Thursday, August 25, 2011

Possible Coach K violation generates more buzz than it deserves

If Mike Krzyzewski's potential rules violation isn't the summer's most overblown story, it ranks right up there with the Jay Cutler-Kristin-Cavallari divorce.

Yes, the Duke coach may have spoken to a recruit on a day when it's against NCAA rules to do so. Yes, it's a rule some coaches claim all of their peers know. And yes, it's mildly newsworthy simply because Krzyzewski is the highly successful coach of one of the nation's most high-profile programs.

Nonetheless, it's mind-boggling that a story that at most may lead to a meaningless secondary violation received more buzz than the story from earlier in July of a dozen college coaches investing hundreds of thousands of dollars with a prominent AAU coach.

Discussion of a potential recruiting violation by Krzyzewski began Friday when Alex Poythress of the Georgia Stars told the Duke coach offered a scholarship to him last Tuesday night.

"It was pretty exciting to talk to Coach K," Poythress said. "He said he saw me play at the Super Showcase and Peach Jam, and he liked what he saw."

The problem is even though Poythress' team had been eliminated from the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando earlier Tuesday night, it still had another tournament in Orlando to play starting the following day. As a result, Krzyzewski's conversation with Poythress may violate an NCAA rule prohibiting coaches from contacting prospective recruits on an extended road trip during the July evaluation period.

The gray area stems from a clause in the NCAA rules permitting contact with a recruit "at the conclusion of a competition and prior to the commencement of travel to the next competition, provided he or she has been released by the appropriate institutional authority and departs the dressing and meeting facility." The NCAA will have to provide an interpretation whether that clause excuses the contact between Krzyzewski and Poythress.

Regardless, the worst possible outcome of this for Duke is accepting a secondary violation that carries virtually no punishment. Then we can all move on to vastly more relevant summer stories ... like who Cavallari may be dating next.


Carl Lewis Chris Evert Christy Mathewson Cy Young

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