Duke's Mike Krzyzewski apologizes to student reporter for lashing out after loss

Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski apologized to a student journalist after belittling him in a postgame moment shared widely over the weekend.

The Blue Devils season isn’t going as well as hoped and they lost their third consecutive game on Saturday against Louisville to drop to 5-5. Afterward in the virtual postgame news conference, Jake Piazza of the student-run Duke Chronicle asked what’s next for the team.

Instead of answering, Krzyzewski used it to lash out.

Student’s question to Coach K draws blowback

Krzyzewski has been doing these types of interviews for more than 40 years, but this time gave an over-the-top response. He asked Piazza what his hardest class was at Duke, and used it to not explain what the next step is for the Blue Devils.

He could have just left the answer as-is following the first two sentences if he really wanted rather than put the student on blast. It was a lack of respect for someone working in a position as reporter, and one in a classroom as a student.

The video circulated around the internet with many coming to Piazza’s defense.

Duke student explains viral Coach K moment

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski called a student reporter to apologize. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Piazza wrote about his first-ever postgame question to Krzyzewski for the Chronicle on Monday. He called the response “far from ideal,” but went about his job writing the postgame article.

When he realized a short while later how much attention it was getting on Twitter, he said he began thinking of what he should do. And he used the fact that he just told Krzyzewski what he was studying as a launching pad. He wrote:

But thankfully, I remembered what I just told Krzyzewski — I’m an economics major. And this is just a good old-fashioned opportunity cost problem.

I could have cowered in the shadows until a Twitter troll inevitably tracked me down and presented me to the world.

Or I could go another route. I could quote one of the multiple tweets that were going viral and show that I thought my question was good in the moment and I still do now.

He shared a retweeted video of the conference and wrote it wasn’t how he expected his first question to go. Upon arriving back in Durham at his apartment he receive a call from Krzyzewski.

“Our call was short,” he wrote, “but the sincerity in his apology was genuine. And in the end, I appreciated the call.”

Piazza said he was thankful for the support on Twitter after the incident.

Duke (5-5, 3-3 ACC) fell out of the Associated Press Top 25 poll last week for the first time since 2016 and is in danger of missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in 25 years.

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