Mike Krzyzewski is concerned about the state of the ACC.
First he spoke in length about the league’s low attendance numbers the day before the Feb. 9th matchup against North Carolina. He revisited the subject in more detail last night after the Georgia Tech game when asked about the timing of the upcoming Temple contest this Wednesday. Krzyzewski took that as an opportunity to give his thoughts on Sunday night games, and the ACC in general.
“I would rather have played this game on a Saturday,” he said. “Sunday night games are horrible. They should be outlawed in college sports. No really, it’s just not right.”
Duke will play three games this week—Georgia Tech yesterday, Temple on Wednesday and at Virginia Tech on Saturday—and consequently will not have an off-day. Other ACC teams that play on Sunday throughout the year also face the same scheduling issue, which hurts the entire league, Krzyzewski said. Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, Maryland and N.C. State also played yesterday.
“We had three straight games starting at 3:30 today in the ACC," Krzyzewski said. "Those would have been better on Saturday from 3:30 on. That’s when fans want to be out, and then we wonder why attendance has been dipping.”
Krzyzewski’s comments are timely—ESPN has a 12-year, $1.86 billion deal with the conference, set to debut next year. This spring’s conference meetings will be critical for the continued status of the ACC as the “best conference,” he said.
“This is a very important spring for our league to really concentrate on basketball and the future of basketball in our league and just how all these things are positioned," he said. "We’ve taken for granted the golden goose for a long time. We have to look at the old goose and see if it’s still golden, and if it’s not, how to get it there.”
As the league’s longest-tenured coach—Krzyzewski has been at Duke for 31 years—he does have more of a historical perspective of the league than most. If the upcoming ACC Tournament is as undersold as it was last year, expect to hear more on the topic.