Mike Krzyzewski said it was a “real mistake” for Penn State to fire Joe Paterno amid the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Krzyzewski made the comments in an interview that aired on Friday night on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight.
Here’s what Kryzewski when Morgan asked him for his thoughts on how Penn State handled the Sandusky case:
“It was horrible. And I respected coach Paterno his entire life and had chances to get to know him really well in the last few years of his life. We did a show together. And I thought it was really not well done, you know, in handling the situation. It’s a difficult situation to encounter. But you had somebody who’d given six decades of service to the university and done such an incredible job. Somehow, you have to let – something has to play out and respect the fact that you’ve gone through all these experiences for six decades. And it doesn’t just go out the window, right at the end. I thought it was a real mistake Penn State’s leadership.”
Asked how he would handle a similar situation if one ever arose at Duke, Krzyzewski said:
“Well you should deal with it like any team should deal with it. In other words, I’m on the Duke team. If that happened in my area, then I would look like to work with my athletic director and my president to have a solution. And if that solution meant that I would step down, I would do it in a way which would be part of the solution, not like you’re just throwing out. You to understand that in leadership, you may be asked to step down, and that’s part of being a leader.”
In a wide-ranging interview, Krzyzewski also spoke about his success and longevity, his Polish roots, the disappearing American dream and his approach to coaching the U.S. national team, which he’ll lead later this summer in the London Olympics.