Jim Boeheim haters relish his exit from Syracuse: 'Good riddance'

By , Audacy Sports

The departure of legendary college basketball coach Jim Boeheim from Syracuse on Wednesday prompted a slew of retrospectives -- but not everyone was looking back at the storied run fondly.

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Boeheim put Syracuse men's hoops on the map, but his gruff, combative style also seemed to rub a lot of people the wrong way.

A common complaint among Boeheim's critics centered around his oftentimes mean-spirited exchanges journalists, not to mention his frequent complaints about, well, nearly everything pertaining to the evolution of the sport.

Boeheim was vocally opposed to both loosened transfer restrictions and NIL deals, two major developments that have reshaped the landscape of college sports -- in favor of student-athletes -- in recent years.

Boeheim once bemoaned the transfer portal as "nuts," and claimed that two of his most notable contemporaries, former Villanova coach Jay Wright and former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, both retired because of NIL.

He also belittled rival programs for "buying" their success, in reference to NIL.

In some ways, those accusations felt like projection coming from Boeheim, who was suspended nine games and made to forfeit over 100 career victories as part of an NCAA infractions scandal related to improper benefits, academic misconduct, and violation of the school's drug policy.

Despite flouting the rules, Boeheim didn't exactly build a perennial powerhouse in the vein of, say, the aforementioned Villanova or Duke. The Orange won one national title under Boeheim, in 2003, and the program particularly declined in the two decades since, reaching the Final Four just twice, with both coming as Cinderella runs.

This latter period of decline was marred by tragedy, when in 2019 Boeheim fatally struck a pedestrian on an interstate highway a few miles outside downtown Syracuse. Boeheim was not charged in the incident, but the episode renewed questions about the fitness of a 75-year-old coach trying to keep up with the fast pace of demanding job.

It's not a reach to suggest that Syracuse has long needed a change at the top, but Boeheim had all but refused, seemingly daring school officials to fire him. He was supposed to have a three-year exit plan beginning in 2015, but that expiration date passed with little explanation.

It's perhaps fitting, then, that Boeheim's departure didn't seem to be mutually agreed upon, but rather came as something of a dismissal.

On social media, more than a few journalists and fans were all too happy to see Boeheim shown the exit.

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