With Syracuse at the center of conference expansion news, one might think Jim Boeheim would stick with the script. In his official statement following the news that the school, a founding member of the Big East, would leave for the ACC he said simply, "In the ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics, each school has to find the best fit. The Atlantic Coast Conference has a great basketball tradition and we look forward to contributing to that."
Ever the traditionalist, Boeheim can't help but express his feelings even though it is Syracuse that isn't acting traditionally. He told Andy Katz that leaving the Big East would be hard after a memory-filled run in the league.
Speaking in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday Boeheim stated that while he was surprised that this is all happening so quickly, his belief is that super conferences would soon emerge following a high-stakes game of musical chairs.
For Boeheim, it's easy to explain why, according to the Birmingham News:
"If conference commissioners were the founding fathers of this country, we would have Guatemala, Uruguay and Argentina in the United States," Boeheim said. "This audience knows why we are doing this. There's two reasons: money and football.
"We're going to end up with mega conferences and 10 years from now either I'm going to be dead wrong -- and I'll be the first to admit it -- or everybody is going to be like, why did we do this again? Why is Alabama playing Texas A&M this week and going to Texas Tech next weekend? And why is Syracuse going to Miami in basketball this week and next week they're going to play Florida State?"
Even as of last summer when expansion was in the headlines, Boeheim seemed incredulous that so many things were changing in the collegiate landscape. In fact he made his statement with a Lexycast, an audio blog service that is now defunct.
"It's really that crazy. Driven by football. Football all the way. And it's ironic that basketball raises 90 percent of the money for the NCAA, and football's making all these decisions. It's amazing really when you think about it."
Boeheim has to accept this new reality, because Syracuse is expected to make financial gains. But as his comments reveal, it's all still a little surreal and a lot to process even for the coach whose school is at the forefront of change.