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Fizz Five: Five Quotes From Jim Boeheim’s Interview With Seth Davis

Yesterday’s edition of “The Seth Davis Show” on Campus Insiders featured Coach Jim Boeheim. Davis asked Boeheim about everything from being a parent to Bernie Fine, and I highly recommend anyone and everyone who considers themselves a Syracuse basketball fan to give it a look. It really is a side Coach Boeheim we don’t usually get to see. You can see the full show here.

For the lazy rest of you, here were my highlights.

“I don’t think John Wooden could come back and coach my team, and he’s a way better coach than I ever would hope to be.”

A bold statement, but probably true. This could have also been a part of Boeheim’s defense of Mike Hopkins which went on throughout the interview. When Boeheim talked about the team’s struggles in the middle of the season he was quick to mention that “one of those games, Wisconsin, I was coaching.” It was more high praise when Davis asked about Hopkins specifically. It’s no surprise to see Boeheim defending his future replacement, but Coach seemed to have an answer for every angle Davis threw at him. Even when Davis simply mentioned that he would be a tough act to follow, Boeheim was quick to bring up Bill Self’s success following Roy Williams at Kansas.

On Announcing Retirement: “I think at the time it was the right call… At the end of the day, I don’t think anyone knows what’s going to happen in two years.”

Could this mean what we think it means? Many believe Boeheim was pushed into retirement in an attempt to ease NCAA violations, but by the time he’s set to retire those violations will be long gone (and even if they weren’t, it’s not like the sanctions were conditional on Boeheim’s leaving). Davis and Boeheim joke throughout the interview about the retirement; at one point Davis even suggests Boeheim could make it to 80 without calling it quits. The whole thing had a “we’ll see” kind of feel to it; it didn’t feel like Boeheim was intending on heading out any time soon.

On NCAA Sanctions: “I never broke an NCAA rule. I’ve been investigated for 12 years… I’ve never been found to have broken a rule in the first investigation or the second one.”

You knew the questions about the sanctions were coming, and Boeheim answered Davis just like he’s answered any other questions on the topic: he didn’t do anything. Boeheim went on a mini-rant explaining what had happened and how he had nothing to do with it, but by now it’s all been well explained to any Syracuse basketball fan who wants to hear it, so I won’t go into it any further. 

“I hate losing more than I like winning.”

There isn’t a definition for “Boeheimism” in the dictionary (although I haven’t checked recently), but when there is this should be it. You can see it on his face and in his demeanor; Jim Boeheim hates to lose. Winning is expected, and losing is unacceptable. Boeheim even told Davis, “I’ve never enjoyed winning that much, no matter what game it is.”

…Never? A little sad, but I like the mentality behind it.

“What is it, a mem?”

Yes, that’s right. Jim Boeheim tried to say meme. It was in reference to a picture of him cropped next to Michael Jackson, this photo to be exact:


Probably seeing flashbacks of Bryce Harper, Davis was quick to swoop in with a “I think it’s pronounced meme” to try and save the Hall of Famer’s skin, but I caught it. You can’t get by me, Seth Davis.

But in all seriousness, this is one of the more thorough interviews with Boeheim we’ve had in recent memory, and I urge anyone interested to spare an hour and watch it.

Posted: Nathan Dickinson

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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