Boeheim Mum After Season Ending Loss
Syracuse ended their tumultuous season on Saturday as they lost to the North Carolina State Wolfpack 71-57 in Raleigh, North Carolina, thus ending the career of highly talented senior Rakeem Christmas.
However, the game was overshadowed by the sanctions handed down on Friday from the NCAA on the Syracuse program. Syracuse now faces five years of probation along with the loss of scholarships and a nine-game ACC ban of head coach Jim Boeheim.
After their season ending loss, Boeheim decided to skip his postgame press conference. Instead he opted to release a statement following the loss; anticipating questions about the matter.
"Yesterday I issued a full statement with my thoughts on and reaction to the NCAA Committee of Infractions report," Boeheim said, "In that statement I said I would have no further comment on this matter as I consider my options moving forward. That remains the case today."
Boeheim went on to say how the day is not about what happened, but about his final game with this team.
"Win or lose, today should be about this terrific team and how they have made me, our coaches, the University and the community proud during a challenging season on and off the court," Boeheim said, "I'm as proud of this team as any I have ever coached. I think these players have done everything any and all of us could have asked them to do.
"I want to make sure today, as we play our last game and are together for the last time as a team, that the focus is on our players, and all they have done to make our University proud," stated the coach, "This should be the focus this afternoon and nothing else."
Assistant coach Mike Hopkins was made available to the media instead of coach Boeheim and referenced that the head coach did not want to address the media because he "doesn't want to answer 'no comment.'"
The sanctions handed down on Friday did not alter the current recruit's decision to stay with the team. All four 4-star recruits in Syracuse's fourth ranked recruiting class stood by their commitment to the University, as well as star power forward Chris McCullough announcing he will return following surgery on his torn ACL.
Boeheim and the University are both currently filing appeals to the NCAA in an effort to reduce the ramifications of the sanctions. A five person panel is in charge of the appeals process and there is no timetable for a decision to be made yet.
With the sanctions handed down, Boeheim now falls from second to 6th on the all-time wins list in men's division I hoops with 858 wins. For the team, who knows how long it may take for them to return back to being an basketball powerhouse, especially with the loss of three scholarships each of the next four seasons. How the sanctions will affect Jim Boeheim's legacy, only time will tell.
"There will be time in the future for me to more fully comment on NCAA issues and of course I will take the opportunity to do that at the right time," stated Boeheim.