Coach K Scolds Own Student Section, Later Apologizes | Athletic Business

Coach K Scolds Own Student Section, Later Apologizes

It’s rare that a coach will rage at his own student section but that’s exactly what Duke’s Coach Krzyzewski did during the Blue Devil’s 79-76 win over Pittsburgh Tuesday night.  

The students were chanting at Pitt coach Jeff Capel, shouting “Jeff Capel, sit with us.” The “sit with us” chant is used frequently by the Duke student section when former players return to Cameron Indoor Stadium. Capel played for Duke from 1993 to 1997 and was an assistant coach for the team from 2011 to 2018.

After Cameron Crazies started yelling "Jeff Capel, sit with us," Coach K could be seen yelling "Shut up" and "He's one of us."

Capel played at Duke and coached there for 7 seasons.

"I thought it was something personal," Krzyzewski told reporters after the game, according to CBS Sports. "I apologize to the students for that. I don't apologize for the timing. You shouldn't say that in the middle of the first half of an ACC game. This isn't some cutesy little thing where we can just bounce a ball around and giggle. We've got to fight. We've got to have people that are adamant about it. Once I heard his name, again I'm not going to go say, 'will you please tell me exactly what you're doing.' So it's a mistake on my part. I'd rather make the mistake in protection of my guy. Then I went at the end of the half and said, 'look, he's our guy.' So I apologize. But let's think of a different cheer…You leave the other guy alone."

For his part, Capel wasn’t aware of the chant.

"I heard them yell," Capel said. "I didn't know what he was yelling at. I didn't know what they were saying. I was locked in to the competition."

Capel and Krzyzewski spoke briefly after half.

"I think he was trying to tell me what happened," Capel said. "I honestly didn't know. I think he was maybe trying to apologize for what happened. I didn't know what happened."

Capel didn’t seem any worse for the chant, saying later that he enjoyed being back at Duke.

"It was great being back to be honest with you," Capel said. "We came in here last night and shot a little bit. It was a little weird walking in here, a completely different entrance, being dropped off in a different place and just being here not with Duke. But once competition starts, man it's competition. It was great seeing so many familiar faces, so many people that I care about and that care about me. That was really cool." 

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