Syracuse Basketball: Experts say how Jim Boeheim departed was bizarre

Syracuse basketball, Jim Boeheim (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball, Jim Boeheim (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

Jim Boeheim is done as the Syracuse basketball head coach after 47 seasons leading the Orange, and many ‘Cuse fans were not surprised when this news broke on Wednesday following the team’s ACC Tournament loss.

However, the process of how his departure was handled, by both Jim Boeheim himself and Syracuse University leaders, was puzzling, disappointing and confusing, experts have said in the aftermath of Coach B hanging up his whistle.

After the Orange fell on a last-second 3-pointer to Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament’s second round on Wednesday afternoon, Boeheim said a handful of statements that were fairly odd and to me and many others, suggested that he had coached his last game for the ‘Cuse.

Then, at 5 pm on Wednesday, SU Athletics put out a media statement saying that the tenure of Jim Boeheim as the Orange’s head coach had ended, and that associate head coach Adrian Autry was replacing him as the next boss on the Hill.

In that press announcement, there were no quotes from Boeheim. The word “retirement” wasn’t included, unless I missed it. Did Boeheim retire, or was he forced out?

Experts weigh in on how the departure of Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim was handled.

On Thursday morning during the broadcast of ESPN’s First Take program, lead commentator Stephen A. Smith and Seth Greenberg discussed Boeheim.

Greenberg is one of the top college basketball analysts for ESPN and previously served as the head coach at Virginia Tech and other college squads.

Both Smith and Greenberg agreed that after 47 stanzas at the helm of the ‘Cuse, it was time for Jim Boeheim to move on. They both praised his legendary career and how he played an integral role in shaping the explosion of the Big East Conference in the 1980s.

Nothing lasts forever, they agreed. Greenberg said that the whole way it went down with Boeheim’s departure was unfortunate, adding that the end of his head-coaching career was “a little puzzling” in how Boeheim handled it.

Jim Boeheim deserved to walk away with dignity, and it just ended poorly, according to Greenberg.

The manner in which Boeheim handled his departure didn’t reflect the storied career that he has had, Greenberg added. I would also note that, to me, Syracuse University officials also didn’t handle Boeheim’s departure well, either.

Smith said what disappointed him is how Jim Boeheim danced around the retirement subject on Wednesday at his post-game press conference following the Orange’s setback to the Demon Deacons.

Smith summed it up this way. He said that we all know how great of a head coach Jim Boeheim is, he’s revered in his profession, so why go out like that?

Both Smith and Greenberg said Boeheim’s legendary career should have been celebrated more, and they also agreed that this whole weird transpiring of his departure also took away from the new era being ushered in on Wednesday by the naming of Adrian Autry as the next head coach for Syracuse basketball.

I’ll end this piece on a more positive note, though. Perhaps the most important recruit in the history of the Orange hoops program, and even in the Big East, was Syracuse basketball legend, the late Dwayne “Pearl” Washington.

Pearl, an icon on New York City basketball courts during his high-school days before committing to the ‘Cuse, is “the greatest show in the history of college basketball,” Smith says.

I totally agree, Stephen A.

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