Syracuse Says NCAA Was Told About Basketball Players’ Drug Tests

Syracuse University self-reported possible violations involving positive drug tests by former men’s basketball players to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

At least 10 players since 2001 were allowed to practice or play when they should have been suspended after failing tests for banned recreational drugs, Yahoo Sports reported.

The report, based on four people close to the basketball program who requested anonymity, said some of the players may not have known of their ineligibility.

Kevin Quinn, the university’s senior vice president for public affairs, said yesterday that Syracuse already had informed the NCAA about the drug testing and that “the inquiry does not involve any current SU student-athletes.”

“In accordance with NCAA regulations, it is the university’s practice to self-report possible violations to the NCAA,” Quinn said in an e-mailed statement. “We self-reported issues with drug testing to the NCAA, and there is currently an ongoing inquiry.”

Syracuse won the 2003 NCAA championship. The current team is 30-1 and ranked No. 2 in the nation, and is the top seed in the Big East conference tournament that begins today at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

In November, assistant coach Bernie Fine was fired amid a police investigation into allegations of child sexual assaults. Fine was in his 36th season at Syracuse.

Yahoo said Syracuse violated its drug policy in at least two areas -- failing to properly count positive tests and playing ineligible players. A former Syracuse basketball player, whose name was not revealed, told Yahoo he was questioned by the NCAA about the school’s drug-testing policy.

The NCAA released a statement last night saying Syracuse self-reported the violations “several months ago” and that its investigation is ongoing.

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