Jim Boeheim says he'll 'probably' return next season, walks back accusation 3 ACC schools 'bought a team'
It looks like Jim Boeheim will return to Syracuse for a 48th season as head coach, and he'll be just as cranky as ever.
The longtime Syracuse head coach addressed his future with ESPN's Pete Thamel on Saturday, saying he will "probably" continue coaching for the 2023-24 season and that the decision is up to him.
Such questions are inevitable when a coach is 78 years old, especially when Syracuse, one of the ACC's younger teams, is 14-10 and appears to be on track to miss the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. Boeheim, however, chafed at the idea that time would play a role in his decision:
When asked if he thought he'd be coaching this young core again next year, Boeheim told ESPN:
"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. We'll just see what happens. I don't say anything because I don't know."
Boeheim once announced in 2015 he would retire by 2018, but has continued to coach on even as his contemporaries like Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams hang up their whistles. He said last year he has an "iron-clad" succession plan, but still reserves the right to decide when it will be used.
Boeheim, who has never been shy about speaking his mind, insisted he still has plenty of support in the Syracuse community to continue coaching and expressed optimism about his program's young core, but was less enthusiastic about the changes he's seeing in the college basketball landscape.
Specifically, he's not a fan of how the NIL changes have worked out, going as far as accusing Pitt, Wake Forest and Miami of all buying their teams:
"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."
He added: "It's crazy. That's why those guys got out — that's why Jay [Wright] got out, Mike [Krzyzewski] got out. That's the reason they got out. The transfer portal and everything is nuts. It really is."
Within a half-hour of the time that quote was published, a head coach of one of those schools fired back.
Wake Forest's Steve Forbes denies Jim Boeheim's claim he 'bought a team'
Steve Forbes, who has led Wake Forest to a 15-9 record so far this season, immediately denied Boeheim's allegations to CBS Sports' Matt Norlander:
"He's wrong. He's one thousand percent wrong. 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."
Boeheim realized his error Sunday, saying he "misspoke" about Pitt and Wake Forest. Miami, however, is a different story.
Update: Jim Boeheim followed up with ESPN to say that he “absolutely misspoke” about Wake Forest and Pitt buying teams, as the only public usage of NIL he knew about was Miami’s, which was highly publicized. He said he “shouldn’t have” included Wake and Pitt in his statement. https://t.co/yQXKRYEAG3
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) February 5, 2023
Of course, even if those three programs backed up the Brinks truck for their current rosters, it's hard to see such a storied program like Syracuse as the little guy, especially when NIL deals are fully legal. That's more than can be said than some of Boeheim's past dealings, which once got him suspended nine games after the NCAA found evidence of academic misconduct, extra benefits to players, failure to follow drug test policies and impermissible booster activity.