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Jeff Eisenberg

Coach K calls unflattering newspaper illustration 'juvenile'

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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The Indianapolis Star apologized to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski on Friday as a result of the illustration that accompanied a story on the cover of this morning's sports section describing the hatred the Devils inspire among opposing fans.

Yes, those are devil horns, a unibrow, buck teeth, a target on Coach K's forehead and the word "lose!" written over and over bordering his tie. No, the Star's team of designers was not a second-grade class from Chapel Hill. Uh, we think.

Editors of the Star pulled the story from their site and scrapped the illustration for later editions of the paper received by the majority of Indianapolis residents, instead running a clean photo of Krzyzewski accompanied by the headline, "Boo Devils." Still that did not placate Krzyzewski, who was unamused when asked about the illustration at his pre-game news conference on Friday afternoon.

"How could a newspaper do that?" Krzyzewski said. "I thought somebody doodled. Actually, I thought I looked better. But it was kind of juvenile. Not kind of, it was just juvenile. You know, my seven grandkids didn't enjoy looking at it. That's not Papi.

"If we're going to be despised or hated by anybody because we go to school and we want to win, you know what, that's your problem. And you have a problem, because we're going to go to school and we're going to try to win. If you don't like it, keep drawing pictures, you know, just keep drawing pictures. Try to do them a little bit better than that, though."

Yup, definitely unamused.

Opposing fans will probably say that this is another example of Coach K being unable to poke fun at himself, but in his defense the illustration made it seem as though the newspaper was guilty of the same anti-Duke bias it was writing about. Jim Lefko, the Star's sports editor, said the paper pulled it "when we realized it didn't meet our standards."

"It was an illustration that should have come together earlier than it did," Lefko said.

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