Coach K On Realignment:
“It’s Almost Like FOX Is At War With ESPN”

By David Glenn
North Carolina Sports Network

Legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski visited the David Glenn Show on the North Carolina Sports Network this week. The full, extended interview will be posted on the new NCSN YouTube channel (video/audio) and the new DG Show podcast (audio) Thursday morning.

Among the dozens of topics discussed by Coach K and DG was college sports’ ongoing realignment, including the places of the Atlantic Coast Conference and Duke University within that currently chaotic picture.

Below are some of Krzyzewski’s quotes from that interview.

On the external forces driving conference realignment: “I think, overall, it’s TV that’s dictating what we’re doing. It’s almost like FOX is at war with ESPN.”

On the internal forces driving conference realignment: “Really, right now, football is deciding everything. I think a lot of that is good, although they have the least to do with the NCAA, because they don’t make a penny for the NCAA. That started in the ‘80s, with a court ruling, where the NCAA was not going to be able to (sell TV rights itself) for football. That started it.”

On competition versus collaboration: “I’m surprised the Power Five conferences did not work together. Instead, they looked like they were competing — not looked like, they were (competing). As a result, I don’t know who’s in charge. I don’t know who’s in charge.”

On where the NCAA should go from here: “I wish we would get to some finality there in what football wants to do. Figure that out. And I would hope that our university is part of that equation all the time. Then, I’d like to see us do something with men’s and women’s basketball. Football is really 120 schools. NCAA basketball is over 360 (schools), and that’s more representative of all the Olympic sports. Men’s college basketball provides 98, 99 percent of the money for the NCAA. So, run it more like a business, but make sure you’re doing it with women’s basketball, and then try to figure this thing out.”

On the demise of the “Power Five,” Pac-12: “It’s escalated to where the five major conferences are now, really, I think, four, unless they put Miracle-Gro on the four (Pac-12) teams that are left, which is sad.”

On concerns about the ACC falling apart: “Hey, in one week, one of the great conferences in our country (Pac-12) blew up. That’s scary to me. That’s pretty scary. It means that there’s a lot going on that we never hear about. And it’s not just one conference; it’s schools jockeying for position.”

On the possibility of Duke, like Cal and Stanford, going from an academically elite university competing in a power conference to an institution that gets left out of the top leagues as football-driven dominoes continue to fall: “I would hope that would never happen, because we have a great institution, a great school and a world-class brand.”

On what he’ll be watching moving forward: “So, it’s very chaotic, and I hope our conference … I think we have a great commissioner (Jim Phillips), and obviously we have great schools in the conference, but you have different agendas, and people flashing a lot of money over the years in how you fund your sports programs. There’s an allure there, and hopefully our conference can stay on course here.”

NOTE: Our full (30-minute) conversation with Coach K will be available Aug. 17. Please subscribe (it’s free!) to our YouTube channel below.