newssyracuse rushing to make an announcement did jim boeheim wrong

Syracuse, rushing to make an announcement, did Jim Boeheim wrong

jim boeheim
Photo: ACC/Jaylynn Nash

Think through this Jim Boeheim is out at Syracuse story for a minute. Especially the part about how the school has already named a coach.

And how the new coach is Adrian Autry, Boeheim’s long-time assistant.

The announcement was made about an hour after Syracuse’s 77-74 loss to Wake Forest in the second round of the 2023 ACC Tournament on Wednesday.

And roughly 45 minutes after Boeheim seemed to be making a public plea for another year at the job in what was a just-plain-weird press conference if that wasn’t what he was doing.

“As I’ve said from Day 1 when I started working here, the university hired me, and it’s their choice what they want to do,” Boeheim said. “I always have the choice of retirement, but it’s their decision as to whether I coach or not. It always has been.”

I point this out to make clear, if you read or hear on TV that Boeheim “stepped down,” “retired,” nah, he was replaced.


Syracuse could have waited a day or two to do what they were going to do, right?

The answer there: a resounding yes.

Particularly when you consider that the replacement is a guy on the staff.

Which you have to think, that was awkward, wasn’t it?

Because it’s hard to imagine that the school approached Autry in the period of time between Boeheim pleading for his job and the announcement 45 minutes later and saying, hey, man, let’s talk about you taking your boss’s job.

That one had to be at least a few days in the making, you have to think, and probably longer.

They had a press release ready with a quote from the school president and everything.

This was in the works, man.

The president was in on it, the lead assistant was in on it, the SID was in on it.

The only person out of the loop, it would appear, was Jim Boeheim.

Check out this exchange from the postgame presser:

Are you saying right now that you’re going to retire?
JIM BOEHEIM: This is up to the university.

You want to come back?
JIM BOEHEIM: I didn’t say that.

So what are you saying? You’re not saying you’re retiring.
JIM BOEHEIM: I just said it. I don’t know.

So you don’t know?
JIM BOEHEIM: I said this is up to the university.

You’re not sure whether – how will you make a determination about when you will come back?
JIM BOEHEIM: You’re talking to the wrong guy.

I’m just a little confused. Do you want to come back, or did you just announce your retirement without actually announcing your retirement?
JIM BOEHEIM: No, I said it’s up to the university. They have to make their decision, and it’s up to them. I hope we can come to a good agreement. I mean, that remains to be seen.

The only way any of this makes any sense is if what went down after the game had been worked out ahead of time, and then the famously prickly Boeheim, after the game, had second thoughts.

I can see this being what happened.

Which is why it wouldn’t have hurt anybody at Syracuse to wait a day, two, or until next week, when you consider that the school had already made its mind up who the new coach is going to be, meaning, no need for a national search.

If Boeheim was 100 percent in on what went down, then, yeah, you roll it out like Syracuse did.

He obviously wasn’t 100 percent in on what went down, at least when he was talking about it with reporters after the game.

The least the school could have done was called an audible on announcing the change pretty much immediately after the game, even if that had been the plan going in.

Boeheim deserved that.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, Want to reach me? Try [email protected].