracuse University
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Outgoing Syracuse University athletic director Daryl Gross.

Syverud wrote:

Dr. Gross has asked to conclude his tenure as Director of Athletics and transition to a new role at the University that can benefit from his background and experience in the areas of marketing and advancement. He believes this transition will allow SU Athletics to move forward and position itself for continued future success. Effective today, Dr. Gross will serve as Vice President and Special Assistant to the Chancellor, and adjunct professor in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. Dr. Gross has embraced this opportunity and we look forward to his continued contributions.

Gross steered Orange sports for a decade into an era of national branding and a move from the Big East to Atlantic Coast Conference. He said this in a written statement:

I am thankful to have worked with what I consider the greatest coaching staff in the country and our student-athletes who have competed proudly at the highest national levels. Our vision was to graduate student-athletes and provide them with the tools with which they can make a positive impact on society, and I feel that goal was accomplished. I am also thankful for my wonderful staff who have been exemplary. In addition, I am truly humbled by the amazing support of the Syracuse community. There are no better fans in the world, as proven by the numerous record crowds. I believe Syracuse athletics is positioned to flourish going forward in the most extraordinary way.

As for Boeheim, who has become a larger-than-life figure on the S.U. campus during his four decades as head basketball coach, the university has stood by him during the investigation's fallout. Syverud said the 70-year-old Boeheim will retire after three more seasons as coach. 

"His goal in making this decision and announcement now is to bring certainty to the team and program in the coming years, and enable and plan for a successful, longer-term transition in coaching leadership," Syverud said in the letter.

Syverud reiterated that the university does not agree with all the findings and punishments handed down by the NCAA, which include the win vacation, a nine game suspension for Boeheim, as well as the loss of scholarships and fines.

S.U. will appeal the wins vacations - which could total more than 100 victories for games spanning four seasons in which ineligible players participated in. Syverud said the university will also stand by Boeheim if he decides to separately appeal.