A few weeks ago, amid a news cycle surrounding the FBI probe into college basketball, Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski did his best to downplay the issue.
His comments weren’t taken well at all.
With numerous big schools connected to those on trial in various ways, Krzyzewski called the whole scandal a “blip,” and “not what’s happening” in the sport as a whole.
Of course, given the breadth of reporting that has come out, that seemed naive at best. Krzyzewski, who is often treated as beyond reproach, was blasted for his comments by a number of media members.
Before Tuesday’s high-profile win over Kentucky, Mike Krzyzewski discussed his comments during a College Basketball Symposium.
The event was organized by Sports Capital Journalism Program at IUPUI, and Coach K used the opportunity to apologize and expound on his previous statements. From the Indianapolis Star:
“I should’ve given it more time and I apologized for that,” he said. “I should’ve said, ‘For me, I went to West Point. I was an army officer for five years. I call it a blip on the radar screen of college basketball and that doesn’t mean that that blip is not a serious thing. We should look at it real close.’
“For me, the college basketball scene has been pretty clean. I haven’t encountered those things. … We haven’t lost a kid because I feel someone cheated for him. That’s my explanation on it. Again, I apologize for shortchanging the answer.”
Krzyzewski also discussed the idea of paying players, which has gained momentum over the years. While he is still opposed to schools paying, he did allude to the possibility of players having control of their own likeness for marketing opportunities.
“We don’t pay them, but there’s cost of attendance, travel, insurance. There’s so many things that they’ll do for a player. I don’t think it will ever be where you can pay (players), but it may be in the near future where likeness, the use of an individual’s name and face, where there’s something that could be worked out. … I think that’s where we’re headed.”
If someone like Coach K, who has thrived in the antiquated system that currently exists, is saying that is the direction things are headed in for college hoops, you can probably bank on it happening soon.