After much criticism for missing his postgame press conference Saturday, Jim Boeheim spoke publicly for the first time since the NCAA sanctions against Syracuse were released this past Friday.
At the 44th annual Harwood Club dinner, Boeheim proclaimed to the crowd, “I came here in 1962” and “I’m not going anywhere” after a long pause as he reflected on SU’s 2014-2015 season. The audience reacted with a standing ovation in approval of the words from the 39-year head coach of the Orange.
Beforehand, The Per’Fesser admitted to the audience, “There’s a lot of things to be said. It’s difficult right now. I think there’s a hell of a battle ahead of us.”
His message may have been short and sweet, but it was extremely powerful. Syracuse fans in attendance ate this up instantly when Boeheim paused at the podium. He assured Orange Nation he would indeed stick by the program he built from the ground up. Rumors swirled over the weekend whether or not Boeheim would resign. That has obviously been shut down.
As a reminder, the NCAA’s ruling suspended Boeheim for SU’s first nine ACC games next season and stripped 108 of his wins to drop him from 2nd to 6th all-time. The program also loses 12 basketball scholarships, three in each of the next four years.
Boeheim had the chance to speak publicly following Syracuse’s loss at NC State Saturday. According to Syracuse.com’s Brent Axe, a source close to Boeheim told him to not speak with the media.
Whether you loved or hated the fact Boeheim went into hiding Saturday, his comments Sunday night at a dinner, originally centered around assistant Mike Hopkins and center Rakeem Christmas, really explain where his head is at. Boeheim has zero intentions of going down without a fight.
If anybody, the media or Syracuse fans, needed reassurance Boeheim was going to fight, well you received it tonight. Based on his words, he plans to battle and give the NCAA hell.
Posted: Brendan Glasheen
*Photo Credit: Jeff Rubin*