Two days after Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim spoke publicly for the first time since the NCAA announced its punishment of the program, one of Boeheim’s closest friends in coaching offered his thoughts.
Appearing on SiriusXM/ Mad Dog Sports Radio with host Chris Russo, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski stated that in his view the school was “hit excessively” by the NCAA. Among those penalties are five years of probation, the loss of 12 scholarships over a four-year period, a two-year period in which only two coaches are allowed to recruit off-campus and the vacation of more than 100 wins due to the use of players deemed to be ineligible.
Chris Russo: “Have you had a chance to talk to Jim Boeheim about what happened at Syracuse?”
Mike Krzyzewski: “Yeah, I talk to Jim all the time. We spend our summers together with USA Basketball and he’s my closest friend in coaching, and really one of the great guys in coaching and one of the great coaches of all time. I’ve talked to him since the sanctions, since everything’s been put out. I think they were hit excessively. I would hope that they will be given a chance to appeal and that some of these things will be lessened, especially the vacating of victories. He’s positive about the fact that he can keep his program at the high level that he’s had it and I’m sure he can do that. They certainly have the right to appeal, they will and I would hope that they get some favorable decisions made as a result of that appeal.”
Boeheim hasn’t said much in the days following the NCAA ruling, issuing two written statements and speaking at the 44th annual Hardwood Club dinner Sunday night. One of the statements was released Friday afternoon following the announcement of the sanctions, and the other was issued Saturday explaining why he did not appear before the media following the team’s season-ending loss at NC State.
With the likelihood of him appealing the penalties given to him by the NCAA (the vacating of games and a nine-game suspension to start ACC play next season) being high according to recent reports, that likely has something to do with Boeheim not saying much to the public. Russo also asked Krzyzewski if Boeheim was “somewhat remorseful” about the entire situation.
Russo: “Is he somewhat remorseful, Mike? Does he understand that maybe he did make a couple of mistakes?”
Krzyzewski: “Well, I think they would take responsibility for what’s happened. I mean everybody, when stuff happens you take responsibility for it. It doesn’t mean that you agree with the level of punishment and in this case it seems severe. And so I think that’s what they’re going to do but you’d have to ask them about exactly what they’re going to do.”
One piece of good news for Syracuse as they evaluate their appeal options is the fact that all four recruits who signed a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period in November intend to remain committed to the program. Boeheim’s been a member of Krzyzewski’s coaching staff with USA Basketball since 2006, and he’s been chair of the USA Men’s Junior National Team committee since 2005.