WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jim Boeheim simply cannot escape it.
Regardless of where he goes or what he does, the topic of his job status at Syracuse is always going to come up. When you’re 68 years old, your program is facing an NCAA investigation and the league that you helped to build is crumbling in front of your very eyes, that kind of speculation is going to be rampant.
Everything that Boeheim says is going to be scrutinized and blogged about. Nothing creates speculation quite like a coaching legend approaching the end of his career.
“I’m hoping the season lasts forever because I’ve got to go to Disney as soon as this season is over so I hope we keep winning, I swear,” Boeheim said on Wednesday afternoon. “I would like to keep playing all year. There is nothing worse than doing that! I can’t even go play golf anymore.”
“There is no process. There is no process. I’m coachin’ next year, I kid around a little bit and everybody gets crazy when I do so I’m not going to kid around about it anymore, I’m coaching next year, thrilled, got a great challenge, looking forward to it.”
Sounds pretty emphatic, right? Throw in James Southerland’s comments — “I think he has another 20 years left. I think he will retire by the time my child is playing basketball” — and it seems silly to even consider the fact that Boeheim will be leaving the game anytime soon.
Until you get to the end of that quote.
“About September if I don’t want to coach, I won’t coach,” Boeheim said.
And that’s what makes Boeheim, Boeheim.
The theory that is bouncing around many a-pressroom is that Boeheim is going to pull a Jim Calhoun. He’s going to say that he’s coaching and string it along until right before the season starts, leaving just in time to slide Mike Hopkins, his coach-in-waiting that also happens to be in high-demand in the current coaching carousel, into the head coaching gig.
It’s oh-so-easy to read that quote and infer that’s precisely what Boeheim is planning to do.
Will it end up happening?
Who knows, but I’m convinced Boeheim gets a kick out of toying with the media like this.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.