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Former guard Louie McCroskey discusses perception of Jim Boeheim, drug policy, 2 key figures in NCAA report

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Former Syracuse guard Louie McCroskey, who played for the Orange from 2003-06 before transferring, offered his reaction to the penalties levied on his former school.McCroskey also discussed the team’s drug policy — which he was unaware of, the public’s perception of head coach Jim Boeheim and how he thinks athletes are framed in NCAA cases.He also explained his relationship with two people who are repeatedly mentioned in the NCAA’s 94-page report — Stan Kissel, often referred to in the report as the director of basketball operations, and Jeff Cornish, who The Post-Standard has identified as “the representative” named in the report.Perception of Jim BoeheimMcCroskey left SU after the 2005-06 season because he said he thought Boeheim and the coaching staff only saw him as a utility on the court, and not as a person off it. He said he thought he’d get support for wanting to better his basketball career somewhere else, but instead received “backlash” from the coaches.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMcCroskey went on to say that while he has tried to detach himself from Boeheim on a personal level, the head coach deserves the respect he gets for building the Syracuse program to what it has become.Still, he admitted his former head coach isn’t perceived well in the public eye.“You’ve got to look at it from two different perspectives, like is he well-liked and stuff like that,” McCroskey said. “I don’t think he necessarily cares.“He says what he wants and he does things his own way. People don’t necessarily like him. He either likes you or he don’t. If he doesn’t like you, he gives you a hard time.”Relationship with Stan Kissel and Jeff CornishA frequent mention in the NCAA report, Kissel is near the heart of the violations. Still, McCroskey defended the man he said was always “cool” with him.“If you ever needed the help and you ever needed a tutor, he was the first guy to always be like, ‘All right, I’m going to try and hook you up with this tutor,’” McCroskey said. “Stan was always a great guy. “Cornish, the former sports director at the Oneida YMCA criticized for illegally paying athletes, also had a good rapport with McCroskey, he said.“When people are saying this stuff, it kind of makes me laugh because I’m like, ‘Well I never received any money,” McCroskey said. “If you didn’t have a father, he was a guy who was always around, there to talk to people if you need him, stuff like that.“I’ve never really looked at him as a booster or that type of guy.”The drug policyAccording to the NCAA’s report, Syracuse violated its own drug policy on more than one occasion.McCroskey said he wasn’t aware of a specific drug policy, just that he wasn’t supposed to do drugs and that he’d receive random drug tests.“(The coaches) never told us about drugs because I guess they assumed most guys didn’t use drugs,” he said.McCroskey mentioned how he received a random drug test “a few times” in between the end of the regular season and beginning of the Big East tournament. But it was never Boeheim or any of the coaches who educated the players on drug tests.“I just heard it from trainers and stuff when they would be like, ‘You guys are going to get a random drug test, so you shouldn’t be doing drugs at all,” McCroskey said. “That was more of the conversation.”Framing of athletesWhen an athlete’s name goes in the media for an academic violation, McCroskey said he frowns upon the circus that ensues.“I don’t like how grown adults, mostly with family and children, like to single out kids,” McCroskey said. “You’re going to have Fab Melo’s name in the paper, right? And Syracuse fans will go crazy and say, ‘Oh, that’s a dummy’ and this and that.“People don’t understand that has to follow them for the rest of their lives, you know what I mean, so it better be true.”He said too many people think of student-athletes as “dumb squares,” but in fact they’re very aware of what’s going on. Sometimes, he added, athletes are just afraid to speak up and defend themselves.Reaction to the sanctionsMcCroskey didn’t expect the NCAA to come down as hard as it did, and expressed his sympathy for the current SU players who won’t get to play in the postseason.“It’s really unfortunate for the players because at the end of the day, Rakeem Christmas, (Trevor) Cooney, all these guys,” he said. “They work hard for years and now they’re the ones getting penalized for something that didn’t even have anything to do with them.”He said he feels for the fans and all those involved since there are a lot of people, both fans and players, in it for the right reason.Said McCroskey: “I’m sure if (the NCAA’s) done all this research and they found stuff, then obviously it is what it is.” Comments Published on March 8, 2015 at 6:59 pm Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidmanlast_img read more

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