Big East media day full of … good-spirited fun
by Kelly Whiteside, USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK — Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim wasn’t about to get misty-eyed or reflect on sentimental goodbyes as the Orange play their final season in the Big East.
“Will you ignore the fact that this is the last-go around through Big East stops for you?” Boeheim was asked Wednesday at the league’s media day.
Boeheim scrunched his brow. “What are you talking about?” he said.
Pause. “Does that answer your question?”
In truth, though, Boeheim, who has coached Syracuse for 36 years after playing at the school, will miss much about the Big East. Syracuse is headed for the Atlantic Coast Conference next season. Boeheim has been long opposed to the change.
“Someday I’ll reflect on all that stuff,” Boeheim said. “Things change constantly all the time. It’s just college athletics. The demise of the Big East has been predicted many, many times over many, many years and the league is still very strong and will continue to be.”
Notre Dame became the latest school to move to the ACC, joining Syracuse and Pittsburgh. West Virginia bolted to the Big 12 after last season. The Irish are expected to make the move next season. Though no timetable has been agreed upon, new Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco said Wednesday that discussions with Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick have been amicable.
The Big East countered the losses by adding Memphis, Temple, Southern Methodist, Houston and Central Florida. By 2014, all the moving chess pieces should be set, at least until the next round of turmoil.
But looking around the wood-paneled, dimly lit room of the New York Athletic Club where media day was held, there will be much to miss. From the smart-alecky comments from coaches such as Boeheim or Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun, who recently retired, to the verbal spars between league coaches. All in good fun of course. At least sometimes.
After Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Memphis and Temple could replace Syracuse and Pittsburgh, … [For more on Big East media day full of ... good-spirited fun, click here.]