The intense media focus on Bernie Fine is overshadowing the SU basketball team's early season success. Sports Director Mark Larson has more on how the Orange are dealing with playing under a dark cloud.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The new national rankings just came out Monday afternoon and Syracuse is now number three in the country according to the coaches and fourth in the media poll. But you wonder how long the team is going to be able to keep its focus the way this story is developing since the Orange last played last Friday night.
Up at the Melo Center Monday, the team practiced behind closed doors again, getting ready for another Tuesday night.
Assistant Athletic Director Floyd Little allowed us in, but most of the players and coaches avoided the front entrance crammed with local and national media inside and out.
At least five satellite trucks were out in the parking lot, but nobody associated with the basketball program, or the university for that matter, went on camera. However, SU football coach Doug Marrone did address the topic briefly and politically at his weekly press conference Monday morning.
And there are a couple of other interesting notes. Bernie Fine's bio has been taken off the school's website, but his name was still on the entrance to the Basketball Hall of Fame at the Melo Center Monday afternoon.
We also talked with the president of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, Kim Wells. Fine was inducted into the Hall last month, but none of the new members' plaques have been put up at the Hall of Fame yet. Wells told us the executive committee will take appropriate action before that happens in January.
SU continues its season against Eastern Michigan at the Dome Tuesday night.
We expect to hear more from Coach Boeheim in his postgame press conference afterwards.