Syracuse head basketball coach Jim Boeheim has launched an astonishing assault against ESPN college basketball reporter Andy Katz Wednesday night. At Boeheim's press conference after the #6 Orange were upset by Connecticut, Katz asked the coach a question about the Syracuse-UConn series and Boeheim responded by saying he wasn't going to answer it. He also included these choice words about Katz recorded by WAER:
"I'll answer anyone's question but yours because you're an idiot and really a disloyal person. And a few other things I can add, but I'm not gonna go there."
Let me pick up mouth on the floor! That's an attack you will rarely ever see from a coach to a well-known national reporter... and seemingly out of the blue as well. Although Boeheim may still hold a grudge against ESPN and Katz for reporting that goes all the way back to the Bernie Fine case, it's more likely Katz's recent reporting on ineligible Orange player James Southerland is the crux of the issue. Katz shared specifics about Southerland's academic eligibility during Wednesday night's game. Larry Brown Sports notes Fox's Peter Schrager says that's why Boeheim called Katz "disloyal"...
I'm told by "in the know" sources that Katz irked Boeheim by sharing info JB believed was off the record on the air re: James Southerland.— P. Schrager (@PSchrags) February 14, 2013
Katz had this response in the press room according to WAER:
.@espnandykatz response to the press room crowd: last time I checked I wasn't getting paid by Syracuse U— WAER Sports (@WAERSports) February 14, 2013
This controversy is a bit trickier of a situation than initially meets the eye. If Katz was told that information about Southerland confidentially, you can understand why the coach would be upset. That said, Katz's checks are written by ESPN, not Syracuse, and certainly not Boeheim. If Boeheim had a problem with Katz reporting something that was supposed to stay off the record, he could have handled it in a much better way. To launch such an outlandish personal attack on Katz from his bully pulpit is a terrible look for the Syracuse coach, and it's far from the first time Boeheim has overstepped with little class in this way. College coaches have enough of a problem with insane, egotistical power trips as it is without trying to intimidate and bully members of the media like Jim Boeheim.
It's a complex situation and one likely involving Katz's sources, which means we'll probably never know the full story. However, at the end of the day Andy Katz's loyalty lies with his reporting and ESPN. Not Jim Boeheim.
Boeheim is the idiot, don't say anything to a REPORTER that you don't want reported, nothing is ever off the record.
There is plenty of information given to media that is kept off the record. Being able to keep that information out of public consumption. That's what gains the coach's trust and allows the reporter to get the public stories before others...
ESPN is a total joke, sesationalism at it's best...Teo - Tebow - Armstrong - Ray Lewis, anything with the word "steroid" or "HGH" in it...Mike and Mike...or better yet, the Notre Dame hour...I am sick of ESPN and refuse to go to their website- and only watch the games that I can get nowhere else. I hate sensationalism in Sports, the action on the fields is what I want not a 4 hour build up of bull shit. KATZ is one of them, can't stand him.
Reporters are free to write whatever they want and that is the way it should be. The truth of what they write never enters into the equation. If reporters find enough people that confirm the information they can write the story. They are not above being called out for it though. Reporters ask for candor. You know what thats what they got.
Clearly there's a difference between candor and bullying. If Boeheim feels wronged, there's a way to handle it that isn't publicly shaming Andy Katz for not falling in line. That's why Boeheim's use of "disloyal" is so troubling. If Boeheim has a critique of Katz's journalistic integrity, so be it. But to portray it as a betrayal of Boeheim as if he's Katz's first responsibility is ridiculous. That's the exact culture that brought upon all the handwringing over Joe Paterno's mythology.
You guys ask for truth and candor from coaches and athletes and then you whine when they give you exactly what you ask for. Boeheim is obviously being utterly truthful and candid. Live with it If he thinks Katz is a doink, then so be it. There are lots of people with the same opinion and lots who might disagree-that's the beauty of the marketplace of information. This is a non-item!
Andy Katz, what are you becoming, the next Jim Gray, NBC sports reporter during the 1999 World Series, disloyal to Pete Rose, baseball, and the players on the field. One would think you studied journalism at Wisconsin; known for cheeseheads. Take some time, Andy Katz, read up on Ernie Pyle, a true journalist out of Indiana.
No other coach will ever tell this rat anything,he screwed himself and will never get the respect of any coaches or players.
If katz burned his confidentiality, he deserves both barrels. No sympathy for a journo who burns that trust.
Memo to Andy Katz: No one wants to see Obama's NCAA Bracket Again. This act was old and tired 3 years ago
Maybe he should learn that the words "off the record" have no legal bearing. He's coached for how long now?
HEY FOLKS. I AM A FORMER COLLEGE COACH AND BOEHEIM COULD BE IN HOT WATER FOR DISCUSSING DETAILS ABOUT A STUDENT-ATHLETES GRADES. I UNDERSTAND WHY HE IS SO UPSET. IT COULD GET UGLY.
@ChrisLaw @awfulannouncing just Boeheim being Boeheim. he can be petty and I get those outside the 315 who don't like him.
It would seem that Jim B. is becoming a bit testy and cantankerous in his old age. I gather that he has never been a " day at the beach" as far as having to deal with if you are a member of the media but that can apply to any number of other coaches as well.
“@awfulannouncing: Boeheim launches astonishing assault agnst A Katz-"idiot" "disloyal"/well know Bilas hates Katz-does that factor in here?
Can you relate @kjrmitch? MT @awfulannouncing: Audio: Jim Boeheim launches astonishing assault against ESPN's Katz http://t.co/1lCdrglV
Astonishing? Not if you know JB MT“@awfulannouncing: Audio: Boeheim launches astonishing assault against Andy Katz http://t.co/q1LsifHk”
@awfulannouncing disagree with article wasn't a bully attempt if told something off the record and then that released.