Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim says next season could be his last

Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim says next season could be his last coaching at his alma mater

Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim has always hinted he planned to retire on his own terms. That moment is at hand and his plan remains intact despite NCAA sanctions marring the end of his career.

In an hour-long news conference on Thursday ahead of top teams starting in the NCAA tournament, Boeheim said that 2018 is the "right time" to retire, but acknowledged that next season could be his last as he and the university appeal punishments for academic and benefits violations.

Boeheim said his plan discussed with the university's chancellor is to retire after three more seasons, but that he will take things year by year.

"I love coaching, and you can coach as long as you can be effective. I thought I was effective this year. I don't think I was as good as I would have liked to have been, but I think I was effective," said Boeheim, head coach at his alma mater since 1976. "If I'm not effective at the end of next year, I won't coach after next year. The three-year thing is the outside."

Boeheim said retiring after his team reached the Final Four in 2012 would have been ideal, but the timing wasn't right. He said he has told recruits he will be here next season but has no firm plans beyond that.

Boeheim said some of the NCAA's allegations laid out in a scathing 94-page report earlier this month are inaccurate. He called the penalties "unduly harsh" and said the reason he planned to stay on as coach was to make sure the program was in good shape.

"There was no way I would ever run away from an investigation in progress," Boeheim said. "I had no plans to coach this long. This investigation has made it imperative."

The NCAA punished Boeheim and Syracuse for academic, benefits and other violations that officials said showed the university had lost control of the athletic department.

"Although the infractions report does not find that I had personal involvement in any violations of NCAA rules, the Committee on Infractions has asserted that for the past 10 years I did not promote an atmosphere of compliance within the men's basketball program, and I did not monitor the activities regarding compliance of those within the program. This could not be further from the truth," Boeheim said, reading from a prepared statement. "This is far from a program where student-athletes freely committed academic fraud."

"I'll take the punishment," Boeheim said.

Going for three

The women's tournament begins today with No. 1 Connecticut attempting to win its third consecutive national championship.

The Huskies (32-1) play St. Francis (N.Y.), which is 15-18, in a first-round game Saturday at Storrs, Conn. Maryland (30-2), Notre Dame (31-2) and South Carolina (30-2) are the other No. 1 seeds.

Cal State Northridge (23-9) plays at Stanford (24-9) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Etc.

Penn State signed Coach Pat Chambers to a two-year contract extension through the 2018-19 season. Chambers is 56-75 and without an NCAA tournament berth in four seasons. The Nittany Lions are coming off an 18-16 season.

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