Syracuse University Hastily Distances Itself From Tweet Saying Jim Boeheim Is Leaving, But Reporter Sticks by Source


Wait until Jim Boeheim gets a hold of this reporter in a news conference.

The Syracuse University coach, who has been known to be a bit short with reporters whose work he considers shoddy, was suddenly at the center of retirement rumors Wednesday night. The Syracuse University Twitter feed, which is run by various students at the school, tweeted that Wednesday’s game against DePaul at the Carrier Dome may have been Boeheim’s last home hurrah.


The tweet linked to a previous report by a blogger, Onondaga Community College student Mike Ortiz Jr. In the report, an unnamed source said the university was going to ask Boeheim to retire at the end of the season because of possible NCAA violations. The tweet appeared to corroborate Ortiz’s report (and then Ortiz did the old verify-by-association and mentioned the tweet in his original post, although the “source” mentioned in the tweet appears to be limited to whomever he contacted).

While the original report from the student’s site didn’t draw too much attention, it being spread on the university’s official Twitter feed certainly did, and Syracuse was soon moving to get it taken down.

A university spokesman denied that the information was true.

After the original tweet was removed, another was sent to dismiss the information.

But the damage was, of course, already done. Ortiz told The Post Standard of Syracuse that he stands by his source, saying that same person gave him correct information about Syracuse player Dion Waiters jumping to the NBA.

“I rely on him a lot when it comes to Syracuse,” Ortiz Jr. told The Post Standard. “I’m going to back him 100 percent on this.”

Boeheim has been under fire before about allegations surrounding one of his coaches, Bernie Fine. Other questions about NCAA violations have also arisen, but Boeheim — one of college basketball’s most successful coaches, with 34 years at Syracuse, a 911-310 record and an NCAA championship — has had a mostly clean run. No one has been expecting him to retire anytime soon.

The real story here, however, appears to be that Syracuse is still letting students run its Twitter feed. The university has had egg on its face from its Twitter account before — at least twice, information about recruits was released before it was permitted by NCAA rules.

The information about Boeheim could turn out to be true, but a ham-handed tweet by someone in the student section is the last way any university would want to see it come to light.

Maybe having Boeheim explain Twitter and journalism etiquette to the crew running the Twitter feed wouldn’t be a bad idea after all.

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