Jim Boeheim Admits James Southerland's Eligibility Situation Is 'Troubling'

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim made the media rounds at ESPN on Monday, and discussed the situation around James Southerland's eligibility.

Jim Boeheim made a promotional stop Monday in Bristol, CT where he is making the rounds around ESPN to plug The Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge and talk about his Syracuse basketball program.

Boeheim's first stop was on SportCenter where he spoke with host Hannah Storm, who after tossing him a few softball questions asked him about the eligibility status of senior forward James Southerland.

Surprisingly - or maybe it is not surprising - Boeheim was honest with Storm and admitted the situation was "troubling" as this is the second time in as many seasons something like this has happened.

"This is something that could be resolved," said Boeheim in a cautionary tone. "It is an issue you have to go through and James is going through it."

Storm, who was very good in the interview, followed up that answer with a question about the future and what can be done to help prevent these sort of issues.

"Kids are going to get in situations and over the years they have," Boeheim said. "We have been fortunate to be very careful. We have two academic advisers, we have several people that work with our players through all kinds of issues and I think that's why we never had that many problems over the years. But when they do strike, obviously, it is troubling.

"It is most troubling because you feel bad for the individual kid and what he has to go through, not what I am going through and what the team goes through. We will get through it and, hopefully, James will get through this."

Moving on from the Southerland situation, Storm asked Boeheim about college basketball in general and if the No. 7-ranked Orange were among the 10-15 to programs in the nation that could compete for a National Championship.

"We are in that group. I don't know if we're in the top or bottom, but we're in that group," Boeheim said. "I think we're getting better. We are playing three freshmen, which we didn't have to do last year, so it will take us into the season, our tough stretch is coming up, and we expect to be tested in the league. There is going to be losses in the Big East this year."

Like most Boeheim interviews, things got real in the end when Storm asked how Boeheim was able to continue to coach at the age of 68.

"It is no secret. Four months of pilates," Boeheim said with a smile. "My wife laughed, I laughed when I said, 'am I going to do this?' Four months and I've never felt better. They say you hit the golf ball thirty yards further, if that's true I am going to add two more days of pilates."

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