Boosters gave Syracuse basketball players cash, free meals, free legal advice and other benefits in violation of NCAA rules, university officials admitted Wednesday in the findings of an internal investigation.
But Syracuse Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw stressed that coach Jim Boeheim and his assistants were not responsible for the violations and that the university had not lost control of its program.
"The violations we found were unacceptable, but they were isolated incidents," Shaw said.
"I have the utmost confidence in the program and individuals who run it there isn't any reason for me to have doubt about Boeheim," Shaw said.
Boeheim was pleased to hear that, but the 15-year Syracuse coach wasn't so easy on himself.
"It's like when you lose a game. Who's responsible? Me," said Boeheim. "The basketball coach is responsible for everything that happens in his program."
The school admitted 13 apparent rules violations and probable wrongdoing in two other instances.
Shaw declined to speculate on what penalties Syracuse might face as a result of the 500-page report. But he said "clearly there will be sanctions" from the NCAA.
This is the first time Syracuse's basketball team has been accused of violating NCAA rules. No team in the Big East Conference has faced NCAA sanctions.
"I'm pleased that they came to the conclusion there's no systematic intent to violate NCAA rules," said Boeheim, whose team is 16-4 and ranked 10th. "That's something we've maintained from the very beginning, and I think that the violations that were discovered were isolated incidents."
Boeheim said he believed his program had stood up well after nearly two years of scrutiny.
"There's no program that can withstand 22 months of investigation and not find a violation," said Boeheim.
Syracuse spokesman Robert Hill said the university expects an official NCAA investigation. The NCAA already has conducted several interviews, he said.