Monday, April 17, 2017
Syracuse basketball fans are in for several more years of rude condescension and unbending adherence to a system that every opponent knows is coming. That's because Jim Boeheim knifed his most loyal assistant in the back and then stepped over his grave. Mike Hopkins waited patiently for Boeheim to retire, and when the old man finally announced he would coach for only 3 more years, 2 years ago, Hopkins was named the coach in waiting. But suddenly, a few days after the end to a disappointing season, Mike Hopkins accepted the job to be the head coach at Washington. Almost as suddenly, Syracuse offered a new contract to Jim Boeheim, which he happily accepted. While everyone is saying the right things, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Hopkins would not have left if he was 100% sure he was getting the job after next season as promised. For whatever reason, he must have felt there was at least some chance he was going to get screwed so he took a head coaching job while he could get one. Clearly, Boeheim still wanted to coach, and Hopkins knew it. Boeheim, it seems, did nothing to try to keep Hopkins, offering nothing in the way of assurances he would get the job, and he certainly wouldn't do something as noble as retiring immediately, so instead Syracuse lost its head coach in waiting and is stuck with several (many) more years of the Jim Boeheim era.