Duke Blue Devils legendary basketball coach Mike Krzyewski isn't too happy about the current shakeup in intercollegiate athletics. And he recently let it be known on his SiriusXM radio show called "Basketball and Beyond."
The 65-year old went on a rant in which he criticizes schools for trading tradition for financial gain. Namely, the University of Maryland and its decision announced in November to leave the Atlantic Coast Conference for the Big Ten.
“If you’re running a business for a long time, you would be interested primarily in what is your brand,” Krzyzewski continued. “For us, we have a good brand at Duke University, but we also have a good brand because we’ve been in the ACC. We benefit from that brand. And people who have gone to school here, played sports here, they are not only Duke people; they’re ACC people.
Coach K then begins to rip the Terrapins for their decision to leave the conference which they helped create in 1953:
"And in Maryland’s case, that’s the only conference they’ve known. And they’re right in the middle of the ACC. And now their fans, they don’t have a place. They’re outsiders. They really are outsiders. What price?
“It’s like throwing a rock into a pond,” Coach K said. “There’s this big splash. They make a big splash, like we’re gonna make all this money, and then there’s all these ripples. And what are those ripples? Well, I don’t care about the ripples. They’re not even thinking about the ripples. They’re thinking about making that big splash. I wonder if some of this is egotism. I mean, ego and greed have something to do with it, but there’s not a big perspective here."
The four-time national champion coach concludes by saying:
“This is an assault on tradition,” Krzyzewski said. “What sets us apart from the pros? What sets us apart from the rest of the world? Intercollegiate sports is really something that only the United States has. No other country has that. And our thing is based on all the right values: loyalty, honesty, tradition. The branding that you have gotten from doing that has elevated the academic institutions that those athletic programs represent. And doing things the way we’re doing it now, based on money, I think it takes away from the academic missions and the innocence that an academic institution has.”
Maryland is set to join the Big Ten in July 2014. Although they will see a significant payout from being a member of the Big Ten as oppose to the ACC, they remain at odds with the ACC over a $50 million exit fee to leave the conference.
On Nov. 28, 2012, hhe University of Louisville was unanimously chosen by league presidents to replace Maryland as a full member in '14.
Via DC Sports Blog.