Syracuse Orange Head Coach Jim Boeheim is never shy with his opinions. During his Media Day press conference he said that the recent allegations against Adidas and several college coaches hasn’t changed his opinion on the amateur system and the HOF coach feels as though paying players wouldn’t eliminate the threat of people going around NCAA rules.
I don’t have any issue with this part of Boeheim’s comments. There is no guarantee that any additional compensation of athletes would prevent future cases where someone took money in exchange for going to a certain school. Where I really find fault with Jim’s logic starts with this remark:
If Jim wants to see a perfect example of someone who didn’t play a minute in the NBA and who would have benefited from the ability to make endorsement money while in college, he only needs to look down the bench to Gerry McNamara. During his four years in Syracuse, there would have been plenty of opportunities for Gerry to serve as a pitchman for Metro Mattress, the local NECA/IBEW, or even a Scranton-based company.
Boeheim even doubled-down on the NBA comments talking about Chris Webber’s complains about Michigan selling his jersey while he got none of the profits. Does Jim forget about Syracuse fan favorites like Scoop Jardine or Baye Keita who didn’t get $100-million NBA deals, but who could have benefited from getting a portion of jersey sales while in college? How many opportunities would the Cooney Brothers, or Andy Rautins have had to make commercial pitches during their decades on the SU Hill?
We’ll certainly defend Boeheim when he’s throwng shade towards Greensboro or Tom Crean, but on this issue it’s hard to agree. Paying student-athletes isn’t a cure to all that’s wrong with the NCAA, but opening up the opportunity for those athletes to market themselves is a start. A person who makes millions and can add to that with his own endorsements of businesses/products should be more understanding.
It’s just a shame that we missed out on Scoop doing ads for Gannon’s Ice Cream or Trevor Cooney promoting Heid’s 2 for 1 Hot Dog month....maybe the rules will change in time for Buddy Boeheim to steal some of his Dad’s TV time.