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Jim Boeheim backs off intital irritation, warms up to ACC


Mike Miller

Jim Boeheim wasn’t overly enthused about Syracuse’s move to the ACC at first, but it sounds like he’s warming up to the idea. A little.

Boeheim played at Syracuse. He started his coaching career as an assistant there and became the head guy in 1976. Three years later, the Orange (then the Orangemen) helped found the Big East.

Makes sense he was gonna be a little miffed about change. But he’s grown more fond of the idea, thanks to the ACC’s basketball history – and what the Big East became. From the AP:

“I think you have to understand two things,” Boeheim said. “Basketball is my concern. Are we going to a great place to play basketball? Yes. How you get there, I don’t think that matters. We’re going to a great basketball conference.”

And away from a teetering behemoth.

“We’re leaving a 17-team Big East Conference that’s going to include a team from Texas, Florida, Chicago, Wisconsin, Kentucky. We’re not leaving what we founded. We’re leaving something completely different,” Boeheim said. “Obviously, it was unstable, and a couple of people criticizing this are people that could have saved the Big East. If Notre Dame wanted to save the Big East, they could have joined in 2004 and we wouldn’t be having these discussions today. But they didn’t want to.”

Contrasts that Boeheim with the comments he made Monday:

He even backed off his comments about preferring a conference tournament in NYC compared to Greensboro, N.C.:

“I don’t care where they play the tournament,” he said. “I go to the tournament, eat in the hotel and then I get ready for the next game. It’s not like I’m going to shows.

“If this is the type of thing they’re going to pick apart, they’re going to be mad at Jim Boeheim for the rest of his ACC career.”

Sounds like a guy who to try his luck in the ACC.

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