Syracuse head basketball coach Jim Boeheim said that he was against paying collegiate players on Oct. 2.
Speaking in Syracuse at an annual Associated Press meeting of New York newspaper editors, Boeheim said he's heard the most recent talk about paying college athletes and doesn't agree with it one bit. Here is a hearty portion of his rant, via Syracuse.com, that was paired down.
“That's really the most idiotic suggestion of all time. ... I think you have to understand something. It's really very clear. This is really clear. ... Our players get a $50,000 education. Some of them use Syracuse to develop their game, get the publicity they need, become a first-round pick and make money from basketball. Some of them like me get the scholarship, get the grades, get their education, get the chance to play basketball and then get to start life without any debt.”
Boeheim took exception with retired NBA star Chris Webber's complaint he received nothing after his team shirt was sold. In a documentary released earlier this year, Webber lamented that while a student-athlete at Michigan, his team jersey sold in a campus store for $75 without any money going to him.
Boeheim noted that Webber received a free education and the exposure that allowed him to go on to a lucrative professional career.
"He didn't get his $30,000 or $40,000," Boeheim said. "But he got his money."
Boeheim also noted that college athletes who demonstrate a financial need are awarded Pell grants that can be $6-$7,000 on top of the free tuition, room, board and at least a half-dozen pairs of athletic shoes a year.
Boeheim is entering his 38th season with the Orange and will have nine letterwinners, including senior forward C.J. Fair, returning from a team that made the Final Four last season. The Orange, who are in their first season in the ACC, went 30-10 last season.
The Orange will have red-shirt sophomore forward Michael Gbinije (transfer from Duke) available this season and also brought in five freshmen. The five freshmen are a highly-touted group and is led by point guard Tyler Ennis. B.J. Johnson, Tyler Roberson, Ron Patterson and Chinonso Obokoh are the other four freshmen.