"Jim isn't going anywhere, but Mike is my next coach," athletic director Daryl Gross said.
I was all ready to write about how once again, DOCTOR Daryl Gross has put himself in in front of the story and in front of the program. Hopkins isn't the next coach at Syracuse, he's Daryl Gross' next coach, i.e. Daryl Gross IS Syracuse.
And then I got an email from the Daily Orange telling me Daryl Gross not only never said that but he never even confirmed that Hopkins' succession is concrete.
The Associated Press reported that a written agreement is in place stipulating that when Boeheim chooses to retire, the 13-year assistant Hopkins will take over as coach. Gross was quoted in the article as saying, "Jim isn't going anywhere, but Mike is my next coach," but said Tuesday night that his comments were taken out of context. Gross reiterated there is no written contract in place and said his statement to the AP was "a concept."
"That story is not very accurate and I find that it's very premature to even be talking about it and I indicated that to them," Gross said by phone. "Everything that they talked to me about has totally been taken out of context and I'm not very appreciative of what was reported."
Hopkins did not respond to the D.O.'s follow-up but the AP writer behind the story did and he stood by the quotes and the story itself. If Gross is to be believed, the AP writer is a dirty liar possibly with a vendetta against Syracuse, Gross himself and the idea of succession contracts. I find most, if not all of that, hard to believe.
So what the hell is going on here? Why would Gross go out of his way to turn this non-story into a story? If I could venture a guess...its basically the same reason that Gross was quoted as saying "my coach" instead of "Syracuse coach." Reading the original story, most of the confirmations seem to come from Hopkins. Hopkins is the one who confirmed the rumor and Hopkins added much of the color to the overall story. All Gross got was one lousy quote.
If rumors are to be believed, the good DOCTOR does not ask for institutional control inside his walls, he DEMANDS it. And how dare a lowly peon assistant coach confirm a story about Syracuse's crown jewel before DOCTOR Gross had a chance to make his own formal announcement! Did he not remember the speech Gross gave him when he arrived at
I believe in two things: discipline and the Bible. Here you'll receive both.Put your trust in the Lord; your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Syracuse.
The only person who Gross does not hold sway over in the athletic department in Jim Boeheim and it must eat him up inside. He's sure as hell not going to let Mike Hopkins think he has the same standing. Not on the DOCTOR'S watch.
All I know is, if Gross asks Hopkins to take a stroll one of these days out behind Manley to have a coversation "just between us," I hope he says no and hightails it.