We just posted an update on the latest reactions to the Syracuse Orange NCAA sanctions yesterday and we've already gotten enough to warrant another posting. To the TAEKERY!
First up, ESPN the Magazine's Howard Bryant who continues the long-standing tradition of comparing Jim Boeheim to financial institutions.
The system has been neatly arranged into a staggeringly lucrative financial machine, driven at the top by ESPN and other networks that pay millions to broadcast games, making valuable commodities out of both winning programs and the coaches themselves (who use the broadcast booth between jobs as a way station to remain visible). Unlike Wall Street, for which Main Street carries a certain distrust and disdain, these Masters of the Universe are loudly and blindly shielded by rabid fan bases, loyal alumni and university presidents seduced by positive self-image. Corruption is something the other team does.
...How fitting that Boeheim flails and bullies as Dean Smith, a figure of another time, has been laid to rest. Smith is gone, and the moral imprimatur of coach as the molder of young men, father figure and mentor is gone too. If these men still do exist in the college game, they are the special exceptions. But Boeheim and his fellow Masters are special too, for they are the world's only CEOs who don't pay their employees.
I'm not much for defending Boeheim's actions since the sanctions came down though I always pause when people throw out other coaches as bastions of greatness and good in articles like this. How do you know Dean Smith wasn't shady? Because he wasn't caught? By all accounts, John Wooden was the head of one of the shadiest programs in the history of college basketball, but, because the way the world worked back then, no one noticed. I'm not absolving Boeheim, I'm just saying be careful who you prop up. Cause you never know...
Meanwhile, in a sea of people more than happy to trash Syracuse Athletics, we finally get someone who's slightly too happy to defend Syracuse Athletics: Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.
Nowhere in college basketball will you find a more loyal coach than we have had the pleasure of having here. Jim Boeheim built our program and stayed here long after he could have gone to a bigger market. I wholeheartedly disagree with the sanctions and think the punishment far outweighs any crime and as a community we should rally around the team and our coach. And wrt to AD? Dr. Gross has been tremendous and our brand and our athletic program has been very successful. Let's let the process play out before we rush to judgment.
And we have our first defense of DOCTOR Daryl Gross! Who had Joanie Mahoney in their DOC Gross pool?
"Let's let the process play out before we rush the judgment?" I mean, the process has basically played out. They'll be some appeals and some of those numbers will come down but it's not like the NCAA is going to say, "Oops, we forgot to carry the one...Syracuse actually didn't do anything wrong."
To be fair, when you're a local politician, you never want to speak ill of Syracuse basketball. No matter what.