In the modern era of college basketball, accusations of impermissible benefits can often run rampant. But rest assured, anything directed at Duke and head coach Mike Krzyzewski can be debunked if two key figures within the sport are to be believed.
In recent years, multiple top programs such as Louisville, Arizona, and LSU have been implicated in scandals surrounding paying high school prospects to secure their services on the hardwood. With the Blue Devils arguably being the highest profile program in the entire sport and having a new set of McDonald’s All-Americans walk into Cameron Indoor Stadium seemingly every year, some people have been lining Duke up as a program that cuts corners on the recruiting trail. Based on recent statements from Christian Dawkins and Jayson Tatum, Blue Devil fans have nothing to be concerned with as it relates to the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball.
Dawkins, a former agent who facilitated agreements for prospects to attend certain universities for various amounts of money, was the primary target of the FBI investigation. On Friday’s episode of Pardon My Take, a popular podcast produced by Barstool Sports, Dawkins called in to discuss a multitude of issues relating to the investigation. During the interview, Dawkins was jokingly asked to say how much money Krzyzewski had paid him in order to keep Duke away from the corruption scandal. Dawkins replied that while he longed for information relating to the Blue Devils, Krzyzewski is “just a great person”, implying that Duke has no history of paying high school prospects.
Tatum, who made a name for himself during his one season in Durham before getting started on what appears to be a highly successful pro career, went to bat for his university while on Instagram Live with Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal Friday night. The two NBA All-Stars discussed the news of five-star prospect Jalen Green deciding to bypass college basketball for an opportunity to be part of the NBA G-League’s new developmental program. The news that Green will be making $500,000 as part of his agreement with the NBA has circulated, but Tatum expressed his thoughts that he may have still attended Duke even if he had the same opportunity as the talented high school senior. Beal, who is known for his keen sense of humor, remarked to Tatum “So Duke gave you $600,000?” However, Tatum immediately dispelled any notion that Beal was insinuating, firing back with “Duke might be the only stand-up school in the country.”
With both Dawkins and Tatum possessing a significant amount of knowledge regarding the inner workings of college basketball (albeit from completely different perspectives), it stands to reason that both can be trusted when it comes to their statements regarding Duke. While the entire sport has been blindsided by the FBI probe, the Blue Devils evidently are not a program of interest.
Editor’s note: The headline has been changed to make it clear that no official ruling was made by an official source.