Tag:Jim Boeheim
Posted on: November 18, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: November 18, 2011 10:51 am

Podcast: Sorting out the Syracuse details

By Matt Norlander

With a lot of moving parts, uncertainty, panicking and judgment already getting tossed on this Syracuse story, I wanted to bring on someone in the media who knows this program as well as anyone.

Mike Waters of the Post-Standard is that person. He was well aware of who Bobby Davis was back in 2003, when Davis was interviewed multiple times by the newspaper, when he claimed then as he does now: Bernie Fine sexually molested him time after time in the '80s and into the '90s.

Normally I give timestamps on what gets talked about when, but today's podcast is just over 18 minutes, a fluid conversation, and we run the gamut as best as we can with this. We can't jump to any conclusions right now, and there's a film over this story that still needs a lot of scrubbing. Waters discusses how the paper reported the story originally and why it wasn't run. We examine why Jim Boeheim has already come out so strongly in defense of his friend of nearly 50 years.

We switfly get to the big questiosn regarding this issue right now, as of Friday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m.

These podcasts go live on the site and on iTunes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, usually around lunchtime or a little before. CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman, Gary Parrish and I have our weekly gabfest each Wednesday. Monday and Fridays we try to bring on personalities and scribes from around the sport. Listen on your iPod; subscribe on iTunes. Or use the RSS feed. And we've even got the Zune-minded hooked up, too.

Posted on: November 18, 2011 12:59 am
Edited on: November 18, 2011 2:05 am

Did we catch another monster or ruin a good name?

By Gary Parrish

This is what the Jerry Sandusky case has done.

It's inspired people to come forward. To speak out against molestation. To speak up against monsters who prey on young people, abuse them sexually and scar them for life. And if that's the lasting effect of this ongoing scandal at Penn State, great. Every tragedy needs a silver lining. Perhaps that's the one that'll come from this -- previously silent victims finding the courage to speak.

But what if it also brings liars forward?

And good men down?

That's all I can think about as I sit here late Thursday unsure of what to make of the allegations against Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine. A former Orange ball boy and a relative have both told Syracuse police that Fine molested them when they were teenagers, but here's the problem: One of the alleged victims, Bobby Davis, who is now 39, told this story to ESPN and the Syracuse Post-Standard in 2003, but neither media outlet could corroborate the allegations against Fine. The University investigated the allegations years ago, too; it also found no one to corroborate. Consequently, the stories never ran and Fine's career continued uninterrupted.

So what changed between now and then?

Mike Lang came forward.

He's Davis' stepbrother.

He's now 45.

It could be that watching the Penn State scandal unfold has given Lang the courage to speak out just like his stepbrother spoke out years ago. Or it could be nothing more than a publicity stunt and cash-grab, which is what Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim suggested late Thursday.


I have no idea.

But this is scary stuff regardless of how it goes.

If the allegations are true, my god, we've got another sexual abuse scandal within the athletic department of another institution of higher learning. That's sickening. But if the allegations are false, a 35-year assistant's reputation has been wrongly ruined forever. This bell, as they say, cannot be unrung. Bernie Fine is now, in the public's mind, Jerry Sandusky 2.0 even though he has, at this point, merely been accused by two men whom Boeheim called "liars." That's way different than being charged by a grand jury after years and years of testimony, but it won't slow the headlines, and it won't keep Fine off television, and it didn't prevent him from being placed on administrative leave late Thursday.

Again, I don't know where this story is going.

I'm not sure anybody does.

But this is what the Jerry Sandusky case has done.

And though that could be a good thing, it could also be really, really bad.
Posted on: November 17, 2011 7:54 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 11:19 pm

Report: Bernie Fine investigated for molestation

By Gary Parrish

Syracuse police are investigating an allegation that longtime Syracuse basketball assistant Bernie Fine molested a team ball boy over an extended period of time beginning in the 1980s, according to a Thursday night report from ESPN's Mark Schwarz and Arty Berko.

CBSSports.com left a message on Fine's cell seeking comment.

The message was not immediately returned.

The alleged victim is Bobby Davis, who is now 39. He told ESPN's Outside the Lines that Fine began molesting him in 1983, shortly before Davis entered seventh grade. Davis was a Syracuse ball boy from 1984 to 1990. He said the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at the Syracuse basketball facilities and on road trips. A second man, identified by ESPN only as "a relative of Davis," has said Fine also molested him around the same time.

Fine is in his 35th season at Syracuse. He was placed on administrative leave late Thursday even though Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim released a statement backing Fine.

"This matter was fully investigated by the University in 2005 and it was determined that the allegations were unfounded," Boeheim said. "I have known Bernie Fine for more than 40 years. I have never seen or witnessed anything to suggest that he would been involved in any of the activities alleged. Had I seen or suspected anything, I would have taken action. Bernie has my full support."

Outside the Lines -- as well as the Syracuse Post-Standard -- reported Thursday that it initially investigated Davis' claims in 2003 but decided against running the story because no additional alleged victims talked. But in recent days, according to the ESPN report, a second man -- inspired to talk because of the ongoing Penn State scandal -- contacted Outside the Lines with information alleging Fine had also molested him, which led to ESPN running the story.

Kevin Quinn, Syracuse's senior vice president for public affairs, issued a statement late Thursday on behalf of the school. It read: "In 2005, Syracuse University was contacted by an adult male who told us that he had reported to the Syracuse City Police that he had been subjected to inappropriate contact by an associate men's basketball coach.

"The alleged activity took place in the 1980's and 1990's. We were informed by the complainant that the Syracuse City Police had declined to pursue the matter because the statute of limitations had expired. On hearing of the allegations in 2005, the University immediately launched its own comprehensive investigation through its legal counsel. That nearly four-month long investigation included a number of interviews with people the complainant said would support his claims. All of those identified by the complainant denied any knowledge of wrongful conduct by the associate coach.

"The associate coach also vehemently denied the allegations. Syracuse University takes any allegation of this sort extremely seriously and has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind. If any evidence or corroboration of the allegations had surfaced, we would have terminated the associated coach and reported it to the police immediately. We understand that the Syracuse City Police has now reopened the case, and Syracuse University will cooperate fully. We are steadfastly committed ensuring that SU remains a safe place for every member of our campus community."

CBSSports.com reached a former Syracuse player by phone on Thursday.

Asked for comment, the former player said: "Sad to hear if it's true."

-- CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman contributed to this report.

Photo: AP
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: November 9, 2011 11:54 am

Boeheim can't recall last time Cuse was this deep

By Jeff Goodman

Jim Boeheim's team is so deep that he might wind up redshirting Trevor Cooney.

"He's our fifth guard right now," said the Syracuse coach. "We'll make a decision this week."

Cooney, a top 75 player and arguably the best pure shooter on the team, is behind Scoop Jardine, Brandon Triche, Dion Waiters and Michael Carter-Williams.

That's serious depth.

It's more of the same up front - where Boeheim will likely rotate three guys between the power forward and center spot: sophomores Fab Melo and Baye Moussa Keita as well as freshman Rakeem Christmas.

"Christmas will start at the four - and also play some at the five," Boeheim said.

"Fab has made major strides," he added. "He's a different player. He lost some weight and is playing with confidence. Last year he couldn't get up and down."

"Both of our big guys from last year - Fab and Moussa - have gotten a lot better," Boeheim continued.

That's seven or eight deep - and we haven't even touched on the team's most heralded returnee: senior forward Kris Joseph, who led the team in scoring a year ago at 14.3 points per game.

There's also the group's most underrated player, sophomore C.J. Fair.

This team may not have that dominant player - a lottery pick - but what it does have is strength in its numbers. So much so that Boeheim doesn't seem at all concerned about replacing the production of graduated big man Rick Jackson - who averaged a double-double last year.

"This is the deepest team we've had in many years," Boeheim admitted. "I think we've got a chance."
Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:27 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2011 2:44 pm

Boeheim: Huggins has best shot of catching K

By Jeff Goodman

Seth Davis' show "Courtside" will have a special preseason edition tonight on CBS Sports Network at 9 p.m. ET.

Gary Parrish, Mike DeCourcy, Jon Rothstein, Jim O'Connell and myself were panelists for the show - and one of the numerous topics we discuss is Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and whether anyone can catch him once he breaks Bob Knight's record of 902 and becomes the all-time winningest men's coach in Division 1.

Jim Boeheim is just 44 wins behind Coach K, but is about 2 1/2 years older than Krzyzewski - who enters the season with 900 career victories.

I posed the question to Boeheim, who turns 67 later this month, on Monday that maybe he'd have a shot - if K retires in the next few years and Boeheim sticks in out a few years beyond K.

"He's not returning anytime soon," Boeheim said. "I think Mike will coach another 10 years. I wouldn't be surprised at all."

The guy who Boeheim thinks would have a shot - if he took care of himself from a health-standpoint?

West Virginia's Bob Huggins.

"He's got a lot of wins - and he'll try and coach forever," Boeheim said. "He's about the only one out there who could possibly do it."

But even if the 58-year-old Huggins stays healthy, it's a stretch.

He has 691 career victories. Let's say he goes 12 more years (until he's 71) and averages about 25 wins per year (which is what he's averaged in his four years at West Virginia).

That would put him just shy of 1,000 victories.

Coach K has 900 right now and has been averaging about 29 wins per year - and he'll likely eclipse to the 1,000-win mark in 2014-15.

Photo: AP
Posted on: February 16, 2011 4:28 pm

Jim Boeheim's media criticism makes me a fan

Posted by MATT JONES

I don't know Jim Boeheim at all. I mean I know him in the same way that you know him, as the follicly-challenged Syracuse coach with an absurdly hot wife who plays zone defense and once coached Carmelo to a title. That is the simple version of Jim Boeheim and from my perspective, he has never been particularly interesting or objectionable. He is a great college basketball coach housed in a city thats best asset is Dinosaur Barbque.

But after the events of the past week, I am now officially a mark for all things Boeheim. It started Monday night when Boeheim lashed out at some local media members in a way that seemed to me as an outsider, completely deserved. The coach blasted the media for an article comparing him to other Big East coaches, specifically Rick Pitino, and for criticizing his team based upon a "little segment like this" in the season. He noted that it would be much more fair to look at his entire career saying,

“There are some coaches in the Hall of Fame that I’ve beat 80 percent of the time. And you’re going to look at a couple of coaches that beat me? I’ve coached against Rick Pitino when he was at Providence five times and once at Kentucky where we were 6-0 against them. One of his teams went to the Final Four, we beat them three times. So now we’re all the sudden going to put in the paper that I’ve lost six straight to Rick Pitino? Why don’t we put that I beat him six straight? Go ahead. That’s really good. Why don’t you keep doing that? That’s really good. I appreciate that.”

When I first saw the story, I literally applauded at my desk. The lack of perspective and rush to judgment in the sports media is an egregrious error repeated daily by self-righteous sports journalists across America.  Over the years, it has become my biggest pet peeve. Ignoring the role that randomness plays in small sample sizes, journalists make broad generalizations about a coach's ability based on small slices of their career and then use it to provide evidence for whatever conclusion they choose to make. It is an age-old game, and one that has only increased as sportswriters have become paradoxically both more famous and less intelligent.

So I loved when Boeheim made clear that such conclusions were not only bad journalism, but also unfair. But then when Boeheim went on a radio show and addressed the topic again, well an official man-crush began. Boeheim did a radio interview with 1620 The Score in which he said:

"I asked [the reporter a question]. You guys ask me questions all the time, that's part of my job. When you get asked a question back, you react like you do, you don't like it. But you know why? Because the media probably has the thinnest skin of any group in the world. Not in the country, in the world."

Instead of a round of applause, those comments deserve a standing ovation. While the media does a great deal of noble work and some might argue I am now a member of the group (it pains me to accept that reality), Boeheim is correct that no group is more thin-skinned. Even though their profession is built on the notion of questioning those in power, if the microscope is ever turned back upon them, the media inevitably recoil. In my early years as a lowly blogger, I felt the scorn on a daily basis of media that did not take kindly to my watchdog role. So to see Boeheim acknowledge this truth and call out a group of reporters in the process...well, bravo my friend.

Maybe in his old age, Boeheim is going to become a Charles Barkleyesque truth teller, who simply says what we all know with no fear of repercussions. Maybe he will speak other truths, such as the fact that the Big East is overrated and Rick Reilly criminally overpaid. But until then, at least he acknowledged a reality that most who worry about the power of the pen refuse to say. Far too many in sports media are insecure hypocrites who can't take the criticism they dish out.

Jim Boeheim said it, and now has a new fan.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 10, 2011 12:05 am
Edited on: February 10, 2011 12:23 am

SU will benefit if it addresses its flaws now

Posted by Matt Norlander

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Rick Jackson doesn’t want to talk about or acknowledge Syracuse’s flaws.

“I don’t know. You’re going to have to tell me,” Jackson said after the Orange’s 64-56 home loss to Georgetown Wednesday night. “I can’t point out our flaws and what we need to work on. You can decide that.”

In a minute.

“That’s as good a defensive game as we’ve played this year,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. That could be worrisome for Orange fans. It wasn’t a standout defensive game, really. Georgetown shot better than 50 percent from the floor effectively (53.8) and turned it over on 22 percent of its possessions (SU got careless 24 percent of the time). Eighty-three percent of the Hoyas’ baskets came off of assists, which is what the Georgetown offense is designed to do.

Plainly: Syracuse, big-picture, may have slowed the Hoyas a bit, but the Orange didn’t make their opponent alter from its game plan.

It had been nine years since Georgetown won in the Salt City, though that statistic’s a little misleading, as the Hoyas and Orange haven’t played in each other’s gym every year since the Big East expanded to 16 teams. The primary reason John Thompson III got his first win in the Carrier Dome was due to the switch Georgetown flicked up down in the final portion of the ball game. The Hoyas took advantage of an absent-minded Syracuse defense in the last eighth of the game, finishing off the Orange with a 15-3 run in the final 5:37 to win 64-56.

SU guard Brandon Triche said Georgetown didn’t surprise he or his teammates at all. That’s why they were most frustrated in leaving with an L.

“It’s tough to lose, and it’s even tougher to lose when you know what they’re going to do,” Triche said, following up his statement by saying the team has become one that sees its play embellished when it has the confidence to match.

“I think our confidence was high, and it’s gotten a little bit lower,” Triche said. “We’re a team whose guys are built on confidence. When it goes down, we’re a different team. I don’t think it’s any [other] type of flaws. Defensively, the last couple of games, we’ve actually been improving and being more active.”

There were times when the Orange appeared to lack urgency and got fooled by Georgetown’s collective court-seeing ability. It was an aberration to Syracuse’s defensive behavior from earlier in the game, but of course it came at the wrong time. Losing a sense of urgency and spacing on the floor isn’t a good sign.

“We had opportunities to score — a lot of them — but we missed layups, and it just didn’t go in,” Scoop Jardine (right) said. “We had the game won, and it hurts to lose tough ones like this at home.”

So let’s get to those flaws. Every single team has them. Which are Syracuse’s? Well, let’s start by stating: Syracuse is a strong, competent squad with a ceiling that hovers somewhere between the Elite Eight and the Final Four and a floor that could be losing in the first round as a 7-, 8- or 9-seed. It’s the Orange’s lack of offense in a big spot that’s truly concerning. It wasn’t there tonight, and with no premier, make-it-happen-in-a-big-spot point guard and a lack of a true, consistent deep threat, it’s destined to happen again.

“We just had a great offensive game last week. We had a bad one tonight. I don’t understand that (question),” Boeheim said when a reporter asked if Syracuse was beyond a point of improving its offense this year. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to have a bad one tomorrow.”

Boeheim is right. Such crippling droughts — I mean, just 56 points at home? — haven’t been abundant this year. But down the road, when it happens again, are there enough components for the Orange to overcome a really bad shooting night?

“This was a great defensive effort against a very good offensive team, but we’ve just gotta score points,” Boeheim said. “The main difference between this year and last year, you know, I think we’re as good defensively, but we can’t score enough. … Certainly that’s going to catch up to you.”

It absolutely will. Georgetown hit six 3s in the first half, which allowed the Hoyas to keep pace with Syracuse, then have an opportunity to kill their bitter rival with backdoor passes and opportunistic rebounding. The former is a familiar Hoyas trait. The latter? Unh-uh. By game’s end, the 14 Orange turnovers, 39-percent shooting and Georgetown’s 45-percent offensive rebounding percentage seemed to be the catalysts for the outcome.

“The games that we’ve struggled in, we’ve shot less than 40 percent and less than 30 percent from the 3,” Boeheim said.

Those games are fresh in the team's mind, as Syracuse has dropped five of its past seven after an 18-0 start that some were skeptical about due to the relatively weak nature of the schedule, inflated by the fact Syracuse didn’t leave New York to play a game until Jan. 8 against Seton Hall.

One thing we saw in Syracuse Wednesday night: a hand-tied Rick Jackson. The Orange forward got into foul trouble for the first time this season in a big game, drawing his fourth whistle with 14:40 to go in the second half, prompting Boeheim to play freshmen Baye Moussa Keita, C.J. Fair and Dion Waiters.

Jackson admitted the quick triggers from the officials impacted his play.

“How you usually play, and the refs call flop after flop, of the ball fouls and things like that, it takes the physical play away from you,” Jackson said. “You don’t know what you can do out there. … It kind of makes you timid.”

In fact, Boeheim and most of his players said they weren’t happy with Georgetown drawing charges that seemed like flops. Syracuse players are pretty convinced it got a bad trio officials that weren’t the typical Big East, let-them-play-rough crew.

“It wasn’t defensive fouls; it was our offensive fouls,” Jardine said. “I think they was flopping on them a couple of times and he (Jackson) just got the bad end of it tonight. … Arinze (Onuaku) went through the same thing. It’s like that for big men when they’re as productive as they’ve been.”

Said Boeheim, “They looked like flops to me.”

Jackson’s foul problems will likely be the exception to the rule. And even when he left the game, Syracuse took the lead in his absence.

Look back on its season so far, and what was the game that stands out more than any other for this team? The Dec. 7 win against Michigan State at Madison Square Garden, right? And that’s rotted away with each passing week. (To be fair, the New Year’s Day win at home over Notre Dame is looking very good, as the Irish are on a six-game tear, going to 20-4 Wednesday night with an overtime home win against Louisville.)

Syracuse can and will continue to beat up on teams that won’t sniff the NCAAs, even most likely snagging wins against strong competition. The zone’s not going to duct tape the kitchen pipes when the water’s bursting through later on this season against teams that will play better, on a neutral floor, than Georgetown did tonight.

“I’m not worried,” Jardine said.

If Syracuse players don’t address their worries and flaws soon, the team may become a shell of what it was in December, when it was undefeated and considered a national-title contender.

Photos: AP
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com