It has been strange season for college basketball. A lot of the blue blood programs such as Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State and Duke are struggling, to say the least.
That isn’t an excuse to take out frustrations on a student reporter, though, which is exactly what Mike Krzyzewski did following Duke’s 70-65 loss to Louisville. The Blue Devils are now 5-5 on the season, and that apparently has Coach K on edge.
When Jake Piazza with the Duke Chronicle’s asked a simple question to Coach K, he was given a condescending speech about not looking ahead. It’s fine to bring that up, but the manner in which Coach K addressed the young reporter was unnecessary.
Coach K going after a student reporter because he quit on his team. Pathetic pic.twitter.com/2bs0y4iFlN
— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) January 24, 2021
Look, I’m all for some tough love. Piazza can take how things unfolded as a teaching moment about the business, but the question was fair. Duke is terrible, and the reporter wanted to know what the next step is for Coach K. How do you begin righting the ship?
Instead, he’s told to live in the moment. Don’t be a forward thinker.
Aren’t the most successful people the ones who can move forward? Learn from mistakes, and figure out the best way to make the necessary adjustments. It’s ok to simply say “hey, I don’t really know in this moment … but the bottom line is we got to change something because this isn’t working.”
Boom, question answered. We all move on. Instead, we are once again talking about something controversial Coach K said or did this season.
Now, this isn’t just a Coach K thing. He’s frustrated, and rightfully so. We have seen great coaches in the past, including Nick Saban, Bill Belichick and others, take frustrations out on reporters. That is part of the business, and Piazza needs to understand that.
That doesn’t change the miscalculation from Coach K, however. He clearly knew the one asking the question was a student, and it was a fair ask.
If it wasn’t a fair question, that would be viewed differently. Sometimes, reporters and journalists deserve the verbal lashings they get. They ask absurd questions, and it warrants tough responses. This didn’t feel like one of those moments, though.
Anyways, we did get a response from Piazza on Twitter.
This was not exactly how I expected my first postgame question to Coach K to go. https://t.co/a7sU1UE46a
— Jake Piazza (@jake_piazza) January 24, 2021
And of course, Coach K’s response has also led to criticism on social media, including fans, media and others. Has the media overreacted? Oh yeah, it always does, but at least some of it is warranted.
Hopefully, this will act as a teaching moment … for the student reporter and Coach K.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.