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Coach K Reportedly Apologizes to Duke's Cameron Crazies for Jeff Capel Incident

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2020

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 28: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils  reacts during the second half against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 28, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 79-67. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski offered an olive branch to Duke fans on Wednesday, according to Derek Saul of the Duke Chronicle, after shouting at the student section for chanting at Pittsburgh head coach and Duke alum Jeff Capel on Tuesday night:

During Duke's 79-67 win, the team's fans playfully chanted, "Jeff Capel, sit with us," per ESPN. Coach K took exception to the chant, animatedly telling the student section to "shut up" while adding that Capel "is one of us."

After the game, he apologized for his response.   

"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," he said. "I don't know if they were saying, 'Come sit with me.' We got a different look at what the hell was going on. I thought it was something personal. ... I apologize to the students for that."

Still, Coach K said he wasn't thrilled about the timing or content of the chant.

"You shouldn't say that. ... In the middle of the first half and an ACC game, this isn't some cutesy little thing," he said. "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 and protect my guy. ... Let's think of a different cheer—like 'Defense!'"

There were mixed responses to Coach K's reaction:

Capel, however, didn't seem bothered by the student section:

Pittsburgh hired Capel in 2018 as its head basketball coach. Over two seasons, he's gone 27-27 at the helm, though the Panthers are a solid 13-8 this season. Duke is 17-3 and currently ranked No. 9 in the nation. 

Tuesday night's clash between the two ACC schools is their only regular-season meeting this year. 

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