Duke’s season has devolved into a dysfunctional mess, and, according to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Goodman and Dana O’Neil, Mike Krzyzewski is not happy about it.
The legendary head coach, who has been away from the sidelines since Jan. 4 while recovering from back surgery, has reportedly temporarily kicked the players out of Duke’s locker room and forbid them from wearing Blue Devils gear.
Goodman and O’Neil report that Coach K held a meeting at his house Tuesday night, 24 hours after Duke lost at home to NC State, to inform the players of the discipline.
The report also says that the players held a players-only meeting after the one at Krzyzewski’s house.
In addition, it notes that this is not the first time Krzyzewski has used similar disciplinary methods. But ESPN quotes a source as saying, “He needs to do more than just take away their jerseys. There are bigger issues that need to be addressed.”
Duke, which entered the season No. 1 in both polls, has lost three of its last four, is 15-5 overall, and 3-4 in the ACC. It has also had to deal with the controversy surrounding junior guard Grayson Allen, who was suspended one game for tripping an opposing player, the third time he’s done so in the past 12 months.
The last coach to publicly ban his team from its own locker room was Nebraska’s Tim Miles, who did so two years ago. Miles said he’d put chains on the doors until further notice.
It’s unclear when Krzyzewski will lift his ban. Duke plays at Wake Forest this Saturday, then travels to Notre Dame on Monday. According to one person quoted by Goodman and O’Neil, it will be in effect until the players “start living up to the standards of the Duke program.”
Associate head coach Jeff Capel has been coaching the team in Krzyzewski’s absence, and is 2-3 since temporarily taking charge. Krzyzewski, who was originally expected to miss four weeks, could be back soon.
Capel, in a local radio interview shortly after the report, said it was “disappointing when stuff that’s supposed to stay in the locker room gets out.”
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