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High Praise For Duke’s David Cutcliffe

Really good article from The Washington Post

Miami v Duke
 DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 30: Head coach David Cutcliffe of the Duke Blue Devils talks to a player in the first half of the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Wallace Wade Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

We’ve talked a lot about how we admire David Cutcliffe’s character as much as his coaching acumen. He’s an unusually good man who shines even in an often dirty profession.

Still, it’s odd to hear someone from Duke praised in the Washingon Post. The sports page there seems pretty reflexively anti Duke or any ACC team from this state really. It’s a bit of a holdover from Maryland’s eternal grievances against the conference when it was still a member.

So seeing this lovely piece about Cutcliffe from Sally Jenkins is really nice. She starts out talking about leadership in this time of crisis and goes on to argue that Cutcliffe’s ability to teach quarterbacks to make decisions under pressure is a major asset that translates into the rest of life very well.

She talks also about how Duke football is managing the whole situation including family crises. It hadn’t occurred to us that the program would help in this way but it speaks volumes doesn’t it? Check this out: “But more importantly, they spend time dealing with players whose parents have been laid off, helping those families get organized, understand what government benefits they qualify for and the process of applying for them.”

That’s a tremendous level of support and we don’t want to cheapen it down to mere recruiting but what do you think they think of their decision to pick Duke after that?

She closes out with this: “ And it begs reappraisal of the relatively unsung Cutcliffe, whose teams are always a little overmatched in the ACC yet have had five winning seasons in the past seven, including the only 10-win mark in school history, and have landed a half-dozen bowl invitations since 2012. Leadership in this strange time — or any other, you realize — is less about demandingness than it is about reassurance.“

Obviously we’re closer to the ground here than she is but for people who have paid attention, there is no need to reappraise. Cutcliffe is a very good man and his decency in this situation, given his splendid overall character, is no surprise.