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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

This is an interesting take on rules violations, but is anybody buying Jim Boeheim’s theory?

The Syracuse coaching legend, while chatting with USA Today, addressed the story line of the Final Four’s feature even on Saturday night with two-storied programs clouded in current or looming NCAA sanctions.

After missing the postseason last year and serving a nine-game suspension earlier this season, coach Boeheim wants folks to know that “rules were broken," but "nobody cheated.”

“It’s something I regret,” Boeheim said. “I’m not happy about that. I don’t think we gained any competitive advantage at any time in this whole case that we’ve been through for 10 years. I think it weighed on us for 10 years and affected recruiting for 10 years. That’s just part of the punishment.

“But when they say ‘cheating,’ that’s not true. Rules being broken is a lot different. Cheating to me is intentionally doing something, like you wanted to get this recruit so you arranged a job for him, or you went to see him when you shouldn’t. You called him when you shouldn’t to gain an edge in recruiting to get a really good player. That’s cheating.”

The sanctions followed an almost 10-year investigation into the program, but now the Orange can prepare for the future knowing that the worst is behind them.

-- Glenn Erby

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