Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski Apologizes After Belittling Student Reporter

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils reacts to a play in the second half during a game against the Virginia Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena on February 29, 2020 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski made a personal phone call this week to a student reporter for the Duke Chronicle to apologize for an edgy exchange between the two at a press conference after the Blue Devils loss to Louisville on Saturday.

The question that prompted the exchange came when the student, Jake Piazza, in his first time ever covering the team asked, “I’m just curious as to what the next step forward here is for the team as you guys move into another week of basketball.”

Piazza said he felt “slightly embarrassed” when Krzyzewski appeared to take offence to the question, saying that he wanted to concentrate on analysis of Saturday’s game only. “Why don’t we just concentrate on this game. I’m not into what our next step forward is right now,” the coach stated.

Krzyzewski then asked the student, “What’s your major at Duke? What’s your hardest class?”

“Econ,” Piazza replied.

“Ok, so say you just had the toughest econ test in the world, and when you walked out somebody asked you, ‘what’s your next step?’ You see what I mean?” the coach said.

Krzyzewski then asked Piazza to have some empathy, and to give the team a chance to evaluate “this game,” and said they “will figure out what they are going to do.”

Piazza wrote in his article that “Coach K’s response was far from ideal, but after the press conference I went about writing my postgame article like any other game I’ve covered, albeit slightly embarrassed after being roasted in a room full of my fellow reporters.”

Social media responded to the coach’s comments, with one person saying, “This was not the hardest Econ exam ever. Louisville is a middle of year quiz.”

Duke basketball made headlines this year when the team announced the word “equality” would be printed on the school’s basketball jerseys for the 2020/21 season.


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