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Envy of Coach K, A-Rod breeds criticism


April 22, 2005
There is so much petty jealousy and envy in sports today.

Think about it – look at the heat that Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez has taken from some Red Sox players, who used the term "hate" when describing their feelings for him.

Why? The guy makes $26 million a year, he's good-looking, he has Hall of Fame ability and he wears the Yankee pinstripes.

Mike Krzyzewski
Give me a break, baby!

Then there was the controversy over Mike Krzyzewski and his American Express commercial (the one that ran often during the NCAA Tournament and Final Four). Some coaches complained that it has given the Duke coach an edge in recruiting.

As Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said, do you really think Krzyzewski needs an edge in recruiting? Coach K already has an edge at Duke! Kentucky coach Tubby Smith also wondered why people questioned the timing.

If another coach had been offered the American Express spot during March Madness, do you think he would have turned it down? Of course it added visibility in recruiting! Let me tell you, Coach K didn't force anyone to feature him in the commercial. The bottom line is, why should he have said no?

If you're a success, you draw people like American Express. Here's what gives Coach K an edge: 10 Final Fours, three national titles, six ACC tournament championships in seven years, no NCAA investigations. Yes, the man is desirable by the marketing gurus of the world.

Rumblings, moaning and groaning bother me. Just go out and get it done. When you become a success and you climb that ladder, all kinds of people want to take shots at you.

Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question to Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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