Jim Boeheim admits his Pitt presser was in part ‘unprofessional’


Jim Boeheim’s team is ineligible to play in the postseason this year. (Getty Images)

Jim Boeheim’s curse-peppered press conference response to a Pittsburgh-area columnist/radio host has prompted the Syracuse coach to make amends.

Boeheim was asked by Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review what his response is to people wondering if he’d been running a clean program over the years. This on the heels of Syracuse’s 83-77 loss at Pitt on Saturday, which came after Syracuse self-imposed a postseason ban for this season amid a sizable NCAA investigation.

Boeheim’s response, which you can watch here, was: “I’m not talking about the NCAA investigation. … And another thing, for your question: I don’t give a shit what those people think. I know what I’ve done and I know what we do, and I’m proud of it.”

Because it’s Boeheim, and because he dropped some terse tones and bad language, the clip made the rounds.

Starkey went on to needle Boeheim in his Sunday column.

But Brent Axe of Syracuse.com reports that Boeheim and Starkey have talked it over since.

Starkey and Boeheim have since discussed the incident, with Starkey saying on his radio show on Monday they spoke by phone a couple times.

“Yes, that was Jim Boeheim on my answering machine,” Starkey said on 93.7 The Fan. “We’ve had a couple of cordial conversations today, which is amazing to me. But I respect him for it. He did call me back and say he was unprofessional to drop the expletive at the news conference and a couple of other things.”

Starkey said he and Boeheim also discussed “competitive advantages” surrounding Syracuse’s prior NCAA Tournament ban in 1992, saying they “agreed to disagree” on the matter.

This isn’t surprising from Boeheim. Having covered plenty of his games, and knowing those who’ve known and covered him for years, if there’s one thing Boeheim is good at, it’s showing up. Owning it. Returning phone calls. For the most part, he doesn’t dodge. (The NCAA investigation of his program has put him in a different situation in regard to this, however.)

So a good look for him, albeit when the cameras weren’t around, to follow up and make good with a reporter asking a fairly reasonable question to begin with.


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