College Basketball Is Not Where Caring Happens

, Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 8:40 PM Comments (3)

Paul HarrisI often hear about how coaches in the college game really care about their kids. If you truly believe that, then this should interest you.

Meet Jim Boeheim, winner of the 2003 National Championship.

Meet Paul Harris. Boeheim once called him the best freshman that he recruited since Carmelo Anthony. (Thanks for that Jim, since Paul started all of three years after Melo).

Paul Harris didn’t declare for the NBA Draft but someone declared for him. Syracuse University issued a press release stating that Harris declared for the Draft. Concerning his entrance of the NBA Draft, Harris told the Post Standard “I didn’t know a thing about it, I didn’t do that. I don’t have a clue who actually did it.”

Jim Boeheim

Boeheim just watched his best chance at a title since Melo enter the draft

Boeheim’s response was that he had not talked to Paul Harris in two weeks and that “he told me that the week before the Oklahoma game.” Way to check your facts before throwing unconfirmed speculation out in the public domain Coach.

These are the facts: The Syracuse University Coach (who is in the Hall of Fame) decided that he would declare on behalf of Paul Harris that Paul Harris had entered the Draft. Paul Harris had not actually planned to enter the Draft. Boeheim didn’t bother asking Paul Harris whether he intended to enter the Draft. Boeheim decided that it would be more prudent to just go ahead and enter Paul’s name without speaking to Harris for two weeks. Boeheim’s excuse—Paul didn’t return my calls.

Perhaps Harris didn’t return those calls because he was justifiably despondent. After all, Coach Boeheim wouldn’t play him even though he is a superior rebounder, defender, and athlete. Nonetheless, a failure to return a phone call doesn’t sound like an invitation to send out a press release that one of your players has declared for the Draft.

It’s time someone called out Boeheim on this. This is a Coach pushing his own agenda; an agenda that doesn’t include Paul Harris. Jim Boeheim should be ashamed of himself. The Basketball Hall of Fame should give Boeheim his plaque back. Don’t tell me that the NCAA is where caring happens.

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