Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim finally addressed the NCAA sanctions against the Orange and his impending retirement during a press conference on Thursday. The 70-year-old Boeheim spoke to reporters about his role in the NCAA’s investigation and why he made the decision to keep coaching.
“You have heard this story from the NCAA’s point of view. Today I want to share my perspective,” Boeheim said.
Boeheim believes that the NCAA came down too harsh on Syracuse and he plans to appeal the NCAA’s ruling. The NCAA said that violations, which dated back to 2001, included academic misconduct, extra benefits, failure to follow drug-testing policies and impermissible booster activity.
The charges of academic misconduct seemed to bother Boeheim the most.
“I believe the penalty imposed is unduly harsh,”Boeheim said of the NCAA’s sanctions.
“This is far from a program where student-athletes freely committed academic fraud.”
Boeheim said that his side of the story was “disregarded by enforcement staff,” and he wasn’t able to have a second interview with the NCAA concerning his involvement in the investigation. The prolonged investigation is the reason that Boeheim has continued coaching, he said on Thursday.
“There’s no way that I would ever run away from an investigation in progress,” Boeheim said. “… This is the focus of my life.”
Although there is a plan in-place to for Boeheim to retire in three years, he said that the amount of years isn’t set in stone.
“The only discussion that I’ve had with the chancellor is that I intend to retire in three years,” Boeheim said. “I stand by that statement.”
“I believe three years is right for me to be able to do my job as best as I can.”
One can’t help but question the timing of Boeheim’s announcement with the 2015 NCAA Tournament rapidly approaching. Boeheim said that he didn’t talk to the media after the N.C. State loss because he hadn’t read over the NCAA report.
“It wouldn’t have been a productive press conference,” Boeheim said.