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Mike Elko’s Son Sensibly Departs Northwestern

That’s the sort of move you expect from a coach’s son

Duke v Pittsburgh
 PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 19: Head coach Mike Elko of the Duke Blue Devils looks on during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Acrisure Stadium on November 19, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Northwestern hazing scandal has brushed Duke football, but probably not in a way that you would have expected.

Turns out Mike Elko’s son, Michael, played baseball at Northwestern. As you may have heard, Wildcats baseball coach Jim Foster followed football coach Pat Fitzgerald out the door. Football was where the scandal started but the baseball team has been affected too.

It’s an interesting situation for Elko, who, unlike most of us, is a head coach of a significant college program, and his comments about his son reflect that: “It’s part of life. I got a lot of respect for that program. What they’re going through is what they’re going through. We made a personal decision to switch schools, and I’m just happy that my son’s settled and happy with his decision.”

More critically for his program, Elko has two former Fitzgerald assistants on his current Duke staff, offensive line coach Adam Cushing and offensive coordinator Kevin Johns, but he seems totally comfortable with them: “We have great men in our building. Those two are A plus husbands, men, coaches, leaders, all of it. I don’t rethink anything whatsoever. I just think so many times with these situations, right, wrong or indifferent, nobody knows. Only the people involved in the situation know. So I wouldn’t want to even begin to speculate on what might or might not have happened.”

He could have done better with the last part of that, but we liked the first. It’s hard to imagine Elko allowing that sort of thing to happen at Duke. No one should have to deal with what happened at Northwestern.