Syracuse Guard Eric Devendorf Isn't Gone Yet

Nick ConditCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2008

Eric Devendorf has had a ghost following him around since Halloween night. On Friday, the ghosts were finally put to rest. 

The SU Judicial Affairs board has made an official decision regarding Devendorf's violation of the university's code of conduct. Devendorf now knows exactly what he has to do if he wants to play basketball again at Syracuse University.

He has been suspended until the beginning of the spring semester, when he can petition to be re-admitted. However, he must first complete 40 hours of community service along with certain unspecified duties to remain a student at Syracuse. 

"I'm disappointed that I put myself in this position which resulted in being suspended and unable to participate in a number of games, including tomorrow's game," Devendorf said in a statement.

Given the fact that Devendorf was originally suspended for the entire spring semester, this is a huge victory for the junior out of Bay City, Michigan. And great news for SU hoops fans.

"Eric clearly made a mistake and should be punished," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim told the AP. "It is his responsibility to fulfill the requirements of this decision."

You could almost see this coming. Boeheim was outraged when the initial decision was made, and you know he influenced the official result. He is the face of Syracuse University and when he expresses his displeasure, it leaves a mark.

So now Syracuse's hopes are revitalized, the team still has a chance to compete for a Big East Championship, and to go deep in the NCAA Tournament.

Any Big East team could use 14 points a night from a former McDonald's All-American. If Devendorf can complete his requirements, the guard play of the Orange will be outstanding this season.

Let's not forget though, that Syracuse lost to Cleveland State, with Devendorf. And he will be suspended for one of the biggest early games of the year, against National runner-up Memphis.

The Orange will have to hold down the fort without Devendorf but other than the Memphis game, the suspension shouldn't affect the season too negatively.

The important question is whether or not Devendorf will learn from his mistakes and not pull any more Halloween tricks. 

I honestly think that Devendorf will understand how close his career was to being over. He got lucky. One more minor screw-up, and Devendorf will be booted from the Syracuse snow and thrown into the fire.

The first game he will be eligible to play in comes on January 14th, down in D.C. against the Georgetown Hoyas.