Commentary

Coach K underpaid

Updated: July 1, 2011, 2:48 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

I am going to make a statement that anti-Duke fans are going to go wild about. They will scream that I am biased and chants of "Dukie V" will come out. But I think that at $5 million per year, Mike Krzyzewski is underpaid!

There is nothing wrong with praising a team or a program that has been very successful. I know some will think that I'm kidding, but Coach K gets results on the court and deserves to be rewarded for that.

[+] EnlargeMike Krzyzewski
Bob Donnan/US PresswireIt's become harder to cheer against Coach Mike Krzyzewski. He helped the U.S. team reclaim the gold in the Olympics.

Just think about what his value is at Duke. This guy is a walking dollar bill for the institution. What he has achieved there is incredible. The four national championships have led to great exposure for the school.

Don't you think if Mike Krzyzewski really wanted to go to the NBA he would get double the numbers he makes at the college level? Maybe he would also get partial ownership of a pro franchise thrown in? Minnesota made a run at him, and the Lakers at one point showed some interest. I have to believe he would get a lot more than he is making at Duke right now.

He loves what he is doing at Duke and his track record clearly shows his success. It has nothing to do with people screaming and yelling that they are trying to make a living. I understand that there are people out there struggling in this economy. Coach K came from a great, blue-collar family that had a tremendous work ethic.

Let me put it this way, if you had to pick one leader in all of sports, my choice would be Krzyzewski. I can hear people crying about Bill Belichick, Phil Jackson and a few others. There are those who criticize me for singing the praises of Duke. I am saluting people doing it with integrity, loyalty and dedication. They have a positive approach and Coach K can motivate and inspire. That is why he is the number one leader in all of sports.

If you don't believe me, make a call to Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or Dwayne Wade and ask those who have had the opportunity to wear the red, white and blue under Coach K's gold-medal leadership.

Coach K has earned the dollars he makes as a flat out superstar, baby!

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.