It's a new day and that means it's time for new and fresh takes, HOT or not so much, on the Syracuse Orange sanctions levied by the NCAA. So far we've had a lot of folks call for Jim Boeheim's firing and/or resignation. But can anyone take it one step further?
Enter Jason Notte of MarketWatch, who uses Jim Boeheim as a metaphor for the "crumbling city of Syracuse."
Syracuse needs to give itself a long look and determine just how much of its legacy and future it still wants to tie to Boeheim and his tainted program. While there might be an opportunity to start fresh once Boeheim moves aside and hands the reins to longtime assistant Mike Hopkins, right now it’s difficult to see the silver lining of anything Boeheim’s touched without seeing the tarnish he’s let build up over the years.
The city of Syracuse and its central New York region have been attempting to redefine themselves, stop the bleeding and bring new life and opportunity into their region. Right now, Jim Boeheim is just as much a part of its decaying past as Carrier is. It’s time to regroup, rebuild and move on. Just as amusement parks and malls aren’t the answer, the sullied experience of the Syracuse University basketball brand contributes to the problem, not the solution.
While there's a discussion to be had about the city of Syracuse and it's future, it's a bit of a reach to say that the way to save the city from financial ruin is to fire Jim Boeheim and elevate Mike Hopkins. I really don't even think I need to get into it all that much. Notte, who graduated from SU in 1998, doesn't really recognize the singular fact that disproves the theory...
Syracuse fans don't care.
Syracuse is going to win the on-campus NCAA attendance record for the second-consecutive season this year. And they will do that in the face of NCAA sanctions, lots of losses and the stink of everything that happened before this (Bernie Fine, NCAA losses, lack of titles, etc).
No one cares. They're still buying season tickets in droves, they're still buying jerseys & t-shirts and they're still packing the Carrier Dome to capacity.
If the city of Syracuse has financial problems, that has nothing to do with Jim Boeheim and his basketball program. That Boeheim's program will print money is the surest financial bet in Central New York every year and has been for the last thirty.
Also, let the record show that the era in which Notte claims "signs of weakness" occurred and have continued to occur, Syracuse won a National Title, went to three Final Fours are are coming off arguably the best five-year stretch in the history of Orange Basketball.
We've heard from a lot of folks who wear their agendas on their sleeve. And while David Rubin, longtime dean and professor at Newhouse, has his Syracuse loyalties, his guest editorial on Syracuse.com yesterday feels pretty down the middle and fair while also sending a pretty strong message.
As a dean and now a professor at SU, I found the NCAA's most distressing accusations to be those concerning violations by Athletics of academic integrity. Keeping in mind the hackneyed phrase that "It takes a village...," I read this report to learn how we on the academic side contributed to this mess. While our sins pale compared to those of Athletics, we made some whoppers. We were far too deferential to almighty Athletics. We are part of this basketball Village of Deceit. It has to stop.
...We should stop segregating athletes at Manley for special tutoring. Integrate them into the student body where they belong, and send the academic support money to the schools and colleges in which they are enrolled.
As an institution we got what we deserved. The Chancellor and Provost must tell Daryl Gross or his successor that the manipulation of admissions and eligibility are over.
"Or his successor..." Man, the only time anyone from SU mentions Gross by name and he gets that tag. Ouch.