Big Time revenue-producing college athletics is exactly like Search Engine Optimization- “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.” If your program hasn’t been hit by NCAA sanctions at some point, you’re not getting creative enough in the circumventing of the NCAA “amateurism” sham.
Likewise with SEO; you’re not doing your job if you haven’t received at least a warning email from a search engine corporation.
Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim missed the NCAA Tournament last year because, well in the eyes of the NCAA, he was a naughty naughty boy. Boeheim briefly and vaguely glossed over that yesterday at Sweet 16 Media Day.
“This team, obviously there’s been a lot of ups and downs this year on the basketball court. I don’t really focus too much on the off-the-court stuff because every player, every team goes through that,” Boeheim said.
“There’s always stuff that you don’t know about. But what happens on the court, this team has been up and down.”
It’s true, every team has off-the-court issues to some extent. But there’s a fine line between breaking sham NCAA by-laws, like most programs do, or say having one-third of your roster get arrested, seeing three players commit face felony charges of violent crime in the span of a month, like John Groce’s program at Illinois.
While Jim Boeheim stays out of trouble most of the time, he still manages to find controversy, albeit on a much less serious level. He always seems to have some reality star drama going down.
“He’s a really, really good guy, man. I wish you guys could see that side of him. He’s not the surly curmudgeon you all think he is,” Few said on the eve of the men clashing in the sweet sixteen. (Full Game Preview and Prediction here)
“He’s funny, he’s witty, he’s a great card player, average fisherman, but there’s some hope there, some promise there if we ever get him off the golf course.”
One of Jim Boeheim’s key players and leaders said his Coach has a more affable and fun-loving personality than he tends to project too.
“I mean, he is a funny guy, but he doesn’t portray that,” said Trevor Cooney.
“He has a real dry sense of humor that he’ll throw little jabs or a lot of times it’s poking fun at us most of the time.”
It’s quite common for the biggest personalities in sports to have two distinct personalities. You have Earvin Johnson, and then you have Magic. There’s Deion Sanders and then there’s Prime Time. It’s the Hawthorn Effect, subjects in studies greatly change their behavior when they know they’re being studied and observed.
Of course, don’t expect Jim Boeheim to get his own HBO stand-up special any time soon. Sure, he has a great sense of humor, but he’s a hard-liner at heart when it comes to leadership.
“I tell players, I’m going to push them, they’re going to get pushed, and if they’re not responding I’m going to push them harder, so I think it’s a positive,” he said.
“We get a limited number of so-called McDonald’s All-Americans at Syracuse, very limited compared to a lot of other schools, so over the years, we’ve had to develop players, we’ve had to push them.”
Jim Boeheim told it like it is in defining what that “pushing” is too.
“Well, mostly it’s just verbal stuff, yelling and screaming and not necessarily negative, not — I don’t try to verbal abuse, it’s just like pushing. We need you to do better. I never curse at a player. I never have. I mean, I threw something at a player once, but I wasn’t aiming at him. And that was a long time ago. That was 30 years ago. Probably couldn’t do that anymore.”
“But pushing players, we all do it. Trust me. Some guys don’t hide it and stuff. I’m just not afraid to tell you.”
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication and Bold Global.
He also consistently appears on numerous talk shows all across the country. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram
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