Buddy Boeheim: Syracuse player suspended for punching Florida State's Wyatt Wilkes
Syracuse star Buddy Boeheim was suspended from the basketball game against Duke after he punched Florida State player Wyatt Wilkes in his gut during a second-round victory on Thursday, 10 March. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) made this announcement on Wednesday, March 9, after the game ended and termed Boeheim’s act as “flagrant.”
ACC stated the suspension after four hours ninth-seeded Syracuse punched eighth-seeded Florida State player in the stomach at Barclays Center. Wyatt Wilkes replied to Buddy’s act and objected to his suspension. “In all honesty, I didn’t think anything of it after the fact,” Wilkes stated in a YouTube video. “In fact, I didn’t even know this was a thing until somebody told me … like, I’ve been punched in the face. And he didn’t really punch me. He threw his arm out.”
Buddy was not called for foul play. Watch the video of Buddy punching Wyatt during the basketball game:
Wyatt Wilkes released a video on Wednesday, 10 March, and responded to the controversy.
Buddy Boeheim issued his apology later, which was posted on Syracuse's official Twitter account, he wrote, “In the heat of today’s game, after some shoving in the lane, I swung my arm while turning to go back up court,”
He added, “It was wrong to act out in frustration. I apologized to Wyatt Wilkes multiple times in the handshake line. He said not to worry about it, but I know I was wrong. I pride myself in respecting the game and our opponent. I will not react that way again.”
Statement from Buddy Boeheim pic.twitter.com/1SvERy9GW7— Syracuse Men’s Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) March 9, 2022
During the post-game news conference, Syracuse coach and Buddy’s father Jim Boeheim denied his son's act and called it an unintentional move. He said, “No, I don’t think he hit … He just swung around and had, [there] was contact,” Jim Boeheim said. “The kid pushed him twice. You can’t just let people push you around.”
A reporter then questioned the coach at the news conference and asked him about the clip that has been making rounds on the internet, where it was clear that Buddy intentionally “punched” Wyatt in his stomach. However, Jim Boeheim continued to defend his son and denied all the allegations.
Buddy, on the other hand, issued an apology as he regretted his violent actions at Wednesday’s game, where Syracuse gained a victory by 96-57.