Jim Boeheim: 'Could interpret' NCAA making an example of Syracuse

Boeheim: 'The punishment has been excessive' (2:05)

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim sits down with ESPN's Tommy Tomlinson to discuss the NCAA penalties imposed on the program, including his nine-game suspension and the forfeiture of 108 wins. (2:05)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Tuesday that the NCAA's sanctions against him and the basketball program are excessive and "you could interpret it that" the NCAA is making an example of Syracuse to warn other schools against cheating.

In an interview with ESPN, Boeheim said he doesn't think he personally did anything wrong and said it's still not clear how the NCAA expects coaches to monitor their programs.

"I didn't commit a violation in eight years of investigation, and obviously they tried to find everything that was there, as they should," Boeheim said. "I'm guilty of not monitoring, which is a very nebulous term. Nobody has defined it. What does that mean?"

The NCAA announced in March that it is vacating 108 Syracuse victories between 2004 and 2012 because the school used players who should have been ineligible in some games. The NCAA found several instances of what it called academic fraud, including one case where two staff members did coursework for a player to help him pass a class.

The NCAA also found some players who failed drug tests weren't held out of practices and games even though that was the school's written policy. Also, a booster gave more than $8,000 in cash to two basketball players and three football players for "volunteer work" at a YMCA.

"The institution's head basketball coach failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance and monitor his staff," the NCAA said in its report.

Besides the vacated wins, the NCAA suspended Boeheim for the first nine Atlantic Coast Conference games of the upcoming season and cut three basketball scholarships a year for the next four years.

Syracuse has appealed the ruling.

Boeheim said the penalties are out of line with what other schools -- and other coaches -- got for similar violations in the past.

"I think we feel the punishment has been excessive, and it's the first time a head coach was really charged with the monitoring part and been so severely punished," he said.

Before the sanctions, Boeheim had 966 career victories, behind only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (1,018) on the all-time list. If the sanctions stand, he'll officially have 858, which would make him sixth.

"I know how many games we've won," he said. "I don't know how many they take away. I know how many we've won, for sure."