While some veteran college basketball head coaches, including Mike Krzyzewski and Jay Wright, have decided to step away from the game, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim is still going. The head coach of 47 years told ESPN he “probably” will return next year, even though he apparently believes the sport is moving in the wrong direction.
Boeheim told Pete Thamel of ESPN that the presence of NIL and frequent transfers has changed college basketball for the worse.
“This is an awful place we’re in in college basketball,” Boeheim said, per Thamel. “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.”
Boeheim claimed the influence of NIL is why coaches have retired now instead of later.
“It’s crazy. That’s why those guys got out—that’s why Jay [Wright] got out, Mike [Krzyzewski] got out,” Boeheim said. “That’s the reason they got out. The transfer portal and everything is nuts. It really is.”
Later in Thamel’s report, Boeheim walked back his comments, saying he “absolutely misspoke” about Wake Forest and Pitt, but not about Miami.
In response, Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes adamently denied Boeheim’s allegations that his roster was bought with NIL money.
“He’s wrong. He’s one thousand percent wrong,” Forbes said, via Matt Norlander of CBS Sports. “I don’t have one player on my team that got NIL to come here. That's a fact. I’ve NEVER had a player come here for NIL.”
Additionally, Rutgers assistant coach Brandin Knight, who’s a Pittsburgh alum, took issue with what Boeheim said in a tweet, calling it “sour grapes” and insinuating that Syracuse paid players before the NIL era.
“Next time ask (Boeheim) how many teams he bought before NIL was legal,” Knight said. “Don’t throw stones in a glass house. Remember you’ve been coaching a lot of years and a lot of us know who got paid!!!!”
Syracuse is currently 14-10 on the season, marking the Orange’s seventh consecutive season with double-digit losses, and has a 7-6 ACC record. The school hasn’t been ranked in four years and is at risk of missing its second consecutive NCAA tournament.