- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - The NCAA has lessened its punishment of Syracuse University, reducing the penalty of lost basketball scholarships by four.

The NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee ruled that the total reduction of scholarships will be eight over four years rather than 12.

The decision was announced Wednesday.

The sanctions were imposed in March after a long-term investigation of the athletic department by the NCAA Committee on Infractions and the school appealed.

The NCAA did, however, uphold its decision to vacate all men’s basketball wins in which an ineligible player participated from 2004 through 2012. That total is 101 victories, which reduces coach Jim Boeheim’s career win total from second on the all-time wins list with 969 to sixth at 868.

The 71-year-old Boeheim, in his 40th year at Syracuse, also has appealed a nine-game suspension that is to commence at the start of Atlantic Coast Conference play in December. That appeal is still pending, the university said in a statement.

The March 6 NCAA report found several violations, particularly with the men’s basketball program. Violations involved academic misconduct, extra benefits and the university’s drug testing policy.

Boeheim said in March that some of the allegations laid out in a scathing 94-page report were inaccurate. He also called the penalties “unduly harsh.”

Syracuse University also announced that it has received a $1.23 million reduction in a previous financial penalty handed down by the NCAA. The appeals committee acknowledged the mistake of requiring the university to forfeit that amount, which was received from the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

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