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Jim Boeheim on FBI’s college basketball probe: ‘We have blinders on. Agents are going to do that.’

first_img Published on February 24, 2018 at 10:26 pm Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+ DURHAM, N.C. — Jim Boeheim left his news-making press conference and made it about four paces before he suddenly stopped.“Lefty!” he yelped, and extended his right hand for the older man to shake. Standing in the doorway leading to the Cameron Indoor Stadium floor was Lefty Driesell, the 86-year-old former Blue Devil player and legendary college basketball coach whom Duke had invited back for Saturday night’s game. The two men sized up one another. “You look good,” Driesell said. “I got to,” Boeheim responded. “I work out. My wife will yell at me if I don’t. I’ve got teenagers!” AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDriesel shook his head and told the 73-year-old, “Stay young, man. Stay young.” Then Boeheim smiled warmly and walked down the hallway, farther away from his press conference that reflected thoughts formed long ago, farther away from one of his few peers who remember those times too.Here are three takeaways from Boeheim’s comments about recently unearthed NCAA violations by agents, their impact on amateurism and what college basketball does next. The involvement of agents is inevitableOn Friday evening, the ongoing college basketball scandal that originated in September took on new meaning. Yahoo! Sports published documents from the FBI probe detailing the expenditures of former NBA agent Andy Miller, his former associate Christian Dawkins and the agency ASM Sports. Expense reports and balance sheets in those documents detail what appear to be illegal bribes, benefits and/or payments to big programs and prominent current and former players. No player has been punished by the NCAA. Boeheim said that he’s known for decades — 30 years, precisely — that agents have been involved in the families of star players. He said he has no issue with agents involving players, Syracuse included, as long as it is legal. When payments and bribes are made, that’s where Boeheim said he draws the line. “This should not surprise anybody that agents are trying to get clients,” Boeheim said. “You have the one-and-done factor, you need to get them early. You need to get them. You can’t wait. That’s not surprising. The thing that’s been surprising this year is obviously that 60 coaches (are) involved.”Boeheim added: “We have blinders on. We have blinders on. Agents are going to do that.”College basketball players should not be paidBoeheim’s larger point when discussing agents lies in the fact that removing amateurism entirely from big-time college basketball is not a viable solution. Paying high-level college basketball players won’t mean agents will stop trying to go after young players, Boeheim said. The 73-year old then looked back to his playing days, when he played at SU from 1963-66, and went from walk-on to captain. He said he received a full ride throughout college, alluding to the fact that that may be enough, or nearly enough, compensation for players. Dino Babers, Syracuse’s head football coach, took a similar stance when asked in October whether college football player should be paid. Babers said a scholarship “is more than enough compensation.”“What’s so disheartening for me is when people who are so intelligent keep saying, ‘They’re making millions of dollars,’” Boeheim said. “We make our share just like everybody does at Syracuse. We make our share on the tickets. Our athletic department barely breaks even. If you just say, ‘Don’t have any other sports, and basketball makes $16 million, then we should be giving it all back for the players.’ But all that money (SU men’s basketball generates) pays for everything else.”By “everything else,” Boeheim referenced non-revenue sports, such as soccer, softball and field hockey, all of whose expenses exceed revenue. He later said that having athletes participate in endorsements would be “unbelievable.” It is unclear exactly why he said that, but he said, generally, that “we can try to do more in basketball … hopefully they’ll come through with solutions. We’ve got a great game.”The one-and-done rule ‘has to go’Established in 2006, the one-and-done rule requires U.S.-based players to be one year removed from high school before being eligible for the NBA Draft. Until then, players were eligible to enter the draft out of high school, like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But the rule was implemented because of concern over whether players were mature enough to enter the NBA. The result has been a college basketball landscape including players who have no intention to stay at school more than one season required. Ten of the first 11 picks of last year’s draft were college freshmen. Last year, it was reported that NBA commissioner Adam Silver was considering getting rid of the rule. He said he got the sense that it wasn’t “working for anyone.” There could be consideration of not scratching the rule altogether, but rather raising the minimum age to 20 to enter the draft. Boeheim is vehemently against the rule, he said on Saturday. “It won’t change the whole game, but (getting rid of) one-and-done would help,” Boeheim said. “Hopefully we’ll get guys who want to be in college. If they really want to go, they should be able to go (to the NBA out of high school). Bill Gates didn’t want to go to college. I think he did alright. Golf, tennis players don’t have to go to college. “I think that would help. It won’t change the whole thing. It will help somewhat. We have a great game … it’s not going to change a thing. Not one thing. There’s tons of good teams right now that don’t have a one-and-done. We can easily survive. That’d be a big step.” Commentslast_img read more


Bryant’s game-winner lifts Lakers past Pacers

first_imgIndiana (13-22) called timeout to set up a game-winning attempt, but Roy Hibbert’s wild shot from the top of the key at the buzzer wasn’t close and the Lakers and their fans celebrated as streamers fell from above.Bryant, who will not play tonight at Portland as he is now getting rest from coach Byron Scott, said he was feeling good at the end.“It’s the style of play, too,” he said. “I’ve gone to more of an old-man game instead of beating guys off the dribble. I don’t stop and go, that wears down the joints.“I just back them down. I take my time. That saves a lot of my legs.”RELATED: Kobe Bryant to sit out Monday’s game in Portland Just imagine, the Lakers scored just 27 points in the first half the first time they played the Indiana Pacers on Dec. 15 at Indiana. The Pacers led by 33 points at halftime on their way to a 19-point victory.They say revenge is sweet, and the Lakers on Sunday got a nice taste of that when they overcame a lousy first quarter to defeat the Pacers 88-87 in a thrilling rematch before a sellout crowd of 18,997 at Staples Center.Nick Young led the way with 22 points. But Kobe Bryant was the winning-time hero. He scored 20 points, including nine in the final 2 1/2 minutes, and made the game-winning 4-foot basket with 12.4 seconds to play.PHOTOS: Kobe Bryant hits game-winning shot to lead Lakers past Pacers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img The Lakers (11-23) got off to a quick start and led 9-2. Before they knew what hit them, the Pacers outscored them 26-6 the rest of the quarter – including a 14-0 run at the end – to lead 28-15. Scott afterward said he did not think, “Here we go again.”“No, I mostly said to myself, ‘Just hang in there, keep getting stops, the offense will start to fall for us,’ because we got off to a great start offensively and then we went ice-cold,” Scott said. “(Donald) Sloan hits (a 3-pointer), C.J. Miles comes in and hits (three) 3s, (Solomon) Hill hits a 3.“And we just said, ‘Look, we’ve gotta close those guys out a bit better, be a little bit tougher with them, but just stay the course and we’ll be OK.’”RELATED: Julius Randle to undergo right foot surgery on TuesdayMiles led Indiana with 19 points, but he scored only two in the second half, thanks to the defense played on him by Young.“It took me 34 games to figure out that he can play defense,” Scott said of Young. “Now I’m going to have to demand that of him every night. He did a hell of a job on C.J. Miles the second half.” Sloan scored 16 for Indiana and Hibbert had 12 points and 11 rebounds.The Lakers trailed 48-41 at halftime and 69-63 after three quarters. With 5:55 left in the game, Hibbert was assessed a technical foul after he was fouled – and pushed to the floor – by Carlos Boozer and then got off the floor and took a mad rush at Boozer and pushed him. Players quickly intervened. Upon review, Boozer was charged with a flagrant 1 foul.“I saw Booz push him down,” Scott said, laughing. “I saw him come at Booz. It was a foul on Booz and the big man comes at him and gets a technical on him. I asked all three referees to explain to me what a flagrant foul is from now on because I have no clue. I really don’t.” The Lakers also got 12 points off the bench from Boozer, 11 points and six rebounds from Ed Davis and 10 points from Jeremy Lin. Like his coach, Davis wasn’t worried in the first quarter when the Pacers were putting it on his team rather well.“No, it was definitely a totally different game from the first time,” Davis said. “C.J. Miles had it going in the first quarter (with 11 of his points) and once we slowed him down, we were right there back in the game. And even though we were down 13 … we were still in the game.“We knew we had to just keep fighting and chip away.”The Lakers were outrebounded 50-37 and shot just 38 percent from the field. But they shot a season-high 93.3 percent (28 of 30) from the free-throw line, with Young going 12 for 12.Indiana coach Frank Vogel was upset out about the result, especially the nine free throws the Lakers shot and made in the fourth quarter.“We marched them to the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and they shot 93 percent from the foul line,” he said. “We need to defend without fouling all the time; we didn’t do that.“I thought we had opportunities in the third quarter to separate from them. We failed to do so, let them hang around, and great players made great plays.”Lakers small forward Wesley Johnson sustained a strained right hip flexor in the first half and did not return. He will have an MRI today and will not accompany the team to its game at Portland tonight.last_img read more


France determined to limit Cristiano Ronaldo’s influence in Euro final: Didier Deschamps

first_imgHosts France head coach Didier Deschamps on Saturday stressed the need to limit Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo’s influence in Sunday’s Euro football championship final. (Euro 2016 – Full Coverage) NO ANTI-RONALDO PLAN”If there is an anti-Ronaldo plan, like a recipe, no one has yet found,” Xinhua quoted Deschamps as saying at the pre-final press conference at the Stade de France.  (Also read: Desperation to win trophy with Portugal makes Ronaldo dangerous: Rio Ferdinand) “Ronaldo is a great player with outstanding athleticism, footwork and aerial play. We must be careful and limit his influence,” Deschamps added.France defender Bacary Sagna, who also attended the press conference, said, “I do not need to praise Cristiano (Ronaldo), as everyone knows him. He is among the best in the world, if not the best. (Euro 2016 final: Portugal boosted by return of Pepe to training)”I will try to defend as on anyone, leaving less space for him. He is an outstanding player, but I have to play in front of good players every day.”DESCHAMPS WARY OF VERSATILE PORTUGALEvaluating the opponents, Deschamps said, “Portugal is a team that has experience and is well organised. It can change its game system compared to different opponents. (Also read: Cristiano Ronaldo has the opportunity to leave Lionel Messi in the shade) “It has a solid defence with Pepe and William Carvalho. It also relies heavily on the Nani-Ronaldo duo. It can project the offensive quickly in the defensive phase and control the ball well.”‘NOT SURPRISED BY UMTITI’On his side’s defence, Deschamps spoke highly of two defenders — Laurent Koscielny and Samuel Umtiti.advertisement”Koscielny has always been there. Although he did not play every game of the last World Cup, he has gained experience. It is a continuation of the season with Arsenal with great regularity,” Deschamps said. (Also read: Antoine Griezmann is as good as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi: Bacary Sagna) “I’m not surprised by Samuel Umtiti, compared to what he does. I have not assumed. Otherwise, I would have made a different choice for the quarter-final and the semi-final. I trust him,” he noted.’GRIEZMANN IS CRUCIAL’On his side’s attacking, Deschamps hailed the brilliant performance of Antoine Griezmann, who has scored six goals to be the top favourite for the Golden Boot. (Also read: Antoine Griezmann a step away from reliving childhood moment)”In the 4-2-3-1 formation, Griezmann is in a position that he often occupies in Atletico Madrid. He is crucial and important to us, not only with goals but also the organisation,” he said.Deschamps also emphasised the focus on the game itself, saying, “It’s a special moment, and a unique opportunity. There is a title at the end. But do not change what we used to do. The ideal is to get as relaxed as possible but remain very focused on this game.”‘HAD A DIFFICULT TIME THIS YEAR’France keeper Hugo Lloris termed the final as an “escape” for France.”Obviously, we had a difficult time this year, whether by this dramatic event or non-sport stories. Having answered this field gives us a little more pride,” the French captain said.”All the French public is behind us. We started the campaign with a lot of criticism and desire, and we want to finish it with the best fashion.”France have not won, or even got into a major tournament’s semi-finals, since they claimed the Euro 2000 title. Portugal have never won any.last_img read more