Boy, nobody wins if those are the choices.
Sorry, Pitt fans but Notre Dame is now the early leader for most likely to ferment a new, nasty basketball rivalry with Duke.
Here’s how it went down. The New York Post had a wide-ranging interview with Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. In the interview he was less than diplomatic regarding new member Notre Dame:
Q: Do you like the relationship with Notre Dame the ACC agreed to (joining in all sports except football, but playing five football games a season against ACC foes) in order to add the Fighting Irish?
A: I think you can’t do something for one that you’re not willing to do for all in these type of situations. I would never have accepted personally them coming in and not being totally in.
Why don’t Duke and North Carolina do something different in basketball? I mean it’s not right. I’m happy that they’re part of it I’m just not happy the way that they’re apart of it.
They add value but, just being old-fashioned, [if] we’re playing cards, we all get five cards. That’s why they were never a member of the Big Ten.
This came out the day after ACC moving day. So right after all the praises were sung of the new members and conference, Krzyzewski just fires away.
Meanwhile every old Big East member — and anyone in the Big 10 — is just nodding their heads at the statement. In that respect it is hardly controversial since we know that at one time or another everyone has said or thought it in the old Big East. In fact it seems Krzyzewski has long maintained that point of view with regards to membership in the ACC with ND.
It’s common knowledge in college basketball circles that Krzyzewski was not happy with the decision last fall of ACC commissioner John Swofford to extend an invitation to Notre Dame, which was able to keep its independent status in football, playing five games a year against ACC schools.
Each summer during the July recruiting period, and again at the Final Four each April, [ND basketball coach Mike] Brey and Krzyzewski go to dinner. At almost every sit-down for the last few years, conference realignment surfaced. Each time Brey, who spent eight seasons at Duke as Krzyzewski’s assistant, wondered about Notre Dame one day joining the ACC. Each time, Krzyzewski never budged — you can come, but you’d better bring football. Otherwise, you’re not in.
Now Notre Dame is in.
With ND in the ACC it also means (I think) that it will be the first former Duke assistant turned head coach within the ACC. In that respect Kryzewski has been a lot like his own mentor — Bob Knight. Discouraging his former assistants (and players) from taking coaching jobs within the same conference.
As you would expect, Brey was not happy to have his happy-joy time pissed on by Krzyzewski.
“That’s been out there — ‘God, they got in, but they got in without bringing football,’” Brey said. “I’m like, ‘We’re in man, pat us on the back. We’re in the family.’”
Brey has been in South Bend (and in the shadow of the football program) for quite a while. He is well and fully versed in how invested the alumni and the school is in their precious football independence. He isn’t about to come down on any side but the Domers.
That led Brey to make the equivalence argument of UNC and Duke to ND.
“They live in a whole different world,” Brey said of the two teams that have combined to win 36 ACC tournament titles with 33 Final Fours and nine national championships. “They’re on TV more than anyone. They get more exposure than any team in the league and rightfully so.
“They do kind of have their own world and they’ve earned that, just as we’ve earned remaining independent in football for now.”
Which conflates media exposure to an independent deal that lets ND keep all its football money and essentially its own table. UNC and Duke definitely get more media exposure than the rest of the ACC in basketball. And it is arguably earned — and aided by the slobbering by Dick Vitale — but they don’t get to keep the money from all the TV exposure.
But suffice to say the first Duke-ND basketball game in 2014 gets an extra storyline tossed on top for good measure.