Boeheim's presence at upcoming Orange/Duke game unknown

02.22.19 | Bob Price

It is not yet known whether Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim will be present at a highly-anticipated game this Saturday against Duke.

Wednesday night, Boeheim coached his team to an impressive 20-point win over nationally-ranked Louisville. It was just a few hours after that game Boeheim was involved in a tragic crash in which 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez died.

Boeheim cancelled his radio show Thursday and released a statement:

I am heartbroken that a member of our community died as the result of last night’s accident. Juli and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family. Out of respect for those involved, I will not be provided further comment at this time.

When Wednesday night’s game ended, all of the focus turned to Saturday and the Duke game, and what had the potential to be one of the most special nights ever on campus. The crowd is likely to set an all-time record for attendance at a basketball game.

 “It’s all people have been talking about this week,” said sophomore Jay Grant. “We play Duke at home once every couple years.”

With Wednesday night’s tragedy, it’s not clear if Boeheim has decided whether he will be with part of his team in any way. Grant says the campus has been thinking of both the Jimenez and Boeheim families since the crash.

“People are obviously upset about it,” Grant said. “Our hearts go out to the families – the family who lost a loved one, and also the Boeheims, because I can’t imagine the situation’s easy on them right now.”

“It was just so sudden and it was such a crazy occurrence,” said senior Daniel Driscoll. “This is big news; he’s a huge figure in this part, and it’s not something that you just take lightly. It is something that people are talking about it. It’s in the culture, it’s in the news and everybody’s talking about it, so we’ll see how that conversation develops.”

ESPN College GameDay was scheduled to be at Syracuse University all day Saturday. The network has since cancelled that appearance. A released by ESPN read:

Due to the recent tragedy, and after careful consideration due to the celebratory nature of the show, ESPN’s College GameDay will originate from ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., this weekend, instead of at Syracuse University. We spoke with school officials and they understand the decision.