College basketball has begun anew and once again the Duke Blue Devils are top ranked, a familiar place since Mike Krzyzewski became coach. But although Coach K, as he is fondly called, may have found success as a basketball coach, to me he will forever symbolize failure, failure of character, at his moment of truth.
In 2006, in a now infamous scandal that in the end brought disgrace to many and serves as a morality tale of the evils of reverse racism and liberal cultural hatred gone amok, three white Duke University lacrosse players were falsely accused of rape by a black woman whose story was fishy, inconsistent, and implausible from the very start, and which in short order only grew more so. From the beginning of this sordid affair, three innocent students were used for nefarious political purposes by a despicably corrupt white prosecutor, a Democrat who sought to curry favor with black voters for his upcoming election bid. In his great frame-up, this man was consciously aided and abetted, for a variety of personal and political reasons, by many in the police force, in the prosecutor’s office, in the judiciary, in the liberal media, in the Duke administration, in the Duke hospital, in the Duke student body, and in the ultra-liberal Duke faculty (many of whom fanned racial grievances in promoting their anti-white narrative). In the early months, few stepped up to caution temperance, open-mindedness, and due process; few raised the obvious concerns about the weakness of the accusation and the disgraceful behavior of the prosecutor and the police. A few heroes stood up from the start for truth and justice, among them historian KC Johnson, who brought national attention through his meticulously researched blog (link) that chronicled and analyzed the unfolding events of the case, and the men and women Duke lacrosse players and their coaches. Many cowards also stand out, such as the numerous Duke professors of law who acquiesced in the gross miscarriage of justice unfolding at their own school before their very eyes, cowered by the left wing lynch-mob fervor all around them. As we all know, eventually, but not before great suffering, the students were completely exonerated, and some of the persecutors have been punished in one way or another.
Occupying a prominent place in the hall of eternal shame is the most famous Dukie of all, Coach Mike Krzyzewski. The product of a working-class Chicago neighborhood and a Catholic high school, he’s gone on to great success and fame. But for some of us there come one or two moments in our lives when we are faced with a great test of character, when we must choose to stand up for what is right or avert our gaze and shirk away. One such moment came for Mike Krzyzewski. With his national following as Duke’s most famous coach, and in a case involving Duke athletes, he could have stood strong and demanded fairness and justice for the accused. Instead, he chose to remain silent, either from indifference or cowardice. Perhaps he feared that his recruitment of black players would suffer if he spoke out.
In the end, whatever its cause, Krzyzewski's silence in the face of an unfolding great moral wrong will forever define him and will forever tarnish whatever his teams accomplish on the basketball court, and brings to mind the maxim, sometimes attributed to Edmund Burke, that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
John M Greco