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Savarino, Banchero Face DWI-Related Charges

NCAA Basketball: Army at Duke
Nov 12, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Paolo Banchero (5) looks to pass during the second half against the Army Black Knights at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Early Sunday morning, Duke players Michael Savarino and Paolo Banchero were hit with DWI-related charges in Orange County.

Savarino was driving and faces a DWI while Banchero is charged with aiding and abetting a DWI (correction: Banchero was cited, not arrested).

This is immediately worse for Savarino. Not only is he coach Mike Krzyzewski’s grandson but his mother is Debbie Krzyzewski Savarino. We don’t know her but from all accounts she inherited her father’s fiery personality. The law is obviously his first concern but that’s not the only thing Savarino has to worry about. And obviously he has a unique position on Duke’s roster as Coach K’s grandson.

As for Banchero, this may become a test case for NIL income. Although he wasn’t driving, he was still arrested and that may affect his NIL revenue. It’s a revolution in college athletics but we’ve all seen what happens when advertisers get skittish about an endorser.

That’s all secondary to the most basic fact which is they’re very lucky something much worse didn’t happen. Ultimately this will likely become a story later in life rather than the life-shattering tragedy it could have been.

That said, in fairness, keep in mind too that we don’t know very much yet beyond the headline. But it certainly doesn't look good.

Update: Savarino blew a .08. That’s the baseline in North Carolina for being charged. We have no idea what the judge may do but we do know this: in North Carolina, if you’re under 21 and get charged with a DWI it’s an automatic conviction even if you’re under 0.8.