It’s hard to imagine being asked questions on national TV after a Final Four loss (SYR 56 – MICH 61). Especially when you know it could’ve been your last chance to win an NCAA title. Enter Jim Boeheim, your friend’s angry dad that is always yelling at him, in front of you, during mostly silent car rides to and from practice. “Mom, why can’t you take me, I don’t like Mr. Boeheim.”
I can’t really blame him for going off on a reporter after barely losing such a meaningful game — I can hardly see striaght after I tie a game of FIFA — but the fact remains, all the guy asked was whether you would coach next year. It’s not a huge stretch. Boeheim’s 68 years old, he’s already done it all (NCAA Championship 2003, Olympic Gold 2008, 5-time Big East Champ, 2nd most career wins), not to mention being perpetually a season’s worth of wins behind the younger Mike Krzyzewski on the all-time list. Of course retirement is in the cards. If you’re CBSSports.com’s Gregg Doyel, what’s the harm in asking?
Apparently the answer is “some harm.” At least if you’re that reporter guy, who old man Boeheim recognizes, and treats like the kid he is convinced smokes cigarettes. “Why would you ask that?…I know you,” Boeheim snipped. “I expect it from you,” he said, with the snarky fervor of a mean dad who once saw you take what he deemed “too much spaghetti” when you reluctantly ate dinner at his house.
“I’m not going to answer that question unless you ask every coach that question. Are you going to ask John if he’s going to retire or not coming back next year? I’ve never indicated at any time that I’m not coming back next year — ever.”
I’m the last one to come to rescue of reporters asking incendiary, presumptive questions to exhausted sports figures. But refusing to answer a question on the grounds that it is relevant/specific to your situation is a bit irrational. And Boeheim knew this. He did a bit of retracting/backhanded appologizing immediately afterwards.
“Just to answer the question, so everybody knows, I’ve answered all the questions, even though I get mad. I have never said I was not going to be back next year at any time ever. I’m frankly tired of being asked that question.”
But that wasn’t the worst of the argument. The best part came when Boeheim incorrectly pointed out that they don’t ask everyone the old “what are you gonna do next year?” question. Because they do. A lot. You see, Jim, in college sports, they leave either 1, 2 or 3 years into their career. It’s more of a stint, because the players who get asked the questions almost always leave early. So, in fairness, they do ask that question to other people. That being said, Mr. Boeheim has had what can only be described as a tumultuous year. The Big East collapsed on itself. Boeheim is being investigated for recruiting violations. Then he gets caught picking his nose. And finally, a classic ‘Cuse-smothering-zone-defense-run in the NCAA Tournament cut short by an iffy charge call in the remaining seconds. Phew, Boeheim’s probably thinking “no wonder Calhoun got out.” Well, at least we now know how much Spaghetti not to take next time we get invited over for pasta night…jeez.