Everything Duke's Mike Krzyzewski does leading up to his Final Four matchup against North Carolina on Saturday will have a lot of eyes. He's clearly aware of that.
In his media session Friday leading up to a record 13th Final Four appearance, Coach K didn't spend much time talking about the Tar Heels and the rivalry with the Blue Devils. Instead, he chose to talk about the NCAA as an institution and the direction it's heading. As he put it, "I don't know if I'll ever get a chance to talk to [the media] again."
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Krzyzewski's comments were a follow-up to what he said Thursday when he expressed frustration with NCAA president Mark Emmert. "I've got a lot of questions for him . . . many," he said then.
On F Cincinnati Bearcats shirt riday, Krzyzewski expounded, saying:
Yesterday I said about the NCAA, I think we're all frustrated. And that's good because if you're frustrated it means then all constituents want change.
The thing that I would recommend is that this is a transformational time for college athletics. When you transform, the main thing you transform is structure, organization. The structure we have right now does not work. And so if the transformational committee is geared — I Colorado Buffaloes clothes hear all these things that they're coming out with all the compliance stuff. That should come after structure.
The NCAA Division I Transformation Committee, per its website, will "develop a set of Division I Commitments, Regulations and Membership Obligations that directly respond to the set of issues that continually challenge the division." It will "engage the current governance structure (e.g., Division I Council, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) and Division I Collegiate Commissioners Association during its efforts." It was developed to "effectively meet the needs of current and former student-athletes."
"And I would take a look at the organization," Krzyzewski said. "Who's on that transformational committee? I think there are more compliance people on it. Nothing against compliance people. That's part of what we do."
According to the committee's notes for its March meeting, it discussed transfer rules and regulations. But like most NCAA institutions, its wheels turn slowly.
Krzyzewski also took issue with who the committee is seeking input from, specifically people who are most like him.
"If you're going to change, don't talk to just the older coaches," he said after rebuffing the idea of him being on a change committee in any formal capacity. "Like, the younger coaches have a real good feel for what's happening right now with NIL (name, image and likeness) and guys — not just guys, but student-athletes being represented by agents and the transfer portal. And you know why they have a better feel for FSU vs. Miami Rivalry Gear it than me? Because it affects them."
Regarding basketball, Krzyzewski dismissed the idea that a Duke-North Carolina Final Four matchup is more important than other Duke-UNC games, even though it is.
"I don't know that it's more important," he said. "But it's not more important because it's North Carolina. It would always be important if it's North Carolina. It's the most important because if you win you get a chance to play for the national championship. And that has to be your focus. That's the focus."
Krzyzewski also sang the praises of first-year UNC coach Hubert Davis when he was asked:
Hubert's been terrific. I mean, one, there's a lot of pressure taking over a program the level of North Carolina's, with the tradition of excellence that they've had. And for him to do it, he's under immense scrutiny. And they got knocked back a number of times. I just thought he always had poise and he has great h CCD CityHawks shirt umility. And it worked together.
And he had a belief in his players and in what he was doing. He and I did a thing together here yesterday, NCAA Spirit shirt and I mentioned that he's run his own race. He hasn't tried to be Dean Smith or Roy or anybody else. He's been himself in that culture. But he knows that culture. He's worked in it and he's played in it. And now he's adapting who he is into that culture. And I think that's a great way for a culture to grow. And he's done a marvelous job.
The version of Coach K at this Final Four is d Florida vs. Georgia Rivalry shirt ifferent. He's candid in a way he hasn't been in the past, and he clearly wants change within the NCAA. Krzyzewski bemoaned the fact he knows "(NBA commissioner) Adam Silver better th Cornell Big Red Jerseys an anyone in th Cal State Chico Wildcats clothes e NCAA." That's a damning indictment from a coach who has the influence Krzyzewski does over college basketball.
This matchup will be entertaining regardless of the result. There's only one guarantee heading into it: It's the last Final Four game of Krzyzewski's coaching career. And no matter what he may say on the podium, it's going to be hard to convince anyone it doesn't mean a little bit more.