The first coach Jim Boeheim hired once he became the head man at Syracuse, Rick Pitino, has commented on the NCAA sanctions issued today against the Orange program. CardinalAuthority.com's Jody Demling asked coach Pitino about his thoughts, and here was his response:
"You don't want to see any friend have tough times, but I know Jim, he's a pretty tough guy and he'll get through it. I said to my son, 'Boy, Syracuse got hit hard' and he texted back, 'Well, Jay Bilas doesn't think so.' I didn't answer him because I had a TV show to do, but I don't know what Jay said. I think any time a coach is taken away from his team for nine games and any time you vacate one hundred games, that's significant to me. So I don't know what he meant by that. I feel bad for Jim, obviously, but he'll get through it and hopefully, it will make Syracuse stronger and better in the long run.
"The NCAA announced in January it was investigating 20 schools for academic misconduct. Are these things compatible with college athletics--Here's what I really think, I think this has been going on for 20 years, but here's what happens. We're in a different generation right now. The secretary of state has a personal email on a government server. Everything is caught today, so this has been going on except everything gets caught. If one of your players goes to a party, it's going to be Tweeted out that he's at that party, so he'd better act correctly. I'm not talking about the Chris Jones situation, I'm talking about anything.
"Today, everything is caught publicly, so you'd better do the right things because everything's going to be reported on. You're not going to get away with anything because all the haters in the world are going to make sure you do things the right way. It's just different today, because very action is reported. This has been going on for years, except you're not going to get away with anything. There might have been academic misconduct going back a long time.
"Look, I think you'll agree that I think Roy Williams is one of the more ethical people I've met since I've been in coaching, and there's academic problems at a school where nobody ever thought there would be, and that's North Carolina. So you've got to make sure everything's done the right way. Like, we make a big deal here, I tell our academic guy all the time, 'You make sure that when they get tutored that the players do all the work, 100 percent. Make sure the tutors aren't doing any of the work at all. We get tutored around the clock here and it's very important the players do the academic work. And Anthony (Wright) is, I think, the best in the business because he understands that. You've just got to be careful with every single thing you do today."