Following Syracuse’s 66-58 win over Connecticut, Syracuse forward Kris Joseph addressed a rumor that had been swirling about a scandal involving the Orange basketball team.
The post — which was later retracted — was written by a user named “Basics” in the forums for www.pocketfives.com saying that Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters and James Southerland were being investigated for point shaving. Andy Adamson, a YNN reporter in Rochester, posted it to his Twitter and Facebook page, which then became the subjects of articles on The Bleacher Report and Covers.com.
“They were targeting specific guys,” Joseph said. “You can talk about our team. Even that is a little disappointing coming from our fans, or whoever it’s coming from, the Orange nation. You can talk about our team all day long, but when you start talking about specific players and making up lies, not even now, but for the long run, that can hurt your career.”
Adamson has since removed the Tweet and Facebook message and has removed his Twitter account all together. In a follow-up post, “Basics” said the rumor was false and issued the following apology on the same Pocket Fives website.
“Deleted – this was a rumor I had heard as well as read on other forums such as therxforum.com and was speculative. In no way should this discussion be taken as any sort of insider info or anything of the like. It was never intended to go outside of this forum, and other blogs who are referencing this are doing so using completely unreliable and uncredible information. There is zero basis to this rumor on my behalf, and when someone like the reporter for YNN decided it was a good idea to Tweet and Facebook this discussion as if it were factual it got way out of hand and was done in incredibly poor and careless taste.
“I apologize to the team as well as it’s fans for the level this was taken too: specifically Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters and James Southerland. Again, this thread was not intended to be any sort of a sports blog or direct accusation by me against anyone, it was merely a discussion thread on a poker forum and should have been treated as such. ”
All three played in Wednesday’s game as Syracuse ended its four game losing streak.
“Point shaving, that’s serious,” Joseph said. “It’s disappointing for me. It was definitely taken personally. It wasn’t even said about me, and I took it personally. As an athlete, you can’t express your personal thoughts about those sort of things because that can get blown out of proportion. So really, you just have to stay level headed and stay humble. As a team, we knew it wasn’t true.”
The rumors hit an apex Tuesday night as Waiters, Jardine and Joseph each responded to the accusations on their respective Twitter accounts.
“The rumors were coming out of nowhere,” Joseph said. “Every so often, we’d hear about a new rumor. After a certain point of time, it was only about a couple players, and that’s bad. As a teammate, as a friend, I had to try to calm the situation down. You know it’s not true, so don’t worry about it. We have a game to focus on so we can’t focus on what’s being said on the outside. Us 15 guys, we got to stick together.”
Wesley Cheng is the Editor in Chief for The Juice Online.