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Monday, March 10, 2014
Patience at a premium

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

Mike Krzyewski
Mike Krzyzewski had losing records in two of his first three seasons at Duke before leading the Blue Devils to the Final Four 11 times.

As we head into the thick of Championship Week, with bids to the NCAA tournament on the line, there is excitement galore. Teams are jockeying for position in their respective conference tournaments with a goal of reaching the big dance.

This is also the time of year where coaches on the hot seat really sweat out their future. Rumors start to fly and the pressure mounts even more with sports talk radio and social media.

We have already seen Pat Knight fired at Lamar and Florida Atlantic's Mike Jarvis announcing his retirement at season's end. The coaching carousel has started rolling already.

The truth is that people are not patient today. If there isn't instant gratification, then a coach loses his job. Everybody cares about wins and losses, period.

It is all about success.

A coach can get called in by his athletic director for an evaluation. The coach knows that he has graduated his players. He has worked hard to make the program into something positive. The players did not have issues off of the court.

Sorry, coach, you did not win enough. You are getting the Ziggy.

Do these coaches deserve a pink slip? Imagine if Duke fired Mike Krzyzewski after his first three seasons, when his record with the Blue Devils was 38-47. The school had enough confidence in him and he has gone on to a Hall of Fame career.

Firing college coaches in the middle of the season simply because they do not win enough troubles me. Pat Knight was let go by Lamar with five games left in the regular season. Couldn't they have waited a few weeks?

It is all sad in a way. These coaches, in many cases, have families. This is their livelihood. I have seen coaches with winning records let go because they were expected to win even more.

School presidents talk about loyalty and integrity.

Give me a break. Coaches have to win or else they are shown the door.