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Upside of Big East news? Cantankerous Boeheim emerges


Mike Miller

Jim Boeheim has never been one to mince words. Syracuse’s coach speaks his mind whether it’s sticking up for Gerry McNamara, “idiots” who ask Jonny Flynn about the NBA, taking apart a reporter for how he posed his question, how he’s treated by the media or this delightful bit of smiling standup.

That last bit proves he’s not always cantankerous, but most would agree Boeheim’s wit is at its best when it’s biting.

With that, may I present Boeheim’s reaction to the news Syracuse is leaving the Big East? From the Birmingham News:

“If conference commissioners were the founding fathers of this country, we would have Guatemala, Uruguay and Argentina in the United States,” Boeheim said. “This audience knows why we are doing this. There’s two reasons: Money and football.

“We’re going to end up with mega conferences and 10 years from now either I’m going to be dead wrong -- and I’ll be the first to admit it -- or everybody is going to be like, why did we do this again? Why is Alabama playing Texas A&M this week and going to Texas Tech next weekend? And why is Syracuse going to Miami in basketball this week and next week they’re going to play Florida State?”

That’s a more raw and expected take than his official statement.

Boeheim’s never coached in another league. He has longstanding rivlaries with nearly every school in the Big East, notably Georgetown and UConn (though the Huskies may join ‘Cuse in the ACC). Yes, he understands it’s all about money, but as he told the news, how will an extra $4 million affect a budget 10, 20 or 30 times that amount?

At this rate, maybe Boeheim’s the guy who just doesn’t care and will spend the next season serving up scorched Earth quotes on anyone who doesn’t watch himself.

Of course, if Syracuse is forced to stick around the Big East until June 2014 (‘Cuse could always buy its way out early), there’s a good chance Boeheim will never even coach in the ACC. He’ll be 70 when the 2014-15 season rolls around. Why spend all that time traveling to Duke, North Carolina and other ACC spot when you can just retire and spend your days dropping in as a crack studio analyst?

Unlike other former coaches, he’d provide insight and good TV.

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