Hold your applause.

Syracuse University didn’t do the right thing.

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Far from it.

Instead, they are letting a man who cheated go out on his own terms. If they had any teeth, if the shot-callers at the school and powerful alum who love that Orange so much valued moral fiber over — or even as much as — basketball success, they would have bounced Jim Boeheim out today.

Instead, we get further proof who really is in charge up there in western New York. It’s Boeheim, not the people put in place to be the true checks and balances.

They have failed, they have cowered, they have become emasculated by Boeheim.

Wednesday it was announced Boeheim will retire in three years, in a sense eventually going out with three victory laps when he’s 73. This all comes in the wake of a suspension for Boeheim, vacating 108 of his wins and NCAA sanctions levied against the university due to improprieties within the athletic department, many of which within the basketball program under Boeheim’s command.

And what does he get? One big, orange, 36-month going-away party where the people up there get to see their king be king for a little while longer and pat him on the back during his sunset ride.

How despicable.

If they had any backbone at that university, they would have bounced Boeheim.

Syracuse didn’t have much trouble bouncing the guy who doesn’t appear on national TV, have the big athletic shoe deal or is the most high-profile employee of the university, however. No, in the wake of the same scandal, it was announced Wednesday that athletic director Daryl Gross has resigned to take another position within the school.

Gross is going to be relegated to some Special Assistant Something Or Other while Boeheim gets to keep basking in the glory for three more seasons even as both men — and one could argue Boeheim more so — had a hand in the wrongdoing.

This new news on Wednesday comes after Syracuse had already opted out of the postseason in men’s basketball because of self-reported violations dating to 2001. The violations involved shady booster activity, ignorance or the NCAA drug testing protocols, academic misconduct and extra player benefits.

Earlier this month, the NCAA suspended Boeheim for nine conference games, pulled 12 scholarships and vacated those aforementioned wins.

That should have been enough to get Boeheim canned — but, sadly, it wasn’t. Seems like it is basketball above all at Syracuse.

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And with it, this all looks like Gross was made to have the fall pinned on him.

This Boeheim situation is starting to look similar in some ways to the fall of Joe Paterno at Penn State.

For years and years with Boeheim in Syracuse — as it was with Paterno in State College — he has wielded power that has forced others in the university to grow subordinate of him and the media in that part of the world to grow, in a way, fearful of his bullying words and ways.

But then — and again, just like Paterno — when things got messy for Boeheim, all of a sudden the athletic director became a figure with pseudo-power over him, even though we all understood who the real boss in the athletic department was.

Then, when it was in full mess mode, the fingers got pointed at the boss for not controlling his employee who, in essence, had no boss.

In this case, Gross was met with an unceremonious end to his tenure just as Tim Curley understood the same consequences at Penn State.

Live by the sword, die by the sword. Allow a coach — and not the AD — to run the athletic department and this is the risk you take, I guess.
Boeheim is set to have a 10 a.m. news conference on Thursday. At that time, the coach will apparently address this issue.

I don’t need to wait for it to hear anything.

I don’t need to hear his words, see his lips move or watch a moment of that charade.

I already know how it’s going to go down.

It’s in Syracuse, so the press conference is going to happen the way Jim Boeheim wants it to happen.

Because, well, we all know who the real boss is up there — at least for the next three years.

Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weekdays from 5:40 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at colin.dunlap@cbsradio.com. Check out his bio here.

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