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Watch Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski Dig Himself Into A Hole As He Tries To Defend Joe Paterno
Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski defended fired Penn State coach Joe Paterno during a Monday news conference, which is fine — Krzyzewski and Paterno are friends. But as for the defense itself? Well… it didn’t make any sense.
“I think one thing you have to understand is that Coach Paterno is 84 years old. I’m not saying that for an excuse.”
Okay. So the guy’s advancing age isn’t an excuse. Agreed.
“The cultures that he’s been involved in, both football-wise and socially, there have been immense changes. And how social issues are handled in those generations are quite different, quite different. And I think that has something to do with the situation.”
So wait: in Joe Paterno’s generation, they wouldn’t do something if someone in their midst was sexually assaulting kids? And because Joe Paterno came from that generation, he can’t be blamed for some of the cover-up at Penn State? I know Mike Krzyzewski doesn’t actually think that. But when you try to defend someone in a position that can’t be defended, regardless of how much you respect them, you do so at the risk of sounding stupid. And Coach K’s “generational” argument sounded stupid.
To his credit, he’d make sense a little later on, noting that “there’s a lot there” when it comes to information that we don’t know in the Penn State scandal. This is true: there is a lot there. And hopefully whatever’s there supports Coach K’s assertion (and a lot of other people’s assertion) that Joe Paterno is a “great man.” Because that’s in doubt right now.
Here are Krzyzewski’s comments, via ESPN News.
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