Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim took to the podium following his team’s 66-58 loss to UConn and caused a stir when ESPN’s Andy Katz asked a question in the postgame press conference.
Katz asked Boeheim about the end of the UConn/Syracuse rivalry, to which Boeheim responded: “I’ll answer anybody’s question but yours. Because you’re an idiot and really a disloyal person. I have a few other things I could add, but I’m not gonna go there.”
Listen to the exchange via WAER in Syracuse:
The coach’s response took everyone by surprise and led to rampant speculation about the cause of Boeheim’s ire.
One theory quickly developed. Earlier on the ESPN broadcast of the game, Katz reported a new tidbit involving Syracuse senior forward James Southerland.
Southerland, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, had just successfully appealed his suspension and returned to play last weekend after sitting six games beginning Jan. 12
Katz reported Southerland’s issue was over “two paragraphs” of an academic paper, a fact Southerland and University officials had previously remained silent about.
Did Katz report something Boeheim believed was off-the-record? Ben Meyers of the Auburn Citizen seemed to think so in this insightful piece.
Or was it something else unreported as of now?
Katz also wrote critical words about Southerland just days after the suspension began. He was also the author of this November piece which touched on several sore subjects of the Syracuse men’s basketball program.
Then there was Boeheim’s use of the word ‘disloyalty,’ which further added to the confusion, since Katz isn’t exactly the head of the Syracuse public relations department.
Katz, for his part, sounded like he took the outburst in stride.
.@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
UPDATE: Feb. 14 Boeheim has told the Syracuse Post-Standard’s Bud Poliquin it had nothing to do with Southerland, but everything to do with an interview Katz conducted with Boeheim a year ago.