Glass House No More

Dont throw stones if you live in a glass house is how the saying goes. A few miles from a campus in central New York stood a glass house. That campus I am referring to is Syracuse University. The man who lived in that glass house was mens basketball coach Jim Boeheim.

Jim Boeheim, 70 years old, has served as basketball coach at Syracuse since 1976. Known for his patented 2-3 zone defense, there is no denying the success Boeheim has had as a head coach. He won a national championship in 2003, appeared in the championship game 3 times (1-2 record), led his team to 4 final four’s, won numerous Big East regular and post season championships, compiled over 900 wins, won gold medals, and is part of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Boeheim has not been afraid to speak his mind in the 38 years on the job. He gives his opinion and never backs down when asked a question.

He has been outspoken on numerous occasions in regards to the game of basketball. That is a part of the daily routine for him and coaches around the country. But he has not been shy to throw stones when others have headed down the wrong path. He did not hesitate to give his 2 cents on the Fab Five and the recruiting violations, he offered comments on John Calipairi amidst his troubles, and he was front and center to pass judgment with Penn State and the Jerry Sandusky issue.

Boeheim’s view from his glss house appeared to be all peaches and cream, until the first rock was cast.

Ironically, in November of 2011 his assistant coach of 35 years, Bernie Fine was accused of sexually abusing 2 kids. Boeheim immediately went on the defensive. His comments:
“What?” he asked. “I can’t support a friend of 50 years? I hope that’s not the case. Some people have said that if these allegations are true, I should be fired. Why? Because Bernie Fine is my friend and I support him? I don’t have any reason not to. I’m not Joe Paterno. Somebody didn’t come and tell me Bernie Fine did something and I’m hiding it. I know nothing. If I saw some reason not to support Bernie, I would not support him. If somebody showed me a reason, proved that reason, I would not support him. But until then, I’ll support him until the day I die.”

That glass house located just outside the Syracuse campus now had been struck. The glass began to spider as the media sharks circled the blood now in the water.

Boeheim couldnt call Safe Lite to patch the glass. An investigation was launched at Syracuse. Syracuse and Boeheim knew violations were going to turn up and tried to get out in front of it. They imposed a post season ban on the program for this year.

But the blood had spilled out and the sharks were feasting. News broke last week of violations dating back 10 years. The violations included academic misconduct, improper benefits, and drug policy failures. The investigation states that Syracuse lost control of its athletic department.

The glass house was shattered.

Punishments have been handed down. Boeheim will vacate 108 wins. Boeheim will also be suspended 9 games next season. Other penalties include financial fines, recruiting restrictions, and the loss of 3 scholarships for the next 4 years.

Syracuse traveled to play North Carolina State on Saturday following the penalties. After Syracuse was handed a defeat at the hands of the Wolfpack, Boeheim did not go on the defensive in his post game press conference. He decided to skip it all together.

With his March calendar now wide open and 9 games on the shelf next season, Boeheim should have plenty of time to rebuild that glass house that has been shattered.

The glass house that sat in Central New York near Syracuse University campus may be rebuilt by Boeheim but it will never be as shiny as Boeheim will lead you to believe.

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