The Pittsburgh Panthers are well on their way to the most successful season in the Capel era. The Panthers are 16-7 on the season and 9-3 in the ACC which is currently tied for second in the conference and only a half-game back from the lead. Coming off yet another thrilling win at Chapel Hill the good feelings around Pitt were at a peak with a week off before their next game.
Jim Boeheim decided this would be a good time to take a few shots at some teams that are currently performing better than his Syracuse Orange. In an interview with ESPN’s Pete Thamel about rumors of his retirement, Boeheim not only said he has no plans to retire but that he also doesn’t like the state of college sports right now.
Wow at this quote from Pete Thamel’s Jim Blenheim story.— Nick Farabaugh (@Nick_Farabaugh) February 5, 2023
Boeheim says that Pitt and Jeff Capel ‘bought a team’.
Cites WF and Miami other teams, too.https://t.co/TyW0Qy9Lmj pic.twitter.com/9lbOwl2cdz
Since then Boeheim has attempted to walk back his comments on Pitt and Wake Forest to try to control some of the blowback. Jim Boeheim followed up with ESPN’s Pete Thamel to say that he “absolutely misspoke” about Wake Forest and Pitt buying teams, as the only public usage of NIL he knew about was Miami’s. He said he “shouldn’t have” included Wake and Pitt in his statement.
Former Panthers guard Brandin Knight sent a reminder that Boeheim should be the last coach to try to accuse other teams of paying players to help secure talent.
@PeteThamel this sounds like sour grapes. Next time ask @therealboeheim how many teams he bought before NIL was legal. Don’t throw stones in a glass house. Remember you’ve been coaching a lot of years and a lot of us know who got paid!!!! https://t.co/dPAkaF3bBl— Brandin Knight (@bknight20) February 5, 2023
It was only within this last decade that Boeheim himself had to serve a nine-game suspension for his own misconduct. In 2015, the Syracuse coach was put on suspension and had sanctions against the program for violations involving academic misconduct, extra benefits, and the university drug testing policy that was allowed to occur under his watch for more than a decade.
It’s no surprise that as NIL and the transfer portal continue to grow in popularity it will also continue to be something for coaches to lean on for a reason that other programs are having a more successful season than they are. While it is documented that this played a part in Jay Wright decision to step away, backroom deals and paying players are not new concepts to college basketball. While the Miami Hurricanes are well documented in having a robust NIL collective, it is hard to see the path in which Pitt and Wake Forest came into play.
Syracuse themselves are well documented in their NIL abilities. Top Syracuse booster Adam Weitsman has been a pioneer in NIL for the Orange and is on record for paying $1 million to Syracuse players so far according to Syracuse.com. Just recently Weitsman was able to help the Orange land 2024 four-star guard Elijah Moore out of the Bronx who is a top 20 shooting guard in the class.
Jim Boeheim is a coaching legend and will be considered one of the greats when it’s all said and done. Still, the Orange are on track to miss the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2007-08. Instead of takings any self-responsibility, Boeheim decides to lay blame on the Panthers who were projected to finish 14th in the conference, Wake Forest who have the same conference record as the Orange, and pay-for-play schemes that his program has actively been involved in for decades.
Maybe if Boeheim was more concerned about his own program than blaming others for why Syracuse has not been able to perform, the Orange would be able to keep pace in this shifting landscape of college basketball. Until then, the Panthers can look forward to enjoying their best season in years and enjoy the fact that they are upsetting opposing coaches in the process.
Built, not bought. Brick by Brick.#H2P pic.twitter.com/CxNcVW9wDr— Oakland Zoo (@OaklandZoo) February 5, 2023