Originally written on Sports-Glory  |  Last updated 10/28/14
The four-time national champion and winningest coach in Division I history, Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski used his SiriusXM radio show to let his feelings be known about Maryland's move to the Big Ten. “If you’re running a business for a long time, you would be interested primarily in what is your brand,” Krzyzewski continued. “For us, we have a good brand at Duke University, but we also have a good brand because we’ve been in the ACC. We benefit from that brand. And people who have gone to school here, played sports here, they are not only Duke people; they’re ACC people. And when you give that up, what price is that?” he asked. “What does that do? The fact that they’ll never be a Duke-Maryland game again. There may never be a Texas-Texas A&M game again, a Syracuse-Georgetown game again. Those schools aren’t gonna schedule one another. I mean, that’s not gonna happen. And in Maryland’s case, that’s the only conference they’ve known. And they’re right in the middle of the ACC. And now their fans, they don’t have a place. They’re outsiders. They really are outsiders. What price? What price is paid for that?” Maryland, along with Duke, was a founding member of the ACC in 1953, but in November the school announced it would be joining the Big Ten in 2014. “It’s like throwing a rock into a pond,” Coach K said. “There’s this big splash. They make a big splash, like we’re gonna make all this money, and then there’s all these ripples. And what are those ripples? Well, I don’t care about the ripples. They’re not even thinking about the ripples. They’re thinking about making that big splash. I wonder if some of this is egotism. I mean, ego and greed have something to do with it, but there’s not a big perspective here. “Every conference is kind of like it’s own country, and you’re trying to annex these different areas, and there’s nobody looking at all of the countries together,” he continued. “Like, the NCAA — that’s supposed to be our country. There’s no conclusion to this. When there’s no point that we’re trying to get to, then each entity is going to keep grabbing. There’s no feeling for the other guy, for another conference. Forget about them; we got ours. Well, I don’t know, that’s not what intercollegiate athletics is about.” “This is an assault on tradition,” Krzyzewski said. “What sets us apart from the pros? What sets us apart from the rest of the world? Intercollegiate sports is really something that only the United States has. No other country has that. And our thing is based on all the right values: loyalty, honesty, tradition. The branding that you have gotten from doing that has elevated the academic institutions that those athletic programs represent. And doing things the way we’re doing it now, based on money, I think it takes away from the academic missions and the innocence that an academic institution has.”
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