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And Now The Criticism For Kevin White’s NIL Comments

Not well thought out in our opinion

Mike Krzyzewski
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski with late ‘90s point guard and current Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski  

Well that didn't take long: After Duke AD Kevin White said his piece about NIL legislation, Rutgers assistant Brandin Knight weighed in.

Here’s what he said: “I know I will catch flack for this. I’d rather hear this come from someone who does not already have exclusive advantages in recruiting. Their resident spot with ESPN programming and advertising and relationship with USA basketball is not something that is fair across the board.”

Just a couple of points here.

First, yes Duke is on ESPN a lot because Duke wins a lot. No offense to anyone else but why would they put Oregon State or Rice on? You market what is most appealing. And it’s worth mentioning that Duke doesn’t win by chance or even because it gets great recruits. Duke won when the Blue Devils weren’t getting top-flight recruits every year. David Henderson, Tommy Amaker and Billy King were all promising players but they weren’t five-star recruits. A lot of people thought Crawford Palmer might have started ahead of Christian Laettner and Elton Brand wasn’t supposed to move past Chris Burgess. Robert Brickey was a 6-5 guy who basically played center.

Duke worked with what it could get and built on it.

Second, the Big Ten made a big deal about having its own network. They partnered with Fox which means that by definition they’ll be on ESPN less. The ACC partnered with ESPN. Life is full of choices.

As far as the USA Basketball stuff goes, well what can you say? When Coach K took the Team USA job, remember, a lot of people thought that it was going to really affect Duke negatively. John Feinstein wrote words to that effect in The Washington Post because it clearly meant that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski wouldn’t be able to recruit during the summers as he normally would since he would be busy with the national team.

He did what he always does: observes, thinks it through and puts a plan in place.

Obviously it worked out well but if Duke has an advantage it’s not because it was pre-ordained or a gift or something. It was because Coach K was uniquely able to handle both responsibilities and because he had immense success as the national coach. Whatever ancillary benefits Duke got from that were earned, not given.

In other words: quit whining and do your best, Knight.