Syracuse senior Frank Howard suspended for failed drug test, 3 familiar with situation say

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse senior point guard Frank Howard has been suspended indefinitely because he failed a drug test before the NCAA Tournament, three people familiar with the situation told The Daily Orange on Wednesday night. It is unclear when the testing took place.“The NCAA conducts testing at its championships, and year round on campus in Division I and II programs,” according to the NCAA website. “In addition, the majority of institutions conduct their own institutional testing programs independent of NCAA drug testing.”The penalty for failing an NCAA test related to a performance-enhancing drug means a student-athlete loses one full year of eligibility for a first offense, according to the NCAA. Tampering with an NCAA drug test results in a student-athlete being declared ineligible for participation in postseason competition. Not showing up for an NCAA drug test, or refusing to provide a sample, results in the same penalty as a positive drug test result for a PED.  Shortly after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Pete Moore, SU Athletics’ director of athletic communications for men’s basketball, issued a statement saying Howard “will not play in the NCAA Tournament for an indefinite period of time due to a violation of athletic department policy.” The news came a day before No. 8 seed Syracuse (20-13, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) was set to play No. 9 seed Baylor (19-13, 10-8 Big 12) in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTalia Trackim | Digital Design DirectorWhen contacted by The D.O. on Wednesday night, Moore declined to comment any further on the situation and referenced his earlier statement.“(Frank) won’t be here with us tomorrow,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said Wednesday afternoon in Salt Lake City, before the Orange practiced. Howard did not appear in practice or for interviews Wednesday. Howard, a senior point guard and leader, was coming off his best performance all season, a 28-point showing in a loss to Duke during the ACC Tournament last week. He stood alongside junior guard Tyus Battle three days later when Syracuse earned an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, answering questions from reporters. On Tuesday, Howard traveled with SU and practiced in the Utah Jazz practice facility with the rest of the team. Syracuse players found out about the suspension once it was made public Wednesday evening, junior guard Tyus Battle said.“He failed a drug test. Not sure what kind or when it happened,” said a former player, who was one of the three people familiar with the situation. Howard’s suspension late in the season is not the first time Syracuse has entered the NCAA Tournament short-handed. Former SU center Fab Melo was ruled academically ineligible two days prior to then-No. 1 seed Syracuse’s first-round matchup with UNC Asheville in 2012. The Orange lost in the Elite Eight without Melo. Dayshawn Wright and Josh Wright each reportedly failed drug tests in 2005 and didn’t play in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament, during which Syracuse fell to Vermont. Syracuse is scheduled to tip-off with Baylor on Thursday at 9:57 p.m. in Salt Lake City and will be without their longest-tenured starter. Published on March 20, 2019 at 10:14 pm Contact Matthew: | @MatthewGut21center_img Commentslast_img read more