According to a story this morning from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports:
“Speaking at a clinic at Manhattan College, Boeheim said Waiters’ return to Syracuse is ‘up in the air.’
‘Sometimes change is good for everyone. His situation will be resolved by the end of the school year,’ Boeheim said.”
This understandably created a furor on Twitter, where Syracuse fans bombarded Waiters with questions on whether the story was legit. Waiters responded with a series of tweets that questioned the validity of the reports.
“who said I’m leaving?”
“dnt believe that if it didn’t come out my mouth”
“if yu didn’t hear it frm me then y would yu believe”
“imma say this for the last time if it didn’t come out my mouth dnt believe it”
Interestingly one of Waiters tweets was directed at CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish, apparently in response to Parrish’s explanation on why the guard would not return. This was Parrish’s tweet.
“The simple answer is that his coach doesn’t really like him.”
Is there truth to that? Probably. And likely the feeling is mutual. While Boeheim may have softened in recent years, he still suffers few fools – including freshman hotheads who tell him at the end of blowout losses to “f— off.”
Boeheim dismissed the notion Waiters had cussed him on Brent Axe’s show via The Score 1260 just days after.
“Never happened. Did not happen. He said nothing to me directly, ever. Whether he said something when I was walking away, I can’t hear things behind my back. My hearing isn’t that good. But he said nothing to me, I said a lot to him. He responds, players are free to respond. He thought he was trying to do what we were trying to get done.”
But as The Fizz wrote that day, something was said. In this case, The Per’fesser was probably just picking his battles – and choosing to address this privately (which meant a significant playing time decrease for Dion).
“Dion said something. Boeheim knows it. But the reason he’s a Hall of Famer is understanding 19-year-old tempers in the heat of the moment and how to address combustible situations. In this case, he threw a wet blanket over it. Dion is still on this team. What his standing is within it? That’s a whole different discussion.”
Boeheim’s words sound like a Paul Harris-like kiss of death. Suggesting change may be good for Waiters is a symbolic wave goodbye. It doesn’t serve Boeheim to suggest a player will leave and then have him instead return while creating more discomfort for the team. It also doesn’t take a body language expert to see the two egos clash during most games. Maybe The Per’fesser is merely scaring Waiters straight, putting the onus on the player to straighten up. But if the timeframe is indeed by the end of the school year, we may only have less than a month of Dion as an Orange.