Andy Katz, an ESPN reporter, received a rude and angry response from Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim after asking a question during a post-game conference Wednesday. After the Syracuse Orangemen lost to the UConn Huskies 66-58, the coach refused to answer any of Katz's questions, calling the journalist an "idiot."
Andy Katz didn't have much to say and seemed stunned by Boeheim's abrupt response. Meanwhile, the coach continued his verbal assault.
"I'll answer anybody's question but yours because you're an idiot and really a disloyal person," the 68-year-old Hall of Fame coach began. "There are a few other things I could add but I'm not going to go there."
At first, ESPN made it a point to defend their journalist, calling him "extremely professional and respected," as well as "one of the industry's best reporters" in a statement. Both Katz claimed not to know why the coach had ripped into him during the standard press conference.
However, Boeheim clarified his comments Thursday, revealing that the bad blood stemmed from a November 2011 interview. At the time, his assistant Bernie Fine had just come under fire for a molestation scandal, and in the wake of the numerous Jerry Sandusky abuses, media speculation was rampant.
"[Katz] asked if he could interview me about the [NIT Pre-Season Tip-Off Tournament]. And I said, 'Yeah, but I can't talk about the (Bernie Fine) investigation," Boeheim told The Syracuse Post-Standard. "We got in the room and he put me on camera … and he asked me what I'd told him I couldn't answer. … And he asked me, like, 10 times on camera."
"Two or three people in the room were so disgusted they walked out of the room. The producer came over and apologized afterward. And I told Katz right then and there, 'Don't talk to me. Do not try to talk to me again,'" the coach said.
Katz disagrees with the coach's retelling of the incident, telling ESPN that "nothing of the sort took place."
"There was never any agreement not to ask Fine-related questions," Katz countered in an interview with ESPN. "In fact, that was ESPN's first chance to speak with Coach Boeheim after the Fine news broke so of course we would ask him about it."
This isn't the first time Boeheim has gotten testy with a reporter or flat-out refused to answer a question. The coach has gotten short with journalists numerous times in the past, including in Nov. 2010 when he got another question he didn't like about his emotional state following a game.