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Mike Krzyzewski: Professional Spinster

Following Mike Krzyzewski's apparent refusal to actually address the referee issue on ESPN Sunday night the N&O sent J.P. Giglio over to Durham to question Coach K on it. In what barely qualifies as an interview(he only asked him four questions) Giglio asks Krzyzewski if (1) a coach can influence a game by talking to the referees and (2) if coaches "work the referees" Giglio also brings up the fact that Krzyzewski is a complete hyporcrite for making accusations against Dean Smith on the same issue 20 years ago then engaging in the very same behavior he once decried.

The answers Krzyzewski gave were laughable. In response to the first question on influencing referees he claims it is not possible though hedges somewhat that a referee might listen to a coach on an issue(paritcularly if that coach is using the F-word repeatedly in his ear). His second response was had even greater comedic value when he demurred the use of the term "working the refs" and then claims that coaches do not "work" the refs but rather talk with them as a means of getting certain explanations on a call.

Poppycock! Then explain to me why all of your responses to referee explanations involve screaming and profanity. Please explain why, if it is true that a referee cannot be worked, you waste the time and breath to verbally abuse them when a call does not go your way. This is ludicrous. Of course coaches work the refes, Krzyzewski does it, Roy does it, all coaches do it. Dean Smith used to do some weird dance on the sideline protesting calls. It borders on stupidity to say otherwise in an on the record interview. Krzyzewski gives that answer like we all listen to ACC games on the radio and no one attends them in person. What Krzyzewski should have said was: "Yes, we do criticize calls we do not like and there are times we get pretty heated about it. If in that course I say things which might be seen as abusive then I apologize. People need to understand that we have players on the floor giving 110% and it is our job to advocate for them when we think a referee makes a bad call." In fact even if he had skipped the apology part it would have 100 times more credible than the answer he gave.

The sad thing about the N&O, in this case, is they failed to even address this aspect of the issue when they devoted two stories to it last week. However, since the ESPN interviewer had the guts to go after Krzyzewski they had to come back around to it. I do not believe any conspiracy is in place but I do believe Krzyzewski commits ritual verbal abuse of referees. There is no way to know what effect that has on any given referee or game. Referees are humans and as much as Krzyzewski wants to pretend that them being "professionals" turns them into totally objective robots incapable of bias or emotion, the reality of what we see says otherwise. It also should be noted that Krzyzewski's behavior is no different than many other coaches out there. The unfortunate thing about his answers to these questions is they were intellectually dishonest and an insult to the intelligence of fans everywhere who all know better.