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March 2, 2014 - Al Stephenson
If you are a sports fan, you have watched the replays of Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim's tirade at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Heck, if you are a college basketball fan, you had to see the original. A great basketball game between the 'Cuse and Duke took a back seat to the veteran coach's mad dash on to the court and subsequent ejection.
The talking heads on all the sports shows have vilified Boeheim enough. I don't need to add to that, but the event is worth sounding off about. So that is what I will do. Here, in no particular order is my thoughts on his behavior.
First, I would suggest that Boeheim's outburst does not fall in the category of Bobby Knight's chair throwing incident. He had a bit of a meltdown to be sure, but he was not likely to cause any physical harm to anyone, though the referee that he accosted may not have been so sure of that.
Secondly, maybe the worst thing about the incident is that a referee should not have to take that kind of abuse from a coach, player or anyone. Officials work hard to get calls right and should be respected. Boeheim's actions did not show much respect.
Next, I have to wonder what Boeheim's reaction would have been had the incident involved a Syracuse player instead of himself. He probably would have been irate with the player. That makes his behavior all the more reprehensible.
The likelihood of a Syracuse comeback win without the subsequent technicals may have been unrealistic, but the incident all but took any opportunity away from the Orange. That is also unacceptable to many folks.
Boeheim's light hearted attempt at trivializing his behavior did not sit well with many people either. His postgame news conference could have been much worse however. Maybe we do make too much of these kinds of situations.
On the positive side, it is nice to see that a 69-year-old coach still has some fire in his belly. Even Duke's Coach K alluded to that after the game. The exchange between the two coaches on the Dan LeBatard Show a couple of days later is hilarious. They have put the incident behind them and so should we.
The view from my seat however, suggests that Coach Boeheim owes his players an apology - not the media or fans - but his players. My guess is that he has already done so.
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