Following the tragic events of Wednesday night, there were questions whether or not Jim Boeheim would coach the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team in Saturday’s game against the Duke Blue Devils. On Friday, SU athletic director John Wildhack confirmed that Boeheim would be on the sidelines after returning to his coaching duties today:
“The Jimenez family has suffered a tremendous loss. Our community is shaken. The Boeheim family is heartbroken over what happened, as we all are. This is a very difficult time. I know that Coach Boeheim’s players gain strength from him, just as he gains strength from his players. Our entire community gains strength from each other. With this in mind, and after thoughtful consideration, I have respectfully decided that Coach Boeheim will resume his coaching duties later today and will coach in tomorrow night’s game against Duke. We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family as they continue to mourn this tragic loss.”
For anyone that’s ever read anything about the coach (the numerous biographies are all must-reads), basketball is where Boeheim is most himself, so returning to the sidelines fits with what we know. Everyone deals with loss differently, and for some, getting back to work is the best way to handle.
Depending on how you read the statement above, it seems like Wildhack played a pretty big part in Boeheim returning to coach — likely approving Jim’s request to be back for the Duke game. Given the careful consideration already made to cancelling ESPN College GameDay’s visit, everyone appears to be taking the time to think through what’s most appropriate in light of the circumstances.
Our continued condolences to the Jimenez family after this horrible incident.