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Syracuse men’s basketball: Jim Boeheim presents The Awful Place

Can Ted Danson get Larry David to play Jim?

Virginia v Syracuse Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

After the Syracuse Orange broke their three-game losing streak with a win over Boston College, Jim Boeheim sat down with Pete Thamel from ESPN to address rumors of retirement and the current landscape of college basketball.

Boeheim said he’s “likely to return” next season and dropped hints that we could see Jesse Edwards and Joe Girard back for their fifth years. When asked about retirement, the usually cheerful Boeheim said,

“I have no other plans. Listen, this has been the question of the day for 15 years. This isn’t a new question. It’s just the calendar going, ‘Well, he’s 78.’ It’s just the calendar. If it wasn’t the calendar, if I was 65, no one would be saying anything. And I’m not going to retire just because it’s the calendar. Anything can happen. Anything, literally.

He went on to say that 95% of the people in Syracuse want him to continue coaching which seems like a bit of Heim-perbole and added that the last two years have been “fun to watch”. Oh yeah, these two seasons of watching a team lose games late while getting torched on defense has been surely been an absolute joy for everyone involved.

Not content to discuss his own situation, Jim felt the need to lament the state of college basketball saying:

“This is an awful place we’re in in college basketball,” he said. “Pittsburgh bought a team. OK, fine. My [big donor] talks about it, but he doesn’t give anyone any money. Nothing. Not one guy. Our guys make like $20,000. Wake Forest bought a team. Miami bought a team. ... It’s like, ‘Really, this is where we are?’ That’s really where we are, and it’s only going to get worse.”

Virginia v Syracuse Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

I’m sure Adam Weitsman loves being thrown under the NIL bus here and poor Steve Forbes is catching strays and he pushed right back saying Wake certainly wasn’t buying transfers. Boeheim walked back his comments about Pitt and Wake Forest but still wants you to know that Syracuse isn’t like these other teams when it comes to transfers.

“We didn’t take [many] transfer portal guys,” he said. “If we did do it and did whatever we had to do, I wouldn’t feel that good about that. These other [coaches], it doesn’t bother them.”

I noticed that his discussion didn’t include NIL incentives offered to recruits by the “big donor” who doesn’t give guys money. It would be nice if Syracuse didn’t act like they are somehow above any of the tactics being used at other schools. Were they late to adapt? Sure, but that blame should be applied internally and not projected onto other schools.

It’s also obnoxious when coaches like Boeheim or Coach K bemoan the state of the game when they are some of the most powerful forces in the industry. Instead of passing the buck on NCAA legislation they could be the ones pushing for changes through their athletic directors, presidents and conferences. It’s nonsense to pretend as though the people making the most money in the sport have little influence on the rules.

And if college basketball has become “The Awful Place”, go spend time doing something you enjoy. Travel, sit in studio on ESPN instead of Seth Greenberg. Get Mike Schur on the phone and get a tv deal for “The Awful Place”.

Many of us would love a show where these long-time coaches spend their retirements living in the same neighborhood where they gather each night to watch games and complain about how the sport they love was ruined. We’ll even help with the casting. Larry David plays Jim. Ted Danson plays Roy Williams. Jeff Garlin as Mike Brey and featuring Richard Lewis as Rick Pitino.

We’ll even set in Hawaii if that helps us convince CBS to take the deal.