Amid college hoops corruption trial, Duke's Coach K says sport 'actually pretty clean'
The Blue Devils Hall of Famer believes the corruption trial is a 'blip'
The hubbub of the college basketball federal corruption trial has been the talk of the sport for the last two weeks. Revelations of big money backdoor deals between shoe companies and prospects has shaken the sport to its core, and offered a unique insight into how the dark, corrupt underbelly works.
The testimony from former agents and runners in court in the first of three trials has cast a negative light not only on the schools mentioned -- among them NC State, Kansas and Maryland -- but also on the sport as a whole. Still, Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, the fearless leader of Duke, believes the trial and the alleged misdeeds of the programs involved doesn't paint the entire picture.
"I think [college basketball] is actually pretty clean," he told ESPN on Monday, adding that he hasn't really followed the trial "that much."
"I think it's minute, it's a blip," he said. "It's not what's happening. ... We haven't lost guys because someone cheated. I haven't paid attention to it because I haven't been affected by it."
Krzyzewski's comment come just days after fellow ACC foe and fellow Hall of Famer, Roy Williams, offered up a similar sentiment about the corruption in the sport.
"It's a massive thing that's still going on, and I'm just dumbfounded," Williams said on Tuesday. "I had somebody criticize me and say 'you shouldn't be dumbfounded.' Well, excuse me, I have my right to have my own feelings. That world that they're explaining out there I'm not familiar with. Period. In 30 years as a head coach I have never had anyone ask me for money. I have never asked any shoe company to recruit for me. I have never asked anyone other than the family what is most important to you.
"So that world, people act like it goes on all the time, it does not go on all the time. It is a world I'm not familiar with."
Duke and UNC are among the best perennial college basketball programs and consistently recruit at a high level. Duke, in fact, has reeled in the No. 1 recruiting class over the last three recruiting cycles. UNC, meanwhile, has finished inside the top-20 each of the last three cycles.
Williams and Krzyzewski are right to point out that not every program in the sport is playing dirty or cheating, but it's also fair to point out that it happens virtually everywhere. To say it's not a big deal, or that it's not affecting blueblood schools, would be downplaying its overall impact on the sport.
And while both Williams and Krzyzewski have proactively pleaded their innocence in the media -- worth noting here that neither are on trial or considered dirty -- it's also noteworthy to add that, according to testimony in the trial on Monday, KU Hall of Fameras they lead on.
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