AD tells newspapers his comments taken out of context

Updated: October 17, 2007, 11:22 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

In interviews with the Daily Orange and the Post-Standard of Syracuse, N.Y., Syracuse University athletics director Daryl Gross shot down an Associated Press report that an agreement is in place to make assistant coach Mike Hopkins the successor to longtime coach Jim Boeheim and said his comments to the AP had been taken out of context.

"That story is not very accurate, and I find that it's very premature to even be talking about it, and I indicated that to them," Gross told the Daily Orange. "Everything that they talked to me about has totally been taken out of context, and I'm not very appreciative of what was reported."

The AP reported that Syracuse had reached an agreement on a plan for Hopkins to succeed Boeheim when he retires.

"Jim isn't going anywhere, but Mike is my next coach," Gross told the AP. Gross told the Daily Orange that the statement was taken out of context and was simply a "concept."

Gross told the Post-Standard that he also told the AP that "it's too premature to talk about that. It's too premature to talk contract."

"Mike, as I always maintain, is an outstanding, extraordinary, rare coach," Gross told the Daily Orange. "He is going to be a terrific head coach. He is. He's going to be one of the best ever at some point. But it's way too premature to even get into that conversation."

When reached by the Daily Orange, the AP writer said he stood by his story and the quotes from Gross.

In May, ESPN.com cited multiple sources in reporting that Hopkins would be officially named as Boeheim's successor but there was no timetable for the change. ESPN.com reported that the university had reached an agreement to put a succession plan in writing and said the move had been in the works for months.

In 31 seasons at his alma mater, Boeheim has a 750-264 record and has led Syracuse to 25 NCAA tournament appearances, three Final Fours and the 2003 national championship.

Hopkins, who played guard at Syracuse from 1988 to 1993, is in his 13th season on Boeheim's staff.

Hopkins, a Syracuse captain for Boeheim in 1992 and 1993, joined his staff in 1995 and five years later was given his first chance to recruit. He has lured Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, Demetris Nichols, sophomore Paul Harris and current freshman Jonny Flynn to Syracuse.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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