It seems a shame when supposedly “pure as the driven snow” college coaches are exposed for the ethically challenged people they really are, but that sure seems to be the case with Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and UNC’s Roy Williams, two of the winningest, and most honored, coaches in college basketball.
Coach K, for example, has been getting a lot of deservedly justified heat lately for his treatment of the Grayson Allen controversy, Allen being the star Duke player who seems to have made a career out of deliberately tripping opponents.
His third “oh, excuse me for my foot getting in your way” episode occurred during a game against Elon, when Allen extended his foot to trip guard Steven Santa Ana. Allen received a technical for the foul, had a total meltdown on the bench, but returned to the game in the second half.
When Coach K was criticized for allowing Allen back in, he petulantly responded: “I handle things the way I handle them, and I think I’ve handled this correctly … and I don’t need to satisfy what other people think I should do.”
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That exercise in arrogance didn’t exactly go over well with the media and folks on places like Twitter, so the next day Coach K suspended Allen “indefinitely,” and later revoked his team captaincy.
But losing does strange things to even the best coaches, so when Allen-less Duke lost to Virginia Tech, the star guard miraculously appeared in the next game against Georgia Tech, making “indefinitely” a synonym for “one-game” suspension.
And what this proves is that despite having a potentially dangerous, immature player on the court, someone who could trip another player and cause serious physical damage, what Coach K really cares about isn’t teaching his boys how to be real men, but winning.
Guess we shouldn’t be surprised that he’s just like every other coach out there.
Then there’s Roy “I Know Nothing” Williams, who, echoing Sgt. Schultz in the old “Hogan’s Heroes” TV series, keeps acting as if he knew nothing, and takes no responsibility for, the UNC scandal involving fake courses and some of his players.
Not only does he refuse to come to grips with the scandal, and the fact that the buck stops with him, but he has acted as if whistleblower Mary Willingham were some sort of vermin that had just crawled out from the sewer, and blasted the NCAA and its efforts to get to the bottom of this mess with every breath he takes.
His latest response to the third round of NCAA allegations? “I’m tired of this junk.”
Well, Roy, we’re tired of you and your inability to man up.
Two years ago, I wrote an op-ed questioning why Williams had not been fired or resigned because of this scandal, and now I think I know the reasons why:
▪ You don’t fire a coach who just went to the NCAA championship game.
▪ You’re afraid of the juicy lawsuit he’d file against you, which would also be a media sensation.
▪ Institutionally, your morals are about on a par with Williams’.
But really. Williams has shown that in this case at least, he’s an ethically challenged, blustery person who really needs to deal with the controversy surrounding him.
Either that, or he needs to go. Now.
Lewis Beale, a local journalist, attended school in Pennsylvania, and has no rooting interest in any of the local college sports programs.