Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim went off on ESPN college basketball writer Andy Katz following his team’s 66-58 loss at UConn Wednesday.
WAER Sports in Syracuse says Katz asked about the UConn-Syracuse rivalry and received a verbal assault in response.
As WAER Sports and others reported, Boeheim called Katz an “idiot” and “very disloyal person” in response.
WAER believes Boeheim may have been upset with Katz over his reporting on the James Southerland situation. Southerland is a senior forward who missed six games after being declared academically ineligible. He was cleared to return to action on Sunday after being suspended mid-January.
Katz wrote this regarding the Southerland situation on Jan. 14:
The onus to stay eligible is on the player first, the staff second and the advisor/department officials third. But Syracuse clearly is having problems managing eligibility for the second semester. This is now two seasons in a row where the rest of the players who are doing what they’re supposed to be doing are being hurt by one player’s inability to stay eligible. Fab Melo disrupted the season last year and clearly hurt Syracuse from reaching the Final Four. Now James Southerland is ineligible for the foreseeable future while a similar issue is being resolved. Southerland has let down his teammates and the staff. Sure, the Orange won without him Saturday over Villanova but there is still a long season and he needs to be on the floor in some form. He hasn’t shot the ball as well since going 9-for-13 for 35 points against Arkansas on Nov. 30, going 15-for-55 on 3-pointers since that game. But the threat of Southerland making 3s could be enough of a scouting nightmare for opposing teams. There are plenty of fingers to point because of this transgression. It starts with Southerland.
Additionally, per Syracuse.com, Katz reported during Wednesday’s game that Southerland told him the academic issue concerned two paragraphs he wrote in a paper. When Boeheim called Katz “disloyal,” it may be because he shared this detail on air when it was told to him in confidence. FOXSports.com’s Peter Schrager says Boeheim was upset that Katz shared a detail about Southerland that was told to him off the record, so this could explain things.
Katz did have a great response to Boeheim, saying to the press room, “last time I checked I wasn’t getting paid by Syracuse U.”
Here’s audio of Boeheim ripping Katz:
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