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Travis Williams - The Roanoke Sports Examiner
Three Thoughts on the Coach K Situation
By: Travis Williams
Coach K violation?
Well, maybe. It seems
Duke University and Coach Mike Krzyzewski
are still trying to figure out whether or not they actually broke a rule or not in speaking with 6-7 recruit Alex Poythress.
The fuzziness of the situation is regarding whether you are allowed to talk to a kid between AAU tournaments, even if the kid doesn't leave the location of said tournaments. This was the case for Alex, who was between back-to-back tourneys in Orlando when Coach K gave him a call.
So what should we take away from all this?
1. For starters, the NCAA is very likely being run by a group of rabid Dungeons and Dragons fans.
Did you ever play one of those games? There are like 8,000 rules regarding what you can and can't do and there is always the rule hawker, just ready to pounce on the first person to try and use his magic stones too close to a water source (obviously a violation of rule 76, section 4.) Heck with this. Give me Mouse Trap any day.
This is the NCAA right now. No one can keep up with all their rules, guidelines, and processes. Somewhere, some former D&D guys got together with their favorite wine coolers and tarts and put together all these rules. Now you can just see the excitement on their faces when they think someone is about to break one.
2. Despite the ridiculous nature of the rules list, Duke should make that call to the NCAA before their coach calls the kid, not after.
Sure, it's always easier to apologize than to ask permission, but when you run to the teacher to get that apology over with just a few minutes after the act, you really look bad. In fact your post-act, pre-caught apology just makes you look like the kid who figures he can schmooze his way out of trouble Zach Morris style and slide over to the Max, punishment free.
Duke's smarter than this. Coach K is smarter than this. So don't think for a second they didn't figure this was an edgy-at-best act.
Of course really, what do they have to lose? They already made contact with the No. 17 ranked players in the 2012 class and at most they might get what, a fine?
Sometimes having a little fun is worth the time in detention.
3. These kids are playing in too many tournaments!
Honestly, it's August and this kid is playing in not one, but two AAU tournaments, and in Orlando! What ever happen to kids spending their summers working at the pool and sneaking cigarettes outside of Sonic? (There is a valuable life lesson is learning how to use wind patterns to cover up the snitch of Camel Lights.)
More seriously though, I get it. The kid loves ball. He sees it as a path to a better future. I hear all that. But still, tell me this doesn't seem just a little bit shady. Tell me there isn't at least a part of you that hears about all those year-round travel teams and feels a little uneasy. That feels like somebody other than just the kids must be benefiting from all this. And that just maybe, it's not in the best interest of our kids.
Now, maybe it is all on the up and up. Maybe everything is legit and it's all about the kids. But if it turns out to be otherwise, would you really be all that surprised?
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