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Legendary Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim joined OutKick’s Dan Dakich on the latest episode of Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich. The Hall of Fame coach — who recently retired — gave Dakich his take on the situation that unfolded at Alabama this season involving star player Brandon Miller.
It has been alleged that Miller provided the gun used in the murder of 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris in January of this year committed by his former teammate Darius Miles and his accomplice Michael Lynn Davis.
Despite this, Alabama controversially opted not to suspend the NBA-bound Miller. He continued to be an integral part of the team that nabbed a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament, only to be eliminated in the Sweet 16 by the eventual runner-up, the San Diego State Aztecs.
“What are your thoughts on those types of situations?” Dakich asked. “What’s a coach’s involvement here, or is it more towards the AD and the president (of the university to handle)?”
“It’s a tough situation,” Boeheim said. “As a coach, you have you always try to support your player. You know, the university has to make their decisions based on the university. As a coach, I think you have to err on the side of supporting your players, and sometimes that can put you in a bad situation.”
That certainly appears to be how things shook out in Alabama.
Boeheim Said Players Will Inevitably Make Mistakes, And That Can Sometimes Fall On A Coach
Boeheim acknowledged that supporting players can occasionally seem like a bad call. However, he noted that college athletes will inevitably make mistakes of their own and will need support.
“I’ve always felt you have to support your players and your team, and sometimes that might seem like a mistake,” he said. “Remember, these guys are 18 years old, right? And they’re gonna make mistakes and you try to help them through it.
“Some players that I’ve had that have made tremendous mistakes here have turned out to be great people, great citizens, and have given back to their community,” Boeheim said. “So, I think you have to stick and support your players as much as you possibly can.”
The legendary coach did say however that right or wrong, players’ mistakes can still wind up reflecting on the coach.
“You’re held responsible if a kid messes up or does something they shouldn’t, that’s that falls back on the coach because you recruited him,” he said. “Whether that’s fair or not, you know, I don’t know. But that’s the way it is.”
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