Mike Krzyzewski's recent outbreak now has an additional context.
On Tuesday evening, Krzyzewski scolded Duke's "Cameron Crazies" for an apparently harmless song about Pittsburgh head coach Jeff Capel. The fans told Capel, who served as Duke's assistant from 2011 to 2008, that he should "sit with us" (an apparently common vocals for ex-players), and coach K wasn't particularly pleased. The Duke legend went to the fans at half-time and passionately told them that Capel was "one of us" and shouted at them to "shut up".
The next day, according to a Duke Chronicle report, Krzyzewski gave a surprise speech for about 40-50 students, explaining that his response was partly influenced by the "fragile emotional state" caused by Kobe Bryant's sudden death in a helicopter crash on Sunday has been. The report goes on to say that Coach K "detailed" his relationship with Bryant, whose 13-year-old daughter Gianna – and seven other passengers – were also killed in the tragic accident.
"Today was about clearing the air between the coach and the tents should there be any air," said Ben Succop, Duke tent organization's co-headline monitor, Krzyzewskiville. "Just to bury the subject, grow and get past it."
During the meeting, which took place in the media room of the Cameroon Indoor Stadium, Krzyzewski also explained to the students his close relationship with Capel – a Duke player from 1993-1997 – and even showed the group a video of past Cameron Crazies to tell them about their future to inform behavior.
Krzyzewski apologized for his breakout after the game on Tuesday evening, but maintained his belief that the chant was out of time.
"I thought it was something personal," Krzyzewski told reporters after the game. "I apologize to the students for this. I don't apologize for the timing. You shouldn't say that in the middle of the first half of an ACC game.
"It was a mistake on my part, but I would rather make a mistake in protecting my husband."