Syracuse announced Sunday that Jim Boeheim will coach past next year — a reversal from two years ago when the school, in the middle of an NCAA scandal, stated the Hall of Famer intended to step away following the 2017-18 season.

“After discussing it with Chancellor [Ken] Syverud, we believe the best decision for the student-athletes currently in the program and those who are committed to attending the university is to extend coach Boeheim’s contract,” Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack said. “Jim has enthusiastically agreed.”

This announcement of the new contract for Boeheim came only hours after Syracuse coach-in-waiting Mike Hopkins accepted an offer to be Washington’s coach. Hopkins had been an assistant at Syracuse since 1996.

“Mike accepting the position at Washington has put us in a unique position,” Wildhack said. “The circumstances are different now than they were when he was named head-coach-in-waiting.”

In other words, according to Wildhack, Hopkins’ decision to leave Syracuse made it necessary for Boeheim to remain. But in reality, Hopkins left Syracuse in part because he wasn’t sure Boeheim was actually going to step away after next season — and because he didn’t want to be put in the awkward position of possibly pushing his mentor out.

Either way, Boeheim wins.

He never wanted to be forced to retire.

Now he’ll get to leave on his own terms.


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