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Boeheim on Blast: Was Jim Out of Bounds in Ripping ESPN’s Andy Katz?

Jim Boeheim is cranky, and he directed it at Andy Katz. His squad was upset by an unranked rival. He’s missing an important big man in Dajuan Coleman. His team has been hit or miss heading into the stretch run of the regular season. And one of his best scorers has been held out of a half dozen games because of a term paper snafu.

After the 66-58 loss to UConn, which marks the last time these two bitter enemies will face one another as conference foes, The Per’fesser had choice words for Katz.

“I’ll answer anybody’s question but yours. Because you’re an idiot. And a really disloyal person. I have a few other things I can add, but I’m not gonna go there.”  

And for historical record we now have what is known as the “Katz Face.” What did Boeheim mean by his rip job? Fox Sports’ Peter Shrager tweeted:

“I’m told by “in the know” sources that Katz irked Boeheim by sharing info JB believed was off the record on the air re: James Southerland.”

Early in the game, Katz reported from the sideline that James Southerland had been suspended because of two paragraphs he wrote in a paper. Apparently, Boeheim was rip sh*t that Katz would make these details public.

It’s funny because the popular theory around campus was that Southerland had someone write a term paper for him. Now we learn it was only two paragraphs. One would think Boeheim would snicker because it makes the case seem that much more ludicrous. A player loses 20% of his season because he cut and pasted two graphs from Wikipedia?

But instead Boeheim must be pissed Katz used confidential information (obtained from Boeheim, Southerland, or an SU source) on the air about it. I don’t buy the theory Boeheim is still steaming about Katz’s thoughts after the Bernie Fine situation. Katz and Boeheim must’ve had conversations since then. This boils over after the UConn game because it’s all about Katz’s sideline report. 

Should Boeheim be upset? If Katz went public with information he obtained with trust it would stay private, then yes. But The Per’fesser’s wording was silly. No reporter has a responsibility to be loyal. Especially one that covers the entire sport nationally. Boeheim doesn’t ever have the right to be bothered that a media member was “disloyal” to him or the program. And Katz is generally regarded as a very good, and very fair, reporter.

Boeheim has also made a cottage industry out of spiting the media, so this might just be par for the course. When the going gets tough around SU land, Boeheim usually attacks the scribes (the G-Mac tirade, trashing Waters/Ditota a few seasons ago).

Ultimately, Boeheim should be chuckling that Katz did his dirty work for him. A player being forced through the ringer for two sketchy paragraphs is a joke. But Boeheim going off on the media and making it personal? Just another day in paradise.

Posted: D.A.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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