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Syracuse legend Jim Boeheim reveals ‘hardest part’ for basketball programs amid conference realignment

It seems like Jim Boeheim retired at the right time.

After 47 years at Syracuse, Boeheim hung up the drawing boards last year after a national championship in 2003 and 35 trips to the NCAA tournament, resulting in 20 Sweet 16s, seven Elite Eights, five Final Fours and three championship game appearances.

But of course, all good things come to an end, including Boeheim’s time on the sideline.

However, the coaching legend says one bad aspect of college sports is just beginning: conference realignment.

The Pac-12 has been dismantled, with 10 of its dozen teams defecting to either the Big Ten, Big 12, SEC or ACC.

That means some of those West Coast schools will have to travel around the entire country more than ever before, and the schools that hardly ever traveled west of the Mississippi will be pushing their clocks back more often.

The new increased travel, Boeheim says, will be the “hardest part” for these programs.

“[They] would have to take at least three or four trips, 2,500 to 3,000 miles, travel and play … go home, play a couple games, come back, play a couple games, go back. … I guess that’s what they’ll do,” Boeheim said Wednesday on Outkick’s “Don’t @ Me” with Dan Dakich.” “I wouldn’t like to do it. I don’t think it’s good for players to make that kind of journey and then go play a game.”

Jim Boeheim in March 2022


Boeheim noted that this isn’t the case for football teams, which are able to settle in well in advance, playing just once a week.

The 79-year-old said the realignment was done “to just get TV money … and then they spend it all anyway” and that the presidents of the conferences will regret all of this one day.

“The presidents are very much in charge, and they decided this is what is good for college sports. And I think we’ll look back someday and realize this was not good for college sports,” he said.

Jim Boeheim on sidelines

Boeheim was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005 and also won three Olympic gold medals as an assistant head coach for Team USA. He is a four-time Big East Coach of the Year, was named the AP and Naismith College Coach of the Year in 2010 and won the Wooden Award in 2006.

Boeheim went 1,116-440 as a head coach. The NCAA vacated 101 of those wins as a result of the university’s athletics scandal, dropping his official record to 1,015-440. He only coached his alma mater for his entire career.

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