Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim rips ESPN’s Andy Katz

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim had a verbal spat with ESPN college basketball reporter Andy Katz following Syracuse’s 66-58 loss to Connecticut on Wednesday night.

According to multiple news outlets, Katz asked Boeheim what his thoughts were on the Syracuse-UConn rivlary, and Boeheim refused to answer his question. Instead, he had this to say:

» Related: Syracuse loses to Connecticut 

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Boeheim wasn’t happy with Andy Katz

While there will be plenty of speculation as to why Boeheim went after Katz, there are at least a few viable theories:

  1. Early in the first half, Katz said that forward James Southerland had been academically ineligible because of two paragraphs he wrote in a paper.  According to Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager, Boeheim told Katz this in confidence, and Katz went on air with this sensitive information. If that’s the case, you can see why Boeheim would be upset about something that he said “off the record.”
  2. Theory two revolves around this column that Katz penned on Jan. 14 after the news about Southerland first broke: “The onus to stay eligible is on the player first, the staff second and the advisor/department officials third. But Syracuse clearly is having problems managing eligibility for the second semester. This is now two seasons in a row where the rest of the players who are doing what they’re supposed to be doing are being hurt by one player’s inability to stay eligible.”
  3. Or perhaps it goes even further back than that. Katz didn’t exactly paint a flattering picture of Boeheim and his coaching staff following the Bernie Fine story: “Several people close to the program told ESPN.com that Boeheim and Fine were very close for the first two-plus decades of their tenure, but that the friendship has not been the same since Fine was essentially demoted in 2000. Recruiting had waned in the late 1990s and Fine’s new title of associate head coach basically took him off the road and often relegated him to running the team’s camps.”

Here’s the audio from the press conference. Have a listen:

While it isn’t “Not 10 f***ing games,” it certainly ranks up there with Boeheim’s more famous post-game rants.

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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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