Orange Fizz


Competitiveness is Jim Boeheim’s Best Quality. It’s Driven Syracuse to the Brink

After another demoralizing performance by Syracuse against Georgia Tech on Tuesday night, it’s time for everyone to look in the mirror. Players, coaches. Administrators, and even fans for why they continue supporting this team. Without the celebration of the 2003 team on Saturday, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should go to the Dome for the Wake Forest game.

The Orange on Tuesday night played like they didn’t care, they coached like they didn’t care, and the results speak for themselves. After six weeks of extremely competitive basketball through January and the first half of February, the wheels have come off the train, and for some reason or another, they probably aren’t being reattached. That falls on the man who took the blame for the defense last night, why his masterpiece over the course of his 47-year head coaching career has turned into kenpom’s 220th-ranked defense. As a Marvel fan, this line came to mind when thinking about Syracuse and what’s going on right now.

“An empire toppled by its enemies can rise again. But one which crumbles from within? That’s dead… forever.” That’s from Captain America: Civil War and things were never the same in the MCU after this quote. Right now, things will never be as good as they once were if there isn’t a change made on the coaching staff this offseason. Jim Boeheim created this program and built it into one of the most respected places nationally year after year, but the competitiveness it took to get there is what is driving this program into the ground.

The word that comes to mind is selfish. If Boeheim really wanted this program to be succeeding, he wouldn’t coach next year, he wouldn’t have coached this year, and he probably would have retired somewhere in the 2016-18 range. But, his competitiveness has driven his greed for more. To get back at the NCAA for taking his wins away. To coach his sons. To set up a succession plan. Well, why does anyone on this staff deserve to be the head coach? What have we seen from this roster in terms of player development that provides a case for any of the three assistants to be a head coach? There are a few examples, but none that make a strong case.

John Wildhack has stayed within the family for his big hires since becoming the Syracuse Athletic Director. Gary Gait, Kayla Treanor, and Felisha Legette-Jack, just to name a few. But, to save this basketball program, he might need to leave the Orange blood tradition and bring in someone from the outside, because the “empire” has fallen, and is taking itself out from within because of the selfishness of the man who built the empire himself.

Nobody knows who will be back next season for Syracuse, players or coaches. This might have to be a situation where it is a completely clean slate, and if it isn’t, if Boeheim decides to run it back, he will have to earn back the trust and support of the people that have been doing so for decades, because the last two seasons have eroded that relationship and trust because of the greed of wanting to continue coaching for the sake of coaching, not because the program is in a good place or winning a lot. The time is now, and, sadly, we’ve reached this boiling point.

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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