Syracuse’s blowout victory over DePaul on Wednesday night went according to plan, but the official Syracuse University Twitter did not have as smooth of a night as its basketball team.
According to USA Today’s Mike Foss, the feed posted a tweet suggesting that sources claimed legendary coach Jim Boeheim would be retiring after the season. The message included a link to a blog post from DYSTNow.com, which stated the following:
A source close to DYST Now is reporting that Syracuse director of Athletics, Dr. Daryl Gross is expected to meet with the NCAA about possible NCAA violations from last year’s team.
Syracuse head coach, Jim Boeheim as a result has also been asked to retire.
The site advertises itself as “Syracuse’s First All Sports Newspaper.” Mike Ortiz Jr., the site’s founder and a student at Onondaga Community College, posted the controversial report.
The rumor spread across social media when the Syracuse University Twitter sent out Ortiz's story, and it was subsequently picked up by Deadspin.com and other media outlets. The tweet was deleted shortly after it was posted.
According to the Syracuse Post Standard, university spokesman Pete Moore has denied the report:
Syracuse Basketball @syrbasketball
Re: Deadspin reference to Jim Boeheim retiring: SU spokesman Pete Moore said it's not true.2013-3-7 02:07:31
As Deadspin’s report notes, “The DYST Now page is certainly of questionable authority,” and no other legitimate news outlets have been able to verify the report. That has not stopped Ortiz from claiming to have a second source backing up his original assertion that Boeheim was being forced into retirement.
There is nothing from this incident that should cause Syracuse fans to believe that Boeheim, who has won 911 games and a national championship during his 37-year tenure as the Orange’s head coach, will be pressured to resign his position.
However, the report serves as a reminder that Boeheim is 68 years old and likely does not have much time left in his coaching career.
He is not getting any younger, and the school’s impending move to the ACC piles an uncertain future on top of an already hectic amount of responsibility Boeheim deals with.
After moving past the scandal surrounding former Orange assistant Bernie Fine’s alleged sexual abuse, which resulted in all charges against Fine being dropped in November, Boeheim has not appeared to be a man with a weight off of his shoulders.
His dust-up with ESPN’s Andy Katz earlier this season is emblematic of his surly disposition toward reporters, which is surely a source of stress in today’s sports media environment.
There isn’t much left for Boeheim to prove. He is in a high-pressure job and nearing his 70s, and there is certainly a finite amount of time remaining in his tenure.
Syracuse’s road forward without the patron saint of the 2-3 defense is worryingly uncertain, and a rebuilding period like the one UConn is currently experiencing is a reality the Orange will likely have to face in the near future.
The day that Jim Boeheim is no longer leading the Syracuse basketball team is not far off, although DYSTNow.com has not given Orange fans reason to believe that plans are in place to have this moment come at the end of this season.
For now, Syracuse has a powerhouse team packed full of talent and an excellent shot to go deep in the NCAA Tournament. Focusing on the present should be comforting for Orange fans, as the future of the program is full of concerning questions.