You have to give Jim Boeheim credit. First, he always says what’s on his mind. And second, he stirs the pot like no one else.
Take his recent comments on retirement and some ACC rivals.
He told ESPN “I have no other plans. Listen, this has been the question of the day for 15 years. This isn’t a new question. It’s just the calendar going, ‘Well, he’s 78.’ It’s just the calendar. If it wasn’t the calendar, if I was 65, no one would be saying anything. And I’m not going to retire just because it’s the calendar. Anything can happen. Anything, literally. We’ll just see what happens. I don’t say anything because I don’t know...I know it’s my choice. I can do whatever I want. I just don’t know for sure.”
Here’s a question: does he have a boss? Seriously. He’s an institution, we know, but most coaches don’t get to decide their own futures, much less 78-year-old coaches who have clearly declined. Presumably, the folks at Syracuse noted the lesson that Penn State so painfully taught by letting Joe Paterno coach for far too long.
And secondly, his shots at ACC schools did not go unnoticed. Here’s what he said in case you missed it: “This is an awful place we’re in in college basketball. Pittsburgh bought a team. OK, fine. My [big donor] talks about it, but he doesn’t give anyone any money. Nothing. Not one guy. Our guys make like $20,000. Wake Forest bought a team. Miami bought a team. ... It’s like, ‘Really, this is where we are?’ That’s really where we are, and it’s only going to get worse.”
This didn’t go over well with Steve Forbes, who responded negatively to Boehiem’s comments, saying “[h]e’s wrong. He’s one thousand percent wrong. I don’t have one player on my team that got NIL to come here. That’s a fact. I’ve NEVER had a player come here for NIL.”
We haven’t seen a response from Pitt’s Jeff Capel, but may get one Monday during the ACC teleconference. Jim Larranaga may chime in as well. Fireworks ahead!
However, former Pitt star Brandin Knight certainly did respond, and really torched Boeheim. Here’s what he said: “This sounds like sour grapes. Next time ask Jim Boeheim how many teams he bought before NIL was legal. Don’t throw stones in a glass house. Remember you’ve been coaching a lot of years and a lot of us know who got paid.”
The link above is from PittsburghSportsNow.com, which makes a brilliant point about Boeheim’s assertion. Their take: “[t]he other interesting part to Boeheim’s criticism of Pitt’s ‘bought team’, is that this 2022-23 Pitt team was picked to finish 14th in the preseason ACC Media Poll. No one was accusing Jeff Capel of buying a team prior to the season.”
By the way, Pitt plays at Syracuse on the 26th, which just became extremely interesting.