|30 Mar 2005 20:17:16|
|"Krzyzewski Amex spot catches heat from critics" (GN&R)|
Krzyzewski Amex spot catches heat from critics
By Robert Bell Staff Writer
News & Record
Of all the enduring images the NCAA tournament has wrought so far, the
most repeated is coming off the court: Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski
shilling for American Express.
Or is it, as some allege, American Express shilling for Krzyzewski and
Critics argue the 30-second television commercial, which has been aired
repeatedly during the first two weeks of the tournament, amounts to
free publicity (read: recruiting edge) for Duke.
The issue comes on the eve of the NCAA's so-called "quiet period" --
seven days during which coaches are prohibited from talking to
potential recruits. While other coaches are banned from recruiting, the
Krzyzewski commercial will run on WFMY-2 and CBS affiliates across the
country during Saturday's semifinals and Monday's championship game.
At times it's hard to tell what the commercial is promoting: a credit
card or a coach. During the commercial Krzyzewski says he wants his
players "armed for life," adding, "My life isn't about playing games;
that's why my card is American Express." Most fellow coaches begged off
the debate or declined to return phone calls. "There is absolutely no
way you are going to get him to talk about that one," a spokesman for
Miami coach Frank Haith said.
Coaches who agreed to talk chose their words carefully.
"It certainly is a nice advantage for them," Georgia Tech coach Paul
Hewitt said. "But considering the profile of their program, I don't
know how much more of an advantage he gets."
Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser: "I've really got no comment, which is
rare for me."
Pressed, Prosser said he found nothing wrong with Krzyzewski endorsing
products "as long as it fits within his contractual rights with Duke.
This is America, right?"
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has been Krzyzewski's biggest supporter.
"There is some recruiting advantage to it, but you earn what you get
and there's no question he has earned what he has gotten," Izzo said.
Krzyzewski found himself having to defend the commercial at a news
conference last week. When a reporter told the coach he had heard
complaints about the commercial, Krzyzewski seemed surprised. "You must
have been in Chapel Hill," Krzyzewski joked.
"I've heard nothing but great comments about it because it's very
representative of our program and of Duke. We've done a really good
job. We're not going to hide. And anyone who does a good job, more
power to them to do those same things. We're not doing anything bad.
Whoever is a naysayer is probably somebody who isn't getting those
NCAA rules prohibit college athletes from identifying themselves in
commercial interests, but a spokesman for the association said there
are no rules prohibiting coaches from endorsing products.
At least one business has severed its ties with American Express
because of Krzyzewski's commercial. Tar Heels Moments, an Internet
company that sells lithographs of Carolina basketball, suspended its
ties with the credit card company last week, said company President
McCracken said the commercial "comes off as a recruiting video."
"It very much so turns off my customers, who you might guess are
pro-Carolina," he said. "They are reacting to it just as Duke fans
would react to a commercial by Dean Smith, so I chose to do something
|31 Mar 2005 02:35:45|
|Geoffrey F. Green|
|Re: "Krzyzewski Amex spot catches heat from critics" (GN&R)|
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org >,
"CoolHandDuke tbdm" <email@example.com > wrote:
> At least one business has severed its ties with American Express
> because of Krzyzewski's commercial. Tar Heels Moments, an Internet
> company that sells lithographs of Carolina basketball, suspended its
> ties with the credit card company last week, said company President
> Mike McCracken.
> McCracken said the commercial "comes off as a recruiting video."
> "It very much so turns off my customers, who you might guess are
> pro-Carolina," he said. "They are reacting to it just as Duke fans
> would react to a commercial by Dean Smith, so I chose to do something
> about it."
That's a strong business move.