Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was caught on camera yelling “shut up” multiple times at the student section of Cameron Indoor Stadium during the Blue Devils’ game against the Pitt Panthers on Tuesday night.
The source of Krzyzewski’s anger with the “Cameron Crazies” appeared to be a chant directed toward the Panthers’ head coach, former Duke player and assistant Jeff Capel.
Per writers on the scene, the student section was chanting “Jeff Capel sit with us,” which set Coach K off. He apparently didn’t like the chant directed at a friend and pupil, yelling “shut up” multiple times. When time expired in the first half, he walked up to the student section, yelling that the Pitt coach was “one of us.”
After the game, Krzyzewski explained the first-half situation from his perspective, and offered up a partial apology.
“I don’t know if I made a mistake on that but I’ve never heard another coach’s name yelled out in the middle of the first half when we’re in a war with the team,” Coach K said in his postgame media conference.
When it was confirmed to him that the students were chanting, “come sit with us,” Krzyzewski replied: “Wow. I don’t know, we got a different look at what the hell’s going on on the game. I thought it was something personal, because … 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 in an ACC game. This isn’t some cutesy little thing where we can just bounce a ball around and giggle, we gotta fight. We gotta have people who are adamant about it.
“Once I heard his name, 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. But I’d rather make the mistake in protection of my guy… So I apologize, but let’s think of a different cheer… Leave the other guy alone.”
Capel took the Pitt job in 2018, after serving as a Krzyzewski assistant for seven years. He previously served as the head coach at Oklahoma and VCU, and he played for Coach K with the Blue Devils from 1993-97.
Duke went on to win 79-67.