On Thursday details of Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim’s book “Bleeding Orange,” which was co-written by Jack McCallum, began to emerge with his words about former Syracuse star Carmelo Anthony gaining most of the attention. In the book Boeheim discussed Anthony’s work in the classroom during his first semester at the school, noting that the eventual Most Outstanding Player at the 2003 Final Four received four C’s and a D during that term.
Yet while that may have been seen as the most noteworthy excerpt for some, especially in this current era of “one and done” players, there were other tidbits that merit mention as well. Chris Carlson of the Syracuse Post-Standard put together a list of 11 topics in the book, which will be released November 4, that he found particularly interesting. One of those subjects: the fact that Boeheim considered retiring during the fall of 2011.
1. Jim Boeheim has actually considered retirement
Boeheim: It was around the time of Dave Gavitt’s death (September 2011) — the period right before and right after it — that I really did think about hanging it up. We had gone through consecutive NIT years in ’07 and ’08. I had designated Mike Hopkins to be the next coach of Syracuse so a smooth transition would be assured. The Big East was hemorrhaging. Several weeks after Dave’s death, the Bernie Fine story broke. I can’t describe this whole time as “gloomy” because I always tend to be a little gloomy, but it did make me wonder how long I should hang around.
Boeheim is now in his 38th season as the head coach at Syracuse, and given the events of 2011 it’s understandable that he would consider walking away. Many of the things he’d become accustomed to throughout the course of his career were changing.
The changes within the Big East were in large part sparked by the conference’s TV rights situation, with Syracuse and Pittsburgh officially announcing their move to the ACC the same weekend of Gavitt’s passing. Add in the legal issues surrounding the program as a result of the Bernie Fine case, and that would wear down many coaches.
There are a lot of interesting takeaways in Carlson’s post, including the fact that the Syracuse program is currently being investigated by the NCAA and part of it has to do with former player Fab Melo. Melo was declared academically ineligible in March 2012, and in his book Boeheim notes that he can’t say much about the matter due to the fact that the case is still being investigated.