- Dana O'Neil, College Basketball Reporter
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NEW YORK -- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Thursday his school told the NCAA "five years ago" about possible violations of its internal drug policy, even though the university and the NCAA both have said the self-report came over one year ago.
A reporter followed Boeheim's remark by asking, "You got a report of it 5 years ago?" Boeheim replied with an affirmative "Uh-huh."
Boeheim spoke at a news conference at the Big East tournament. Later Thursday, the NCAA issued a statement that said it "received a self-report from Syracuse University on October 27, 2010."
On the heels of a Yahoo! Sports report that at least 10 players participated in games over the past 10 years despite repeated failed drug tests, Syracuse last week announced it had self-reported potential violations regarding its drug-testing policy.
After the news conference, Boeheim clarified his timeline, saying it had all been going on a "long time," but he insisted it won't interfere with his team's play.
Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross told the Syracuse Post-Standard on Monday that the university reported the possible violations to the NCAA "years ago."
A Syracuse spokesperson said Boeheim's comments were more of a general reference than an exact time frame.
Boeheim said neither he nor his team is worried about an NCAA investigation.
"All these guys care about is how they play and where their girlfriends are," he said. "They don't care about this stuff. Teams that lose say that. 'Oh, we lost because of the distractions.' That's bull----. Players care about how they play, how their team is playing and where their girlfriends are. That's it."
The Hall of Fame coach said that he did not intentionally violate an NCAA rule.
"The one thing I should have said -- I never knowingly played an ineligible player," Boeheim said. "That is the one thing I am allowed to say."
It has been an especially tumultuous year for the No. 2 Orange. In December, longtime associate head coach Bernie Fine was accused of sexually abusing a former team manager. The school later dismissed Fine.
And now, with the Orange eyeing their second national title, there is the cloud of an NCAA probe.
But Boeheim, who has handled his fair share of turmoil in his career, said that there was no sense worrying about the NCAA investigation until it is resolved.
"I put it away. I learned that a long time ago playing golf," he said. "You have one bad hole, if you worry about it, you're going to play [badly] the whole time. I won't take it out until it's resolved.
"But that's the problem today. You don't know how bad something is until it's resolved but if you're charged with murder and two years later they say you're innocent, for two years you were a murderer. We've got to wait until it's over and we let it all play out."
Jim Boeheim said Thursday his school told the NCAA "five years ago" that players participated in games over the past 10 years despite repeated failed drug tests, even though the university and the NCAA both have said the self-report came just last year.