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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Coach K rips NCAA for conference realignment, says it is spoiling traditions

Conference realignment is shaking up the entire blueprint of college athletics across the nation, and there’s no telling when it will come to an end. Teams have been bolting from the Big East for years, but the conference has taken a major hit over the last two years with powerhouses like Syracuse, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Notre Dame (basketball) all leaving. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski does not like it one bit.

In particular, Coach K upset over Maryland moving from the ACC to the Big Ten.

“I hate the fact that we get rid of, in our own conference with Maryland leaving, 60 years of tradition based on a decision right now because you think you’re going to make more money in a certain situation,” Krzyzewski told CBS News. “You give up what really makes college athletics, which is the traditions.”

The driving force behind realignment is obviously money, as conferences like the ACC are seemingly gaining strength and becoming more appealing to major television markets while the Big East wonders how it is going to sell its product.

“I think it’s a long way from ending,” Coach K said. “(Traditions) are priceless and I hate that we’re not looking at those things close enough as we look into future of college athletics.”

Eventually, the dust will settle. But until it does it’s hard not to agree with Coach K. The thought of Maryland and Duke in an out-of-conference match-up with less on the line is not nearly as enticing as the annual ACC showdowns we’re used to seeing between the two powerhouses. New rivalries will certainly crop up before long, but it’s disappointing to see ones that are more than 50 years old disappear.

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