Slip of the tongue: Coach K appears to violate NCAA rule

Duke’s head coach for 40 years made a rookie mistake on Friday night.

During his press conference following the Blue Devils’ 89-55 win over Colorado State at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Mike Krzyzewski talked about Chicago prep guard DJ Steward when answering a question about recruiting that city.

Steward, a five-star player from Chicago’s Whitney Young High School, committed to Duke on Sept. 18 but has yet to sign a National Letter of Intent. That makes him a recruitable athlete, according to NCAA rules, and means college coaches are not allowed to comment publicly about him.

A Chicago Tribune reporter asked Krzyzewski, a Chicago native, about recruiting in his home town.

“I just enjoy recruiting anywhere there’s a good player, great kid who wants to come to Duke,” Krzyzewski said before a room full of media members. “We’ve had a few of those in Chicago, one that’s there right now in DJ and we’re happy that they finally stopped the teacher’s strike so he could go to Whitney Young and qualify to come here, although he’s qualified. Chicago’s a great town and I always love going back.”

According to NCAA bylaw, “A member institution may comment publicly only to the extent of confirming its recruitment of the prospective student-athlete.”

The rule goes on to say the school “may not comment generally about the student-athlete’s ability or the contribution that the prospective student-athlete might make to the institution’s team.”

Duke’s compliance office plans to self-report the incident to the NCAA.

“We are aware of the comment and we will inform the NCAA,” Duke basketball spokesman Mike DeGeorge said.

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An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.