SYRACUSE -- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Thursday he will appeal "unduly harsh" NCAA sanctions for violations that occurred over a decade and that 2018 is the "right time" to retire.
Speaking two hours before the start of the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Boeheim said some of the NCAA's allegations laid out in a scathing report this month are inaccurate.
"This is far from a program where student-athletes freely committed academic fraud," Boeheim said. "I believe the penalty is unduly harsh."
The NCAA punished Boeheim and Syracuse for academic, benefits and other violations that officials said showed the university had lost control of the athletic department.
"I'll take the punishment," Boeheim said. "Today what's important is to handle what I have to do here. I am 70 years old. It's obvious there's a time frame for me as head coach. I feel that three years is right for me. Three years is probably longer than I was planning."
The violations have blemished the final chapter of Boeheim's decorated career, but his three-year exit plan and support from Syracuse officials throughout the investigation shows how powerful he has become as the face of the university.
Boeheim built his reputation over five decades as a player and a coach, revered for wins and delivering a national title to a struggling city in 2003.
"Given all these developments, it's right for the program [for me to stay]," Boeheim said. "I've told every recruit I'm going to coach next year. If anybody's concerned about recruiting, I don't think that's an issue." -- AP