Friday, November 18, 2011

Penn State's institutional wickedness

In a hyperlegalistic culture, Penn State’s collaborators may have the law on their side. But there is no moral liability waiver.

By Mark Steyn
The Orange County Register
November 18, 2011

Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and assistant coach Mike McQueary walk the field during practice, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, in State College, Pa. (Michael R. Sisak/AP/The Citizens' Voice)

There is a famous if apocryphal tale of a Fleet Street theatre critic covering the first night of a new play in the West End of London. At the end of the evening, he went to a public telephone and dictated his review. The following morning, a furious editor called him and demanded to know why he had neglected to mention that, midway through the Third Act, the theater had caught fire and burned to the ground. The critic sniffily replied that it was not his business to report fires, but that, if the editor had read more carefully, he would have observed that the review included a passage noting discreetly that the critic had been unable to remain for the final scenes.

That, more or less, is the position of those Americans defending the behavior of the Penn State establishment: it would be unreasonable to expect the college football elite to show facility with an entirely separate discipline such as pedophilia reporting procedures, and, besides, many of those officials who were aware of Jerry Sandusky's child sex activities did mention it to other officials who promised to look into mentioning it to someone else.

From the grand jury indictment:

"On March 1, 2002, a Penn State graduate assistant ('graduate assistant') who was then 28 years old, entered the locker room at the Lasch Football Building on the University Park Campus on a Friday night. ... He saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be 10 years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky. The graduate assistant was shocked but noticed that both Victim 2 and Sandusky saw him. The graduate assistant left immediately, distraught.

"The graduate assistant went to his office and called his father, reporting to him what he had seen. His father told the graduate assistant to leave the building and come to his home. The graduate assistant and his father decided that the graduate assistant had to promptly report what he had seen to Coach Joe Paterno ('Paterno'), head football coach of Penn State. The next morning, a Saturday, the graduate assistant telephoned Paterno..."

Hold it right there. "The next morning"?

Here surely is an almost too perfect snapshot of a culture that simultaneously destroys childhood and infantilizes adulthood. The "child" in this vignette ought to be the 10-year-old boy, "hands up against the wall," but, instead, the "man" appropriates the child role for himself: Why, the graduate assistant is so "distraught" that he has to leave and telephone his father. He is pushing 30, an age when previous generations would have had little boys of their own. But today, confronted by a grade-schooler being sodomized before his eyes, the poor distraught child-man approaching early middle-age seeks out some fatherly advice, like one of Fred MacMurray's "My Three Sons" might have done had he seen the boy next door swiping a can of soda pop from the lunch counter.

The graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, is now pushing 40, and is sufficiently grown-up to realize that the portrait of him that emerges from the indictment is not to his credit and to attempt, privately, to modify it. "No one can imagine my thoughts or wants to be in my shoes for those 30-45 seconds," he emailed a friend a few days ago. "Trust me."

"Trust me"? Maybe the 10-year-old boy did. And then watched Mr. McQueary leave the building. Perhaps the child-man should try "imagining" the 10-year-old's thoughts or being in his shoes. Oh, wait. He wasn't wearing any.

Defenders of McQueary and the broader Penn State protection racket argue that "nobody knows" would he would do in similar circumstances. In a New York Times piece headlined "Let's All Be Superior," David Brooks turned in an eerily perfect parody of a David Brooks column and pointed out, with much reference to Kitty Genovese et al, how "studies show" that in extreme circumstances the human brain is prone to lapse into "normalcy bias." To be sure, many of the Internet toughs bragging that they'd have punched Sandusky's lights out would have done no such thing. As my email correspondents always put it whenever such questions arise: "Yeah, right, Steyn. Like you'd be taking a bullet. We all know you'd be wetting your little girly panties," etc.

For the sake of argument, let us so stipulate. Nevertheless, as the Canadian blogger Kathy Shaidle wrote some years ago: "When we say 'we don't know what we'd do under the same circumstances,' we make cowardice the default position."

I quote that line in my current book, in a section on the "no man's land" of contemporary culture. It contrasts the behavior of the men on the Titanic who (notwithstanding James Cameron's wretched movie) went down with the ship and those of the École Polytechnique in Montreal decades later who, ordered to leave the classroom by a lone gunman, meekly did as they were told and stood passively in the corridor as he shot all the women. Even if I'm wetting my panties, it's better to have the social norm of the Titanic and fail to live up to it than to have the social norm of the Polytechnique and sink with it.

That's the issue at the heart of Penn State's institutional wickedness and its many deluded defenders. In my book, I also quote the writer George Jonas, back when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were revealed to be burning down the barns of Quebec separatists: With his characteristic insouciance, the Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau responded that, if people were so bothered by illegal barn burning by the Mounties, perhaps he would make it legal. Jonas pointed out that burning barns isn't wrong because it's illegal, it's illegal because it's wrong. A society that no longer understands that distinction is in deep trouble. To argue that a man witnessing child sex in progress has no responsibility other than to comply with procedures and report it to a colleague further up the chain of command represents a near-suicidal loss of that distinction.

A land of hyperlegalisms is not the same as a land of law. I've written recently about the insane proliferation of signage on America's highways – the "Stop" sign, the "Stop Sign Ahead" sign, the red light, the sign before the red light instructing you that when the light is red you should stop here, accompanied by a smaller sign underneath with an arrow pointing to the precise point where "here" is. One assumes this expensive clutter is there to protect against potential liability issues. It certainly doesn't do anything for American road safety, which is the worst in the developed world. We have three times the automobile fatality rate of the Netherlands, and at 62 in the global rankings we're just ahead of Tajikistan and Papua New Guinea.

But that's the least of it: When people get used to complying with microregulation, it's but a small step to confusing regulatory compliance with the right thing to do – and then arguing that, in the absence of regulatory guidelines, there is no "right thing to do."

In a hyperlegalistic culture, Penn State's collaborators may have the law on their side. But there is no moral liability waiver. You could hardly ask for a more poignant emblem of the hollow braggadocio of the West at twilight than the big, beefy, bulked-up shoulder pads and helmets of Penn State football, and the small stunted figures inside.


Obama’s politically strategic inaction

The Washington Post
November 18, 2011

In 2008, the slogan was “Yes We Can.” For 2011-12, it’s “We Can’t Wait.” What happened in between? Candidate Obama, the vessel into which myriad dreams were poured, met the reality of governance.

His near-$1 trillion stimulus begat a stagnant economy with 9 percent unemployment. His attempt at Wall Street reform left in place a still-too-big-to-fail financial system, as vulnerable today as when he came into office. His green-energy fantasies yielded Solyndra cronyism and a cap-and-trade regime not even a Democratic Congress would pass.

And now his signature achievement, Obamacare, is headed to the Supreme Court, where it could very well be struck down. This comes just a week after its central element was overwhelmingly repudiated (by a 2-to-1 margin) by the good burghers of Ohio.

So what do you do when you say you can, but, it turns out, you can’t? Blame the other guy. Charge the Republicans with making governing impossible. Never mind that you had control of Congress for two-thirds of your current tenure. It’s all the fault of Republican rejectionism.

Hence: “We Can’t Wait.” We can’t wait while they obstruct. We can’t wait while they dither with my jobs bill. Write Congress today! Vote Democratic tomorrow!

We can’t wait. Except for certain exceptions, such as the 1,700-mile trans-USA Keystone XL pipeline, carrying Alberta oil to Texas refineries, that would have created thousands of American jobs and increased our energy independence.

For that, we can wait, it seems. President Obama decreed that any decision must wait 12 to 18 months — postponed, by amazing coincidence, until after next year’s election.

Why? Because the pipeline angered Obama’s environmental constituency. But their complaints are risible. Global warming from the extraction of the Alberta tar sands? Canada will extract the oil anyway. If it doesn’t go to us, it will go to China. Net effect on the climate if we don’t take that oil? Zero.

Danger to a major aquifer, which the pipeline traverses? It is already crisscrossed by 25,000 miles of pipeline, enough to circle the Earth. Moreover, the State Department had subjected Keystone to three years of review — the most exhaustive study of any oil pipeline in U.S. history — and twice concluded in voluminous studies that there would be no significant environmental harm.

So what happened? “The administration,” reported the New York Times, “had in recent days been exploring ways to put off the decision until after the presidential election.” Exploring ways to improve the project? Hardly. Exploring ways to get past the election.

Obama’s decision was meant to appease his environmentalists. It’s already working. The president of the National Wildlife Federation told The Post (online edition, Nov. 10) that thousands of environmentalists who were galvanized to protest the pipeline would now support Obama in 2012. Moreover, a source told The Post, Obama campaign officials had concluded that “they do not pick up one vote from approving this project.”

Sure, the pipeline would have produced thousands of truly shovel-ready jobs. Sure, delay could forfeit to China a supremely important strategic asset — a nearby, highly reliable source of energy. But approval was calculated to be a political loss for the president. Easy choice.

It’s hard to think of a more clear-cut case of putting politics over nation. This from a president whose central campaign theme is that Republicans put party over nation, sacrificing country to crass political ends.

Nor is this the first time Obama’s election calendar trumped the national interest:

● Obama’s decision to wind down the Afghan surge in September 2012 is militarily inexplicable. It comes during the fighting season. It was recommended by none of his military commanders. It is explicable only as a talking point for the final days of his reelection campaign.

● At the height of the debt-ceiling debate last July, Obama pledged to veto any agreement that was not long-term. Definition of long term? By another amazing coincidence, any deal large enough to get him past Election Day (and thus avoid another such crisis next year).

On Tuesday it was revealed that last year the administration pressured Solyndra, as it was failing, to delay its planned Oct. 28 announcement of layoffs until Nov. 3, the day after the midterm election.

A contemporaneous e-mail from a Solyndra investor noted: “Oddly they didn’t give a reason for that date.” The writer was obviously born yesterday. The American electorate was not — and it soon gets to decide who really puts party over nation and reelection above all.

We can’t wait.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Obama’s Half-Billion-Dollar Crony Drug Deal

by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2011

Billionaire Ron Perelman, left, is a major stockholder in Siga Technologies, Inc., which received millions of taxpayer dollars from Obama for a controversial smallpox drug.

What do you get when you mix Democratic fat-cat donations, Big Labor favors, pharmaceutical lobbying and Beltway business as usual? Answer: another toxic half-billion-dollar Barack Obama-approved crony deal. Move over, Solyndra. Here comes Siga-Gate.

This latest Chicago-style payoff on your dime involves a dubious smallpox drug backed by a liberal billionaire investor, along with a former union boss who was one of the White House’s most frequent visitors. They’re the “1 percent” with 100 percent immunity from the selectively outraged Occupier mobs that purport to oppose partisan government bailouts and handouts to privileged corporations.

Ronald Perelman is the New York City-based leveraged buyout wheeler-dealer who controls Siga Technologies. He has donated nearly $130,000 mostly to Democrats over the past two election cycles alone (history here), and he forked over $50,000 to pay for the president’s lavish inaugural parties. A Siga affiliate (MacAndrews and Forbes) pitched in nearly half a million more in contributions — 65 percent of which went to Democrats — and the firms have spent millions on lobbying.

Perelman’s pharma company makes an experimental antiviral pill used by smallpox patients who received diagnoses too late to be treated with the existing smallpox vaccine. Smallpox experts cast doubt on the need for the drug given ample vaccine stockpiles, the remoteness of a mass attack and questions about its efficacy. But over the objections of federal contract negotiators, competitors and scientists, the Obama administration approved a lucrative $433 million no-bid deal for Siga in May. No other manufacturers were able to compete for the “sole source” procurement, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The special arrangement was made after a competitor objected to the administration’s violating small-business rules during a first call for bids. That’s right: It’s yet another rigged giveaway from a Hope-and-Change champion who vowed on the 2008 campaign trail to “end the abuse of no-bid contracts once and for all.”

Intensifying the culture-of-corruption stench: the critical role of Andy Stern. He’s the profligate, corruption-coddling former head of the powerful Service Employees International Union — the 2.2 million-member public-employee union powerhouse that he left in April 2010 with a mountain of debt and eroding rank-and-file pensions (and looming FBI investigation).

After pouring some $60 million of workers’ dues into Democratic coffers, Stern was rewarded by Obama with a cozy spot on the White House deficit panel and dozens of visits to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — including at least seven with the president, one with Vice President Joe Biden, and meetings with Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Biden Chief of Staff Ron Klain, OMB Director Peter Orszag, health czar aide Jennifer Cannistra and Valerie Jarrett’s former high-powered aide and Chicago fundraiser Tina Tchen.

In a classic access-buying maneuver, Siga placed Stern on its board of directors in June 2010. Four months later, Siga nabbed an estimated $3 billion contract. By January of this year, Siga’s stock had skyrocketed. The House GOP has been investigating the deal for months, which comes amid separate allegations of insider trading and political profiteering by investigative journalist Peter Schweizer.

Stern and Perelman have been scratching each other’s backs for years. In the fall of 2006, the SEIU backed off organizing protests against AlliedBarton, a security guard firm in Philadelphia owned by a Perelman interest — and then remained quiet when the firm was bought out by a longtime SEIU nemesis, the Blackstone Group.

According to the L.A. Times, which exposed the scandal over the weekend, Obama’s top biodefense bureaucrat Nicole Lurie railroaded a key dissenter at the Department of Health and Human Services who ridiculed Siga’s inflated projected profit margins. Lurie soothingly reassured a whiny Siga executive that the “most senior procurement official” would take over and mollified him in a letter: “I trust this will be satisfactory to you.”

Lurie falsely told the newspaper that she had never made contact with the official regarding the contract and deemed any such contact improper. When caught with documentation, her department spun the communication with Siga as a “national security” matter. Lurie, it should be noted, is a former Clintonite and Howard Dean health care consultant who was most recently in the headlines for pushing anthrax vaccine testing for children. According to the Labor Union Report, there have been market murmurs of a merger between Siga and the anthrax vaccine manufacturer, PharmAthene. Hard to trust Lurie’s public health moral authority with the taint of pay-for-play wafting over the Siga deal.

As always, venture socialism backed by Big Labor muscle and White House wealth redistribution is hazardous to taxpayers’ health.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Today's Tune: Link Wray - God Out West

Coach K passes mentor, colleague, friend on historic night at MSG

Seth Davis
November 16, 2011

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is embraced by his mentor, former Indiana coach Bobby Knight after Duke defeated Michigan State in their NCAA men's basketball game in New York, November 15, 2011. The win gave Krzyzewski his 903rd win, the most wins ever as a college coach surpassing Knight's record.(Reuters)

NEW YORK -- Mike Krzyzewski became the winningest coach in the history of men's major college basketball at 9:36 p.m. on Tuesday, when his Duke Blue Devils defeated Michigan State, 74-69, at Madison Square Garden. The achievement, however, was not sealed until a minute later, when Krzyzewski walked to the broadcast table and shared a teary embrace with the man whom he had just surpassed, Bob Knight, who had analyzed the game for ESPN. "I know a lot of people don't tell you this, Coach," Krzyzewski said. "But I love you."

As Krzyzewski spoke, Knight had his face buried in Krzyzewski's suit jacket. Then he pulled back, smiled and said, "Boy, you've done pretty good for a kid who couldn't shoot." Knight laughed and slapped Krzyzewski hard on the shoulder. "I think that meant he loved me, too," Krzyzewski said later. "I'm going to take it as that."

It has been a long, winding, tumultuous, heartfelt and sometimes heartbreaking ride that brought Mike Krzyzewski and Bob Knight to that embrace. But there they were, sharing the happy coincidence that allowed them both to be present for this moment in history. The record now shows that Krzyzewski has 903 career wins to Knight's 902, but their relationship cannot be defined by mere numbers. It only took five decades, but these two men finally speak each other's language, even if those closest to them don't.

"Their relationship fascinates me. It kind of defies description," Krzyzewski's wife, Mickie, said Tuesday night. "It's sort of unbelievable that they're a coach and player who together have 1,800 wins. But the relationship between Coach Knight and Mike, which healed years ago, is much more unique to me than the fact that they share this honor."

It's amazing enough that a man would surpass his former college coach to break the NCAA's most significant coaching record. What's even more amazing is that the university which brought them together wasn't a basketball factory like Kansas, Kentucky or UCLA. It wasn't even Ohio State, where Knight was a reserve guard on the 1960 NCAA championship team. Rather, it was the United States Military Academy at West Point, a place known more for churning out generals and presidents than Hall of Fame basketball coaches.

Knight was just 25 years old when he walked into Bill and Emily Krzyzewski's living room in the spring of 1965 to recruit their son, who led Chicago's Catholic League in scoring while playing point guard for Weber High School. (Krzyzewski's dad used the surname Kross because he believed it would be easier for him to find work.) Mike's parents were enticed by the idea that their son could attend such a prestigious university, but to his parents' consternation Mike told Knight he wasn't interested. He hoped that he could play for a Midwestern college with a better hoops program such as Creighton, Detroit, maybe even a school in the Big Ten. When those offers never came, his parents' prodding -- their "ethnic pressure," as Krzyzewski calls it -- eventually changed the boy's mind.

As Army's point guard, Krzyzewski earned his minutes by accepting Knight's abuse and heeding his strict instructions never to shoot. During his three years on the varsity, Krzyzewski never averaged more than seven points per game, but he led the Black Knights to two appearances in the NIT. That included a trip to the semifinal his senior year, when Army lost to Boston College in Madison Square Garden.

Later that night, Krzyzewski's father suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. He was dead before Mike could get home. Knight dropped everything, followed his point guard to Chicago and stayed at the Krzyzewskis' house for three days. Mike never forgot the kindness Knight showed his mother that week as he consoled her while the two of them sat in the family kitchen. "That's when I saw Coach Knight start to emerge as a father figure to Mike," Mickie said.

Following his five-year stint in the Army, Krzyzewski joined Knight's staff at Indiana as a graduate assistant. The following year, Krzyzewski took over as head coach at his alma mater. The Knights had won just three games the previous season, but they won 20 and 19, respectively, during Krzyzewski's second and third seasons. From there, however, they backtracked, and in Krzyzewski's fifth year they finished with an overall record of 7-19.

During the spring of 1980, Knight got a call from Tom Butters, the athletic director at Duke. Butters was looking to hire a basketball coach, and he wanted to float a few candidates. According to Gene Wojciechowski's forthcoming book, The Last Great Game, which tells the story of the epic 1992 regional final between Duke and Kentucky, Knight actually thought Krzyzewski was better suited for a place like Iowa State, where he wouldn't have to face so much pressure. Still, he told Butters the truth: Krzyzewski was a great defensive coach, and coming from West Point he would understand Duke's academic mission. That prompted Butters to interview Krzyzewski, and he eventually shocked the public by tapping the unknown cadet to be his coach.

Over the next decade, Knight and Krzyzewski remained close as they circled each other from afar. As Krzyzewski built Duke into a winner -- surviving a combined 21-34 record his second and third seasons -- he often relied on his former coach's friendship and advice. On the eve of Duke's matchup with Louisville in the 1986 NCAA final, he asked Knight to speak to his team. When Duke lost, Knight called Krzyzewski every day for a week to make sure he was OK. The next year, their teams played each other for the first time, meeting in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament. Indiana won en route to capturing Knight's second title.

Five more years passed before fate again brought their teams together. It happened at the 1992 Final Four. By that time, their career arcs had begun to diverge. In the five years since their teams last played, Knight had not returned to the Final Four. Krzyzewski, on the other hand, made five more trips, and in '91 he broke through to win his first NCAA championship. In the days leading up to the game, the two men's baser instincts -- pride, combativeness, insecurity, envy -- surfaced in subtle ways. Krzyzewski was deferential in his public remarks, but he downplayed the obvious storyline by pointing out that while Knight had had the most influence on him, he also benefited from relationships with other coaches. Krzyzewski could also become prickly when Knight's specter was invoked. During a news conference the day before Duke's second-round game against Iowa, a reporter asked him whether he had called Knight for advice on how to beat the Big Ten school. "No," Krzyzewski snapped. "Somewhere in my 17 years as a coach I've figured out how to scout an opponent."

Unbeknown to Krzyzewski, Knight, who already had an unseemly tendency to feel threatened by his friends' successes, took offense. After the game, which Duke won 81-78, a slew of cameras predictably surrounded the two men as they approached for the postgame handshake. Krzyzewski stopped to share some words and perhaps a hug. Knight, however, stuck out his hand and blew right on by. Krzyzewski was visibly stunned.

He was even more surprised a short while later after Knight wrapped up his postgame news conference, stepped off the dais and came upon the Duke contingent waiting to speak. Knight congratulated the players on their win but said nothing to Krzyzewski. Later, a mutual friend handed Krzyzewski a note from Knight that essentially said, if a divorce is what you want, then a divorce is what you've got. As his players later conducted postgame interviews in Duke's locker room, Krzyzewski sat in a backroom with tears in his eyes and lamented to his assistants, "There are days when life's not fair."


The incident led to a deep freeze between the two proud men that lasted almost a year. In December, when Krzyzewski was asked about his mentor, he replied, "My relationship with Coach Knight is like my relationship with my wife. And I don't talk about my relationship with my wife." (The statement was unconvincing considering Krzyzewski frequently talked about his relationship with his wife.) "I was mad because Mike was hurting, and I just knew the problem could be solved," Mickie said. "This was a misunderstanding. It was people saying things that are being attributed to other people. It was very frustrating for me to see Mike in that kind of agony and miss Coach so much and not be able to do anything about it."

Finally, in January of '93, Knight reached out. At first, Krzyzewski refused to take the call, but eventually the two men talked for over an hour. Knight never technically apologized -- saying he's sorry is not exactly the man's strong suit -- but Krzyzewski forgave him anyway and decided it was time to move on.

For the next few years they were friendly but not especially close, the scars from their Final Four rupture still raw. In the winter of 1995, Indiana and Duke played each other without incident at the Great Alaska Shootout. Krzyzewski assumed the two were still on good terms when they met again in Madison Square Garden during the championship game of the preseason NIT in 1996. Krzyzewski knew that Knight liked to come out on the court close to tipoff, so he went over to the Indiana bench and waited for him. The horn sounded to mark the end of warmups, but Knight had still not emerged. The player introductions began. Still no Knight. Finally, Knight walked out ... and ignored Krzyzewski while chatting amiably with legendary horse trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

Indiana pasted Duke by 16 points. Afterward, Krzyzewski was more resigned than heartbroken. "I'm almost glad it happened that way," he told author John Feinstein for his book, A March to Madness, a look inside the ACC. "It lets me put a period on the end of the sentence. The end. You know, it's really kind of sad. He keeps turning friends away. I'm not the first or the last. I tried to do the right thing. I'm over it now. Five years ago, that would have hurt me. It doesn't hurt anymore."


As Knight and Krzyzewski went their separate ways, their careers did the same. After his team defeated Indiana in the '92 Final Four, Krzyzewski coached in three more championship games, winning his third title in 2001. Meanwhile, from 1995 to 2000, Knight's Indiana teams won a total of two NCAA tournament games. In September of 2000, Knight was fired by Indiana president Myles Brand for violating the zero tolerance policy Brand had put in place just four months before. Knight was humiliated and devastated, but Krzyzewski never called to console him.

Their friends and spouses weren't sure how to repair the breach, or even if they wanted to. "I stayed out of it because I knew that the pain came from a real place," Mickie Krzyzewski said. "That place was anger. Mike had to work through that before he could sincerely pick up the phone."

The moment to do so finally arrived in 2001. Krzyzewski had been voted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., and he needed to select a member of the Hall to present him for induction. Krzyzewski and Mickie bandied names for several days. Finally, Krzyzewski told his wife he had chosen Knight. "I said, 'Coach Knight? Why?' And he said, 'He's the only one,'" Mickie recalled. "It was the perfect salve for that wound."

Knight accepted the invitation. As Krzyzewski's three daughters took the stage that night to introduce him, Knight, whom Mickie once thought was "the meanest man in the world" while he coached her boyfriend at Army, walked off the stage, took Mickie by the hand and led her up the stairs so she could stand beside her husband. Knight's speech that night was eloquent and stirring. He told the audience that Krzyzewski was a much better player than he had given himself credit for. He said the only important thing Krzyzewski had learned from him was what not to do. And his voice quavered as he brought Krzyzewski to the stage by calling him "the best coach that I've had a team play against." Krzyzewski climbed the stairs, shook hands with a few dignitaries, and then fell into his coach's arms and sobbed. It looked exactly like what it was: a father and son, previously estranged, reconciling in front of thousands of people.

Since that day, their relationship has continued to evolve, as relationships do. They're still equal parts coach-player and father-son, but they're also fellow coaches, colleagues, best friends. They're older now, more comfortable in their own skin, less susceptible to the pettiness that almost severed them for good. When Krzyzewski praises Knight these days, there is no hint of equivocation. He has also gotten smarter about avoiding potential triggers. After Brand left Indiana to become president of the NCAA, he reached out to Krzyzewski and invited him to Brand's house to talk. Before saying yes, Krzyzewski called Knight to make sure it was OK with him. (It was.)

Now, thanks to Tuesday night's events, they can enjoy one more bond, a remarkable moment when they switched places atop the NCAA's record book. Krzyzewski thanked the "basketball gods" for arranging for Knight to be there -- at Madison Square Garden, no less -- but the truth is, the gods have been arranging that moment for over 40 years. When it finally arrived, it didn't matter how turbulent or hurtful their journey had been. The only thing that mattered was where that journey had taken them, and where it takes them still.

Spec-Ops Command: SEAL raid book 'a lie'

By KIMBERLY DOZIER - AP Intelligence Writer
November 15, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Special Operations Command is calling a former Navy SEAL's alternate version of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden a bogus work of fiction.

"It's just not true," U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Col. Tim Nye said. "It's not how it happened."

Laden with conspiracy theories and attacks on the Obama White House, Chuck Pfarrer's book, "SEAL Target Geronimo" claims an alternative version of the raid in which the SEAL team shot bin Laden within 90 seconds of arriving at the Pakistan compound where the al-Qaida mastermind was holed up.

Pfarrer claims the White House issued a fictional and damaging account of the raid that made the SEALs looks inept. He says President Barack Obama's speedy acknowledgement of the raid was a craven political move that rendered much of the intelligence gathered on the raid useless.

Pfarrer's account broke into Amazon's top 20 book sales list last week, and Pfarrer has appeared on Fox News, CNN and in other venues to promote it.

"I have truth on my side," Pfarrer said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I spoke to the guys on the ground and in the secondary bird," he said, referring to the aircraft carrying a second SEAL team as a backup rescue squad.

"This is a fabrication," Nye countered, issuing an on-the-record denial on behalf of Navy SEAL Adm. Bill McRaven, who took command of all special operations in midyear.

In his previous role, McRaven oversaw the raid in May as head of the military's elite counterterrorism unit, the Joint Special Operations Command. Nye said McRaven was concerned the book would lead Americans to doubt the administration's version of events.

Pfarrer had no access to any troops connected to the mission, Nye said. He said there will be no investigation into whether individual SEALs spoke to Pfarrer because his account is so off-base.

Among his other claims, Pfarrer insists the stealth helicopter that the White House said crashed within moments of launching the raid actually crashed later. He says the SEALs were able to launch their raid as they had planned it, by landing atop the building while another team surged from below.

Pfarrer also said the way the White House described the SEALs shooting bin Laden — that he was unarmed but trying to evade them — is "murder." He said his version, which has bin Laden reaching for a gun, makes the killing legal.

Officials involved in the raid say Pfarrer is out of date on the post-9/11 laws of war, which sanction targeting al-Qaida with deadly force.

Pfarrer defended the book as a patriotic way to laud the "heroes of the bin Laden mission." He said he is fighting a losing battle with cancer, and that the book profits will help pay medical bills.

He claims he is still part of the fighting SEAL network, even intimating that he was part of the bin Laden raid preparation.

"It was my privilege to help troops and platoons train for submissions and run parallel HVT (high-value target) missions," Pfarrer writes.

"That is categorically incorrect," Nye said.

Pfarrer responded that he conducted training for the SEAL Team 6's parent organization, the Naval Special Warfare Command, through his defense security company Acme Ballistics. He refused to describe how it was related to the raid, saying the contracts are classified.

Pfarrer frequently claims that his accounts come from a top secret world, and that a reader must take his word on faith.

But Pfarrer gets a multitude of facts wrong in describing events that are part of the public record.

For instance, Pfarrer states that Obama appointed McRaven as the first Navy SEAL to head JSOC in April of this year. McRaven was actually appointed to that post in early 2008 by President George W. Bush. He states that the Army Special Forces Green Berets were established in 1962, instead of 1952. When U.S. special operations forces rehearsed for the famous Son Tay Raid in Vietnam in 1970, they trained at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, not Offutt in Nebraska.

And a jet bombing run, not a drone strike, killed Iraqi al-Qaida ringleader Abu Musab al Zarqawi in 2006.

Special operations leaders have stepped forward to say Pfarrer is at best misinformed and at worst a profiteering self-promoter.

"The reaction is stunned, chagrined, disappointment," said retired Navy SEAL Rear Adm. George Worthington.

Pfarrer has made a two-decade career in Hollywood with books and screenplays taken from his roughly eight years as a junior officer with the SEALs. His current book includes romantic descriptions of the SEAL raiders.

"When a room is entered, SEALs go into a state like satori — a wide-awake Zen consciousness," Pfarrer wrote. "All of the SEAL's senses are magnified."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today's Tune: The Horrible Crowes - Behold the Hurricane


By Mark Steyn

"Happy Warrior" column from the November 15 issue of National Review

When it's not explicitly hostile, Western liberals' attitude to Ayaan Hirsi Ali is deeply condescending. One thinks of Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times, pondering the author's estrangement from her Somali relatives:

I couldn't help thinking that perhaps Hirsi Ali's family is dysfunctional simply because its members never learned to bite their tongues and just say to one another: "I love you."

In Somalia, they don't bite their tongues but they do puncture your clitoris. Miss Hirsi Ali was the victim of what Western hospitals already abbreviate to "FGM" ("female genital mutilation") or, ever more fashionably, "FGC" (the less judgmental "female genital cutting"). Group hugs may work at the Times op-ed desk when the Pulitzer nominations fail to materialize, but Mr. Kristof is perhaps being a wee bit Upperwestsideocentric to assume their universality. Miss Hirsi Ali has been on the receiving end of both Islam and the squishy multiculti accommodation thereof. For seven years, she has been accompanied by bodyguards, because the men who killed the film director Theo van Gogh would also like to kill her.

She was speaking in Calgary the other day and, in the course of an interview with Canada's National Post, made a sharp observation on where much of the world is headed. It's not just fellows like Mohammed Bouyeri, the man who knifed, shot, and, for good measure, near decapitated van Gogh. She noted the mass murderer Anders Breivik, who killed dozens of his fellow Norwegians supposedly as a protest against the Islamization of Europe — if one is to believe a rambling manifesto that cited her, me, Jefferson, Churchill, Gandhi, Hans Christian Andersen, and many others. Much media commentary described Breivik as a "Christian." But he had been raised by conventional Eurosecularists, and did not attend a church of any kind. On the other hand, he was very smitten by the Knights Templar.

"He's not a worshiping Christian but he's become a political Christian," said Ayaan, "and so he's reviving political Christianity as a counter to political Islam. That's regression, because one of the greatest achievements of the West was to separate politics from religion." Blame multiculturalism, she added, which is also regressive: In her neck of the Horn of Africa, "identity politics" is known as tribalism.

That's a shrewd insight. We already accept "political Islam." Indeed, we sentimentalize it — dignifying the victory of the Islamist Ennahda party in post–Ben Ali Tunisia, the restoration of full-bore polygamy in post-Qaddafi Libya, and the slaughter of Coptic Christians in post-Mubarak Egypt as an "Arab Spring." On the very day Miss Hirsi Ali's interview appeared, the mob caught up with the world's longest-serving non-hereditary head of state. Colonel Qaddafi had enlivened the U.N. party circuit for many years with his lavish ball gowns, but, while he was the Arab League's only literal transvestite, that shouldn't obscure the fact that most of his fellow dictators are also playing dress-up. They may claim to be "pan-Arabists" or "Baathists," but in the end they represent nothing and no one but themselves and their Swiss bank accounts. When their disgruntled subjects went looking for something real to counter the hollow kleptocracies, Islam was the first thing to hand. There is not much contemplation of the divine in your average mosque, but, as a political blueprint, Islam was waiting, and ready.

Multicultural Europe is not Mubarak's Egypt, but, north of the Mediterranean as much as south, the official state ideology is insufficient. The Utopia of Diversity is already frantically trading land for peace, and unlikely to retain much of either. In the "Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets" — the heart of London's East End, where one sees more covered women than in Amman — police turn a blind eye to misogyny, Jew-hatred, and gay-bashing for fear of being damned as "racist." Male infidel teachers of Muslim girls are routinely assaulted. Patrons of a local gay pub are abused, and beaten, and, in one case, left permanently paralyzed.

The hostelry that has so attracted the ire of the Muslim youth hangs a poignant shingle: The George and Dragon. It's one of the oldest and most popular English pub names. The one just across the Thames on Borough High Street has been serving beer for at least half a millennium. But no one would so designate a public house today. The George and Dragon honors the patron saint of England, and it is the cross of Saint George — the flag of England — under which the Crusaders fought. They brought back the tale from their soldiering in the Holy Land: In what is now Libya, Saint George supposedly made the Sign of the Cross, slew the dragon, and rescued the damsel. Within living memory, every English schoolchild knew the tale, if not all the details — e.g., the dragon-slaying so impressed the locals that they converted to Christianity. But the multicultural establishment slew the dragon of England's racist colonialist imperialist history, and today few schoolchildren have a clue about Saint George. So the pub turned gay and Britain celebrated diversity, and tolerance, and it never occurred to them that, when you tolerate the avowedly intolerant, it's only an interim phase. There will not be infidel teachers in Tower Hamlets for much longer, nor gay bars.

The "multicultural society" was an unnecessary experiment. And, in a post-prosperity Europe, demographic transformation is an unlikely recipe for social tranquility. If Ayaan Hirsi Ali is right, more than a few Europeans cut off from their inheritance and adrift in lands largely alien to them will seek comfort in older identities. In the Crusaders' day, the edge of the maps bore the legend "Here be dragons." They're a lot closer now.

'All-American Muslim' Misleads on Islam

By Robert Spencer
November 14, 2011

TLC’s much-ballyhooed All-American Muslim reality show makes its agenda clear in its opening sequences: shots of a hijabbed girl roller-skating, Muslims dancing at a wedding, an American flag waving proudly in the breeze, and newspaper clippings proclaiming “4 in 10 Americans ‘suspicious’ of Muslims,” “Outrage at Ground Zero ‘Mosque,’” and “Muslims Brace for Backlash.” The point of the show is to depict Muslims as ordinary folks just like you and me who are subjected to unjust suspicion.

And so we meet one zaftig girl who loves to have fun and go to clubs, and who is in the process of getting married. Another young woman, provocatively dressed by Muslim standards, is trying to open up a club of her own. A young hijab-wearing wife shares the joy of her pregnancy with her loving husband. They’re balancing the demands of faith and family with life’s daily pressures, just like most Americans. So why—the show implies—are non-Muslim Americans so mean to them?

Yet it is noteworthy that both the woman who is getting married and the one who is trying to open a club acknowledge that they are not all that religious. And that is the problem at the heart of All-American Muslim. The Muslims it depicts are for the most part undoubtedly harmless, completely uninterested in jihad and Islamic supremacism (although there is a notable undertone of something quite different here and there, such as when the career woman’s “friend and business partner Mahmoud” tells her, his voice full of quiet menace, that a Muslim woman is really better off tending to her family than opening a club).

But Americans aren’t suspicious of Muslims who are trying to get married, open clubs, and play football. Americans are suspicious of Muslims who are trying to blow up American buildings, subvert American freedoms, and assert the primacy of Islamic law over American law. The problem people have with Islam is not with every Muslim person. It is with Islam’s teachings of violence against and the subjugation of unbelievers. It is with the supremacist ideology and the fervent believers in those noxious doctrines of warfare and subjugation.

All-American Muslim addresses nothing of that supremacist ideology, although at times it makes an appearance despite the producers’ best efforts. The woman who is getting married is marrying a Roman Catholic, who converts to Islam in order to marry her. Her father insists on the conversion as a condition of the wedding, and at one point we are told in passing that while a Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman, a Muslim woman is not free to marry a non-Muslim man.

Left unanswered in the show is the question of what might have happened if the couple had decided to get married in the Roman Catholic Church, or to leave Islam at some later date. No doubt this non-observant woman’s Muslim relatives would have been less solicitous in that event. There are many women in the show who are wearing hijabs and many who are not, but we are not allowed to see what might happen if one of the hijab-wearing women decides to take it off. Such conflicts would not serve The Learning Channel’s agenda.

There is a spectrum of belief, knowledge and fervor among Muslims, just as there is among the believers in every religion: there are people who are very knowledgeable about its doctrines and serious about putting them into practice, and others who don’t know and don’t care about what their religion teaches but still identify themselves as members of it, and every gradation in between. It would never happen for obvious reasons, but All-American Muslim would be much more interesting if it tracked one of its secular, attractive nominal Muslims as he decided to get more serious about his faith, and ended up participating in jihad activity or Islamic supremacist efforts to demonize and marginalize those who resist that activity.

Such a show would be far more honest in its depiction of the causes of the trumped-up malady of “Islamophobia”—and of its remedies, for the best outcome would be a show in which the nascent jihadi was turned into the FBI by his patriotic and moderate coreligionists. But that is a show we will never see; instead all that All-American Muslim gives us is a denunciation of “Islamophobia” featuring Muslims who could never have conceivably inspired any suspicion of Islam in the first place. The show is a bait-and-switch.

Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad, Stealth Jihad and The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran (all from Regnery-a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Because Tolkien and Lewis Took A Walk After Dinner

Krzyzewski, Knight rebuild their record-breaking bond

On the brink of win No. 903, Mike Krzyzewski is poised to surpass his mentor

The Charlotte Observer
November 12, 2011

Coaches Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski at the West Point Club at the United States Military Academy (October 2007)

Mike Krzyzewski sat in his Duke University office a decade ago and reached for the telephone.

He would be entering the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Oct. 5, 2001, and wanted Bob Knight, his coach at West Point and the most profound influence on his life outside his immediate family, to give the induction speech.

But Krzyzewski and Knight hadn't talked for years, their relationship fractured by a private misunderstanding

Knowing Knight as he had for decades, Krzyzewski believed his former coach would agree to his request. But he wasn't certain.

Theirs is a relationship both simple and complex, layered by time, tenacity and, occasionally, temper.

Now, with a victory Tuesday over Michigan State in New York, Krzyzewski would reach 903 victories and pass Knight as the winningest Division I college basketball coach in history. It's an achievement built over 36-plus seasons. He coached five seasons at Army and is beginning his 32nd season at Duke.

It's a run that has produced four national championships, a record 79 NCAA victories, 13 ACC championships, 11 Final Four appearances and 15 seasons in which his Duke teams have been ranked No. 1.

From Alarie and Amaker through Singler and Zoubek, Krzyzewski has built and maintained a program by which others are measured. Now 64, Krzyzewski coached the U.S. Olympic team to the 2008 gold medal and his friendship and counsel is sought by prominent business leaders. He has written books on leadership, done national television commercials and was named by Time Magazine as America's best coach in any sport.

Some of what has made Krzyzewski extraordinary was learned as a child in Chicago where he combined his family's work ethic with imagination and ingenuity. He watched his late father, Bill, work as an elevator operator in Chicago and his late mother, Emily, earn money by scrubbing floors. It was from her, whose spirit still burns in him, that Krzyzewski learned the lessons of love and relationships that are so much a part of his coaching.

He clings to the childhood friendships he made in the Chicago streets, playing baseball and basketball with the Colombos, his neighborhood gang, where he nurtured his leadership skills organizing games.

But it was Knight who put Krzyzewski on the path that has made him who he is.

"They mean so much to each other," Mickie Krzyzewski, Mike's wife, says. "It's an extraordinary relationship. It almost defies description. It's father/son, player/coach. It's the brotherhood of coaches.

"It's all those things but it's also something else."

West Point

At West Point, Knight gave Krzyzewski two commands:

"Don't throw the ball away and I don't want you to shoot," Knight recalls.

And one more thing:

"Play good defense."

Krzyzewski was reeling. He had come out of Chicago the leading scorer for two years in the Catholic League where he played for Weber High and suddenly was told not to shoot. Away from basketball, West Point pushed him. Thrown into a pool and asked to swim carrying a 10-pound brick, he couldn't.

For the first time, Krzyzewski was forced to cope with failure.

"You got to see some powerful things and sometimes at your most vulnerable time when you're a little bit afraid, you're not sure just who you are," Krzyzewski says. "You thought you knew who you were and who you were wasn't good enough."

Still, Knight saw something in Krzyzewski and put him in command of his basketball team on the floor at point guard. Army was Top-20 good under Knight, who wanted his team to be as crisp as a military crease.

Krzyzewski learned by watching and reacting to Knight. He abandoned what he was on the court to become what Knight wanted him to be. The transition consumed Krzyzewski and tied the knot between the player and coach.

"I saw in him a passion I had never seen, a knowledge of the game I had never experienced," Krzyzewski says of Knight.

Krzyzewski's future wife, then Mickie Marsh, also saw something she'd never seen.

"I'd never seen a relationship like that," she says. "It's not like they were close but it was the utter respect and awe Mike had for him. I'd be with him and Knight would walk in and it was like I disappeared."

Kicked off the team

Army opened its 1967-68 season at Princeton with a 62-59 loss. Marsh and her roommate had hopped into Marsh's Volkswagen and had driven from New York City to Princeton to watch Krzyzewski play.

Marsh had been a stewardess for United Airlines based in Chicago and had met Krzyzewski there.

They spoke briefly after the Princeton game and went their separate ways. But a snowstorm prevented Marsh and her roommate from returning to New York. She said they decided to spend the night at a hotel, unaware the Army team was there.

When they realized they were in the same hotel, Mickie and Mike spoke on the phone and arranged to have breakfast together.

The three of them - Krzyzewski, Marsh and her roommate - were sitting at a breakfast table the following morning when Knight and his coaching staff walked in.

"(Knight) literally turned his chair around so his back was almost to his staff at the table so that he was staring at Mike," Mickie remembers. "In his mind, Mike had made arrangements to meet me there. He didn't know the truth.

"Mike got more and more uncomfortable. I'm looking at Mike and asking him, 'Why are you acting like that? Because of that rude man over there?' "

Krzyzewski was kicked off the team - a punishment that would last 48 hours. Back on campus, Krzyzewski went to Knight and explained his innocence.

"What he saw wasn't really what he saw," says Krzyzewski. "With Coach, it had to be this way and sometimes if he saw it out of that way, he would proceed without knowing why it might look that way.

"It was just a misunderstanding."

Near the end of his senior season in 1969, Army had just beaten Navy and Krzyzewski had been awarded the game ball. The Cadets were fighting for a post-season berth when the call came that Krzyzewski's father had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was near death.

Knight arranged for Krzyzewski to fly back to Chicago, then drove him to the airport in a snowstorm.

At the wake after his father's death, Krzyzewski saw his coach walk in. When the family gathered at the Krzyzewski house, Knight was in the kitchen, sharing the family's stories and their grief. He stayed for the funeral and told Krzyzewski to take as much time as he needed.

Krzyzewski didn't miss a game.

"People have different feelings about Coach," Krzyzewski says. "When my dad passed away, he was right there. He has a really good heart."

Four hours after Krzyzewski graduated at West Point in 1969, he married Mickie.

Knight was there, too.

Landing the Duke job

Krzyzewski spent five years coaching and teaching at Army bases overseas and in the U.S. after graduation. He was a graduate assistant on Knight's staff at Indiana for one season before becoming Army's head coach in 1975.

His Army team won 20 games his second season, 19 his third but then fell to 9-17 in the fifth season.

In Durham, Duke athletic director Tom Butters was looking for a coach to replace Bill Foster, who had left to become the coach at South Carolina. Butters called Knight to see if he had any interest.

Knight suggested he talk to two of his former players, who had become head coaches - Bob Weltlich at Mississippi and Krzyzewski.

"They can both really coach," Knight remembers telling Butters. "The one you think fits best at Duke would be the one you should hire."

Weltlich wasn't interested. Knight thought Krzyzewski's background at academically oriented West Point would help him at Duke. When Butters called a second time, Knight suggested Krzyzewski.

"He made better adjustments quicker in moving from high school to college than any kid I ever coached," Knight said. "I think that had a lot to do with what made him the kind of coach he was. He could see and react to what he saw. He could make a change. He could do things he wasn't used to doing. All of that led into the ability he has shown to coach the game."

Butters almost didn't hire Krzyzewski, fearful of the reaction that would come with hiring a coach who had gone 9-17 the previous season at Army.

When Butters' assistant, Steve Vacendek, told his boss to believe in his convictions, Krzyzewski got the job.

Going head to head

Four times Knight and Krzyzewski coached against each other, splitting the games. Duke won the most significant meeting, an 81-78 victory over Knight's Hoosiers in the 1992 Final Four, the penultimate game in the Blue Devils' run to a second straight national championship.

In the run-up to that Final Four game, Krzyzewski bristled as questions continued about how much he had patterned his career after Knight's. "I'm my own man," Krzyzewski told the media.

Eight years earlier, working as a special assistant when Knight was the U.S. Olympic coach, Krzyzewski found himself eating dinner with his mentor and legendary coaches Pete Newell and Hank Iba. Krzyzewski felt, he said, as if he had won the lottery with such an opportunity to learn from such giants of the game.

Krzyzewski's coaching is based on many of the same fundamentals favored by Knight with an emphasis on aggressive man-to-man defense. But neither his style nor his program is a blueprint of Knight's, rather a blending of concepts he's picked up and tweaked over time by his willingness to ask questions of himself and others.

A perceived snub

Perhaps it was inevitable Knight and Krzyzewski would clash. They are both strong willed and proud, built on the same principles of military culture.

Krzyzewski can be biting but he's quick with a one-liner, often at his own expense. He is passionate about the people and causes he believes in and he talks as much about relationships as he does match-ups.

Knight is more confrontational and aggressive. He elicits devotion from his former players but his brusque approach has often worked against him. Now gray-headed and doing television work, Knight, 70, has mellowed but not much.

He's still Bob Knight - except to Krzyzewski who will forever call him Coach.

"It's the most affectionate thing I could call him," Krzyzewski says.

He won't talk about what caused his estrangement from Knight - it was a private matter, he says, that developed around their semifinal game at the 1992 Final Four.

After Duke's victory over Knight's Hoosiers, they had a quick handshake. However, when they passed again in a hallway near where interviews were being conducted, Knight spoke to the Duke players but ignored Krzyzewski, according to John Feinstein in his book, "March To Madness."

Feinstein wrote that Knight had been bothered by a lack of credit being given him by Krzyzewski.

The Duke coach was shaken by the post-game snub. The same day, Krzyzewski received a private communication from Knight that added to his bewilderment and effectively put their relationship on hold. Krzyzewski won't discuss the message.

The disagreement blindsided Krzyzewski, he says, dampening the thrill of another championship run.

Jay Bilas, who played for Krzyzewski and works with Knight at ESPN, says, "Everybody knew they got sideways for a time but no one talked about it."

Krzyzewski says, "I couldn't deal with it. That's part of the reason it lasted longer. I didn't want it to be true."

For his Hall of Fame induction in 2001, Krzyzewski knew he would have official presenters - his three daughters, Debbie, Lindy and Jamie - but that didn't solve the issue of an induction speaker. It was required that the speaker be a Hall member but it wouldn't have mattered.

"Mike kept saying, 'No one but Knight. It has to be Knight,' " Mickie says.

'The only one'

When Knight answered the phone more than a decade ago, he asked Krzyzewski why he was calling.

"He said, 'Well, what do you want?' " Krzyzewski remembers. "I said, 'I'm being inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame.'

He said, 'That's right. You should have been.'

"I said, 'I need to be presented by someone. I want it to be you.'

"He said, 'Why would you want it to be me?'

Krzyzewski pauses in telling the story and his eyes moisten.

"I said, 'Because you're the only one.' "

On the night Krzyzewski was enshrined into the Hall of Fame, he was escorted on stage by his three daughters. Then Knight spoke. He talked of examples Krzyzewski had set as a player, a coach and a leader. He said Krzyzewski achieved success the right way. It was warm, sincere and a lifetime in the making.

Then Knight walked into the audience, offered his hand to Mickie Krzyzewski and brought her on stage with her husband and their daughters.

"In a long friendship, long relationship, especially with people you love, sometimes there's a misunderstanding but you never leave each other's heart," Krzyzewski says. "...You realize that you probably lost something and you did. You lost time... I'm just happy that everything has worked out."

The two men are close again. They go out to dinner and talk on the phone for up to 90 minutes at a time. Knight has asked Krzyzewski to spend time together in the offseason getaways but Krzyzewski doesn't hunt or fish. "He likes to shoot stuff," Krzyzewski says.

They've passed all the other great coaches. John Wooden. Adolph Rupp. Dean Smith.

Tuesday night in New York City, Krzyzewski can become college basketball's all-time coaching victory leader.

But he speaks of this moment more in amazement of what he and Knight have done together than what he alone is about to do.

"You have this level of a relationship, whether it be a father and son or whatever you equate it to. It's intense. It's at a level that has produced 1,800 wins. Not only that but it will be the guy who coached the guy ..." Krzyzewski says, pausing in mid-sentence.

"The first two are those two. How could that be?"

Green: 704-358-5118