Only one player has ever been dismissed from Duke's men's basketball team while Mike Krzyzewski has been the Blue Devils' head coach.
That player, Rasheed Sulaimon, will likely start for the top-five Maryland Terrapins this season. Sulaimon, a senior guard, was dismissed from the team last January for being unable to "consistently live up to the standards" of Coach K's program. Without Sulaimon, the Blue Devils went on to win the national title.
Earlier this week, Sulaimon's mother, Angela, discussed her son's dismissal with Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun. She did not hold back, speaking harshly about Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils' program.
"He said on TV when he let him go, ‘It’s a privilege to go to Duke.’ He needs to take that back. It’s a privilege to go to college -- period," said Angela Sulaimon. "It was a privilege to have Rasheed. I promise you that not all of his players have the GPA that Rasheed had. If he had kept him on the team, he would have graduated in December.”
There were allegations of sexual assault against Sulaimon, though it was investigated by both Duke and Maryland and nothing substantial was found. No charges were filed, either.
Sulaimon's mother believes this played a part in her son's dismissal.
“He didn’t want to deal with it. He wanted to go on with the season,” Angela Sulaimon said of Krzyzewski. “But there was no record, there were no formal charges. Nobody said, ‘Yes, he did it.’ The Duke newspaper tried to call me and one of them said, ‘Why can’t we talk to you and get your side of the story? Maybe we made a mistake with Rasheed.’ But I never answered.”
She believes her son was "sacrificed" for the program.
"He’s not the type of kid who’s like, ‘I’m not in their program, so forget about them,’" she said. "Friendship means a lot. He was very positive toward the guys he played with. They were like brothers. It had nothing to do with the guys. A lot of them felt like Rasheed got the raw end of the stick. I felt like Rasheed was sacrificed.”
Sulaimon has fit in well with the Terps, who have spoken highly about his leadership and his transition into Mark Turgeon's program.
Maryland starts its 2015-16 season Nov. 13 against Mount Saint Mary's.