Of the NCAA’s decision Friday to slap Syracuse’s men’s basketball program with the loss of 12 scholarships over 4 years and suspended head coach Jim Boeheim for 9 games, Boeheim insists the governing body, “chose to focus on the rogue and secretive actions of a former employee of the local YMCA and my former Director of Basketball Operations in order to impose an unprecedented series of penalties.” Conversely, at least one observer thinks Boeheim’s punishment is too mild, and another, Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde, argues that tomorrow’s clash with NC State oughta to be the Hall Of Fame coach’s swan song (“he’s earned all the accolades he’s gotten over the years. But he hasn’t earned the right to sneer at scandal and be Coach For Life”) :
Jim Boeheim should not be entitled to keep his job in perpetuity, through an unseemly and craven abdication of rules compliance. He’s not emperor. He’s a basketball coach, and a great one, but also a basketball coach who oversaw a scofflaw program and is now dealing with the second postseason ban of his career.
You have to win a lot of games to keep your job after one postseason ban. Nobody should keep their job after two. Not even the patriarch of a powerhouse program.
If Syracuse wants to kneel at the throne of King Basketball, fine. Take your academic reputation there with you and lay it at Boeheim’s feet. Take all the grandiloquent puffery that accompanies the ideals of higher education and call it what it is – empty rhetoric. Just declare yourself a basketball factory and stop the charade.