Boeheim, Pitino spar at Big East media day

NEW YORK — Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and Louisville coach Rick Pitino lobbed four letter expletives in each other’s directions on Wednesday morning at Big East Media Day at the New York Athletic Club.

It started when Pitino said the additions of Memphis and Temple in 2013 would “more than make up for” the losses of Pitt and Syracuse, who are leaving the Big East at the end of the season for the ACC.

Boeheim smiles as team has fun in the scrimmage

Boeheim and Pitino had a “friendly” exchange

Boeheim, who hired Pitino as an assistant coach in 1976, not so politely disagreed.

“Rick’s full of shit if that’s what he really said,” Boeheim said. “If he was in the Big 12 right now like he wanted to be, he’d being saying the Big 12 is the best.”

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Boeheim was commenting on rumors that Louisville would be jumping to the Big 12 last year. Ultimately, West Virginia defected to that conference from the Big East.

“The only thing I’ll say about what Rick said all summer is that if Louisville could have left they would have left,” Boeheim said. “Everybody knows it and I’m really tired of him saying what Syracuse should be or should have done because they would have left in a heartbeat.”

Boeheim said he didn’t mind Pitino denying all the rumors of the Big 12, but, “when they start talking about Syracuse, I’m going to start talking about them.”

As for Memphis and Temple being superior programs to SU?

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“If you think those schools are better than Syracuse than you don’t know what you’re talking about and I think Rick’s smarter than that,” Boeheim said, with a wry smile. “At least I thought he was.”

In a later interview with SNY’s Adam Zagoria, Pitino fired back.

“I think he’s full of shit, and so we’re both full of it,” Pitino said. “Anybody who looks at where Memphis has been in the last 10-12 years, anybody who looks at the tradition of Temple and knows Franny Dunphy, would know I’m not full of shit.”

The Orange and Cardinals will meet twice during the regular season. Syracuse will play at Louisville on Jan. 19, and then will host the Cardinals on March 2.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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