Mike Krzyzewski has been very outspoken about his displeasure with conference realignment. Namely, the loss of long-standing rivalries in favor of schools chasing the almighty dollar.
Now, the head coach of Duke's men's basketball team is speaking out again. But this time his target is one of the Atlantic Coast Conference's newest members: Notre Dame.
In a recent interview with the New York Post, Krzyzewski was asked what he thought about the league's relationship with Notre Dame. Specifically, how the Fighting Irish were able to join as full members in every sport outside football. Notre Dame is obligated to play five games against ACC opponents each season, however, remain independent in the college football landscape outside of that agreement.
"I think you can't do something for one that you're not willing to do for all in these type of situations," Krzyzewski said. "I would never have accepted personally them coming in and not being totally in. Why don't Duke and North Carolina do something different in basketball? I mean it's not right. I'm happy that they're part of it I'm just not happy the way that they're apart of it.
"They add value but, just being old-fashioned, (if) we're playing cards, we all get five cards. That's why they were never a member of the Big Ten."
It's easy to understand where Krzyzewski is coming from to some degree. Notre Dame has always been a school who people view as receiving special treatment because of their rich history and huge fanbase. But it is also important to remember that the old Big East Conference had a similar accord with the Catholic institution. Notre Dame participated in the Big East in all sports except football during their membership in the league.
On Friday, Notre Dame men's basketball coach Mike Brey responded to Coach K's comments.
"I feel I have to respond on behalf of my Irish. Come on, man. Come on. In this time of conference realignment, you've got to think outside the box and (ACC commissioner) John Swofford did that. He got us and we're in.
"Let's wake up and smell the roses. This is a whole new era. That's been out there – 'God, they got in, but they got in without bringing football,' " Brey said. "I'm like, 'We're in man, pat us on the back. We're in the family.' "
Brey, who once served as an assistant under Krzyzewski, also took a jab at Duke and North Carolina after Kryzewskzi essentially called out the Irish for being treated differently than everyone else.
"They live in a whole different world," Brey said. "They're on TV more than anyone. They get more exposure than any team in the league and rightfully so. "They do kind of have their own world and they've earned that, just as we've earned remaining independent in football for now."
Brey concluded his remarks on a positive note, though.
"Mike should just hug us and welcome us," Brey said. "Now let's go make it the best league in the country."
Notre Dame joins Pittsburgh and Syracuse as the newest members of the ACC in 2013. In 2014, Louisville will also join the league, raising the membership count to 16.
The ACC is shaping up to be the premier college basketball league in America. So, despite the gripes by Krzyzewski, he is probably elated the realignment shuffle has worked out as it has.
Via USA TODAY