How the Jim Boeheim Situation is Impacting College Sports

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Photo Credit : Greg M. Cooper / US Presswire

Many coaches have been quiet on the state of NIL (name, image, and likeliness) deals in college basketball unless your name is Jim Boeheim, the Syracuse men’s head basketball coach. Boeheim in a ESPN interview with Pete Thamel, Jim Boeheim accused multiple Atlantic Coast Conference teams of “buying a team.” He accused Miami, Wake Forest, and Pittsburgh of doing so. This is how the situation started via Matt Norlander at CBS Sports:

Jim Boeheim is not totally wrong here, but there are some things he probably should not have said. As a coach, you are held to a high standard and for as long as he has been here in this league, he knows that. He should not accuse Steve Forbes, Jim Larranaga, and Jeff Capel of buying their players via NIL deals. It ruins relationships with coaches, especially with coaches who are in your conference that you will see yearly, and it also ruins some reputations.

He does, although, bring up some valid points, including the theory that NIL is chasing coaches away, especially the old ones like Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Mike Brey from the ACC and many others from other conferences.

Regarding this message, Mike Brey, who recently announced his retirement in January, acknowledged that the NIL climate was a factor in stepping away from Notre Dame. Brey said he would not miss it, even if it weren’t the driving factor in his departure. Brey said, “The current climate of it was definitely a part of it, not a major part of it, but when you looked at moving forward and how to manage it, it was exhausting, quite frankly.”

Boeheim, following these accusations of Steve Forbes, did issue an apology.

The Impact of the Situation

The situation of this accusation is normal in the age of college sports because it makes lower and less talented, recognized teams like Drexel, Boston College, and Ball State, more difficult to compete with the likes of the North Carolinas and the Dukes of college basketball. Many teams have come out and said this but never deliberately accused the other team of buying players.

Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban had a similar altercation where Saban accused Fisher of using NIL to buy his players. This could have been over the frustration of Texas A&M having the best freshmen class in the last decade and Saban recruiting many of the same players Fisher landed. Saban spoke out at an event promoting the World Games of 2022 Birmingham, saying, “We were second in recruiting last year A&M was first A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image, and likeliness (NIL). We didn’t buy one player. But I don’t know if we will be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it.” Fisher then responded by shaming Saban for taking shots at 17-year-old kids and their families.

This will happen more regularly, especially with the transfer portal chaos and tampering accusations on top of this NIL chaos. It is a shame that college sports have come to this; if they just stuck with the non-immediate eligibility rule of transferring and at least limited the NIL deals, we wouldn’t have to go through all this. It is what it is, so this will not be the last instance of this situation, and it is tough to say that.

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