In response to the massive FBI scandal that has spread throughout the college basketball landscape, the sport’s winningest coach admits college basketball as a whole has not evolved quickly enough to deal with the reality of the basketball world today.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski addressed the massive story Tuesday, ripping through the college basketball world during Duke’s media day and confirming what we all knew to be the case: It’s not just the coaches at college basketball programs getting in the heads of recruits anymore. Sales pitches, quite literally, are being made all the time from anyone with connections. And over time, as Coach K sees it, that has become more and more of a concern, with little to no action taken. Via USA Today:
“We don’t have a good model, a model that fits what’s happening in basketball, so college basketball’s going to have problems,” Krzyzewski told reporters at Duke’s media day on Tuesday. “We in college have not changed as much as the landscape has changed. … When we recruit, the grassroots culture of basketball before we get them has changed dramatically. Before these kids ever come to us, we are not the only ones recruiting these youngsters. Talent is being recruited all the time in every shape and form.”
As Krzyzewski went on to elaborate, the NCAA and college basketball administrators have tried to do their best to provide for a fair playing field, but that is simply not enough given the recently reported findings from an FBI investigation. To help drive his point home, Krzyzewski took a shot at Donald Trump while suggesting the whole sport doesn’t need to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch.
“The biggest thing you can pull on — I wish our president would understand this — is economic pressure,” Krzyzewski explained. “You don’t have to destroy everybody. You can make them hurt with economic pressure, and we’ve got to be careful about those things (because) this is a great game.”
I have no idea if Coach K saw the footage of Trump tossing out toilet paper like he was taking a free throw and was disgusted by the shooting skills of the president (as the NBA Jam announcer would likely say, “Terrible shot!”) or if this was an unprovoked shot at the president and his war of words with anyone who challenges him. But make no mistake about it, Coach K just showed some versatility in addressing major issues facing college basketball and our nation’s leadership.
I now look forward to people telling Coach K to stick to sports.