Everyone has their price, right? There's a magic number that everyone will bow down for? 1M? 5M? 100K? What would it take for you, member of the Big Blue Nation, to shut up and walk away with no consideration for the truth when it comes to the Cats?
Now we all know that there is a price in Durham, NC. Yes, that Durham N.C. home of the beloved Durham Bulls of Hollywood fame, and the home of Duke University and Coach Mike Krzyzewski. And it is now home of two of the biggest money scandals in the NCAA in the last 20 years, both of which are probably going to end up swept under the rug. We all know the saga of Corey Maggette and his admitted acceptance of money from AAU coaches and supporters which came ot light back in 1999, a Final Four season for Duke. And now they have a player who supposedly entered college with money to burn, because he was making a 100K jewelry purchase. I am not getting into that part any further, because we have covered it pretty well. No, my concern goes deeper.
CBS' Gregg Doyel asks the question in his article, "Will Coach K, Duke Skate Again?". I think the question is a fair one, but again, not my primary concern. My concern here is for Coach K and his much ballyhooed overly inflated sense of morals and ethics. If Coaxch K is the man he claims to be at every turn, why does he not just simply get to the bottom of this whole thing himself? If his standards and his program are as value-driven as he says they are, then why doesn't he simply pick up the phone and ask tha kid, and then ask the jeweler? Why allow this cloud to hang over his program's (and his) head and create a distraction when they should be preparing for another NCAA Championship run as they normally do? I mean, this isn't Billy Gillispie here. Coach K has a history of being "above the fray" when it comes to the NCAA and their concerns about unfair advantage for college athletic programs. His reputation stands to take a huge hit if he has not one but two documented cases of financial misdeeds inside his winning program, that is for sure. But what kind of a message does it send to the fans, the school, and the world of sport when you have this kind of thing happening in your program? John Calipari was practically crucified for less, and he reported one of the incidents in his team's backgrounds after he did his own investigation.
Why would Mike allow this to go on? Does it mean there is a price on his values and morals? Assuming he had nothing to do with the two incidents, he personally would not be found at fault for what occurred, which is apparently some very bad judgement on the part of two young men. While this will probably remain a mystery for all outsiders, it's Coach K that ultimately will have this follow him forver if he does not get in front of it. Kids make mistakes. Adults are supposed to help them deal with the consequences and guide them through the fallout. And they are supposed to set an example for them to live by. And coaches are supposed to be the ones showing them the right moves to make. If this is his way of showing them what they are supposed to do, it's a sorry example. I guess we know what his price is.