GREENSBORO, Ga. - Before hiring football coach David Cutcliffe, then-Duke athletics director Joe Alleva said the school would not compromise its academic standards in order to get recruits.
The high admissions standards often have been used as a reason for Duke's football struggles because some top recruits who get into other schools can't gain admission to Duke.
"I really embrace who we are," Cutcliffe said Monday. "It's our greatest advantage, a Duke education. If you're a great football player and a solid student, the reason they won't come is the sorry football program. It wasn't the academic requirements. It was the football program."
Cutcliffe said Duke's administration wants good students but will interview recruits and work with the Duke staff as long as the players have good character and credentials.
"We don't have to have all perfect ACT and SAT scores," Cutcliffe said. "We've just got to sign good students, good people, people who want to excel academically and athletically."
The goal, Cutcliffe said, is for Duke to get to the point where players want to play in a great football program and get a good education on the side. He doesn't want players just coming to get a good education without caring about the football program.
With the Blue Devils in the midst of of 25-game ACC losing streak, that time may be years down the road.