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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Jim Boeheim Is Mad At Andy Katz Because Jim Boeheim Is An Officious Turd

Illustration for article titled Jim Boeheim Is Mad At Andy Katz Because Jim Boeheim Is An Officious Turd

Last night, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim took time out of his post-game press conference to take a shot at ESPN's Andy Katz. "I'll answer anybody's question but yours," Boeheim said, "because you're an idiot and really a disloyal person."


Today Boeheim explained his motivation. Talking to the Syracuse Post-Standard, he says his grudge against Katz relates to the sexual abuse allegations (later dropped) against former assistant Bernie Fine:

"It's really simple," he explained. "I went to New York last year [2011] to play in the (NIT Pre-Season Tip-Off) Tournament in November and he (Katz) asked if he could interview me about the tournament. And I said, ‘Yeah, but I can't talk about the (Bernie Fine) investigation.'

"We got in the room and he put me on camera - there were several witnesses there - and he asked me what I'd told him I couldn't answer. I kept telling him, ‘I can't answer that.' And he asked me, like, 10 times on camera. He never took the camera off me.

"Two or three people in the room were so disgusted they walked out of the room. The producer came over and apologized afterward. And I told Katz right then and there, ‘Don't talk to me. Do not try to talk to me again.'

"That's what this is about. It's about one thing: An interview that was supposed to be about a tournament we were playing in, and not about the (Bernie Fine) case. And he kept asking me about the case over and over and over again. He kept the camera on me, trying to get me to react ... and I just didn't."


To recap, Boeheim is furious because an interviewer asked questions about the big story of the moment involving his former colleague and friend. Katz had the temerity to bring up the only story anyone cared about, even though Boeheim told him not to ask about it.

(This is an important distinction: Boeheim doesn't claim Katz agreed to the conditions, and Katz specifically says he never agreed to them.)

Major respect for Andy Katz, for first refusing to agree to Boeheim's asinine boundary, and for asking him anyway. That sort of thing is rarer than you might think. Recall the dozens of obsequious letters to Auburn's spokesperson during Cam Newton's Heisman season, writers and TV people falling over themselves to promise they wouldn't ask a thing about Newton's off-the-field troubles.


You don't get to dictate what questions are asked. You can refuse to answer them, and you can refuse to do the interview in the first place, and you can get up and walk out, but you can't set the ground rules for journalism, because otherwise it's not journalism, it's PR. Jim Boeheim is holding a grudge because Andy Katz didn't want to be his SID. Boeheim is a bully and is used to getting his way, and 16 months later still sports a rage-on because of that one time someone refused to play along.

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