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Jim Boeheim backpedals on comments about ACC opponents buying teams

Jim Boeheim in a suit

Jan 15, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim reacts to a play against the Boston College Eagles during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Boeheim believes college basketball is in a terrible spot, but the longtime coach says he misspoke on Saturday when he accused some ACC opponents of buying their teams.

Following his team’s 77-68 win over Boston College, Boeheim spoke about his future at Syracuse. He said he is excited about the young core the Orange have, even if they are expected to miss the NCAA Tournament for a second straight season. The 78-year-old coach does not have such positive feelings about the current state of college basketball.

“This is an awful place we’re in in college basketball,” Boeheim said, via ESPN’s Pete Thamel. “Pittsburgh bought a team. OK, fine. My (big donor) talks about it, but he doesn’t give anyone any money. Nothing. Not one guy. Our guys make like $20,000. Wake Forest bought a team. Miami bought a team. … It’s like, ‘Really, this is where we are?’ That’s really where we are, and it’s only going to get worse.

“It’s crazy. That’s why those guys got out — that’s why Jay (Wright) got out, Mike (Krzyzewski) got out. That’s the reason they got out. The transfer portal and everything is nuts. It really is.”

Boeheim, of course, was referring to the NCAA’s new Name, Image and Likeness rules. Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes took exception to Boeheim’s remarks and told ESPN that it is “one thousand percent wrong” to say the Demon Deacons have ever had a player choose them because of NIL money.

Thamel followed up with Boeheim on Sunday, and Boeheim said he “absolutely misspoke” about Pitt and Wake Forest. He said he only knew about Miami shelling out big NIL money, which is public knowledge.

Boeheim said he is planning to coach next season despite his age and Syracuse’s recent struggles. He has been the head coach of the Orange for 47 years.

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