The other day, I went into detail about why it appears that the sanctions handed down by the NCAA against Syracuse University effectively ended the recruitment of highly coveted center Thomas Bryant. Well, not so fast. This is far from a sure thing, but it seems like there may be a loophole that the Orange could potentially take advantage of to land the 5-star stud from Rochester.
Now, it’s still far too early to know one way or the other how the NCAA sanctions will impact the recruitment of Thomas Bryant. And the indications from some insiders at Syracusefan.com are that the coaching staff at SU is interpreting the scholarship sanctions the same way that I did on Friday.
That said – an important piece of information was nestled in a piece written by Chris Carlson of the Syracuse Post-Standard on Friday:
“The sanctions would not be enforced until after the appeal process is completed.”
Obviously, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything with regard to Thomas Bryant, or whether Syracuse would be able to add an additional player to its 2015-2016 roster. But it appears that, now that SU is in the midst of filing its appeal, no sanctions can be enforced until the committee has received, reviewed, and ruled on the appeal. There’s no telling how long that could take, but according to the NCAA, there is “a 110-day timeline, but it may take longer depending on the complexity of the case.”
That means that it appears, at a minimum, that Syracuse won’t find out the result of its appeal until at least July, and probably later. Because the scholarship reductions cannot take place until the sanctions actually begin, and because Syracuse is already allowed to defer based on the language involved (specifically, that already executed financial agreements will allow SU to begin scholarship reductions in 2016-2017), does this conceivably mean that there is in fact a window of opportunity to land Thomas Bryant?
Bryant was in Bloomington over the weekend visiting the Indiana Hoosiers, who are suddenly a favorite to land the big man now that Syracuse has apparently been ruled out. But with Tom Crean’s job in jeopardy, along with this news that sanctions will have to be delayed until after the appeals process has been concluded, it appears to be a whole new ballgame. Obviously Syracuse still has all 13 scholarships filled, but as Jim Boeheim said last week, “tremendous changes” are coming, which would seem to indicate that not all of those players will be on the roster next season.