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Jeff Eisenberg

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim rips critical letter writer

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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We already know that Syracuse's Jim Boeheim can be a little thin-skinned about criticism toward his team. Now we know he's also a tad sensitive about his parenting skills as well.

When Syracuse resident David C. Bray saw this photo in the local newspaper that seemed to show the young sons of Boeheim and assistant Mike Hopkins snapping photos with cell phone cameras, he fired off an angry letter to the editor vilifying the coaches for raising "spoiled children of privilege." Boeheim and his wife Juli responded with a letter of their own earlier this week, lashing out at Bray for his unwarranted criticism.

First of all, the caption was incorrect underneath the photo of Jack Boeheim and Griff Hopkins. They were taking videos of practice using a handheld video camera that actually belongs to some of the team. The boys were asked to take video for them to capture the moment. Neither of the boys has a cell phone, nor are they raised as children of privilege.

We work very hard to raise our kids the right way — to have a personal relationship with God, respect others and show thanks for all of their blessings. We encourage them to share with others, and we can see the joy they experience in doing just that.

For the record, none of our children have cell phones. Jimmy III will turn 12 in May and will not be receiving a cell phone for that occasion, either. He is one of only a handful of kids at his school who don't have a cell phone. We don't see him getting one in the near future, either.

It is very disheartening to have people criticize one's parenting when they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Have you met us or our children? Have you asked anyone who does know us about our kids or the way we parent?

Now, first of all, of course Boeheim's correct here. Just because the letter writer doesn't believe young kids should have cell phones doesn't mean he should have accused Boeheim and his wife of "sloughing off their responsibilities" as parents.

Still, though, couldn't Boeheim be the bigger man here and just let this one go without responding? A beloved championship-winning coach two weeks removed from a 30-win season should be able to withstand a little baseless criticism without feeling obligated to sling the mud right back.

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