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Mark Titus Believes Duke is Cheating Their Ass Off

Mitchell Layton | Getty Images

When Zion Williamson committed to Duke, most of the college basketball world saw Coach K transform the Blue Devils into the “cool” program, a title previously held by John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats.  Not everybody sees it that way.

In a conversation between a trio of KSR Summer Gust Hosts, The Ringer’s Mark Titus told Big Cat and PFT Commenter on Pardon my Take that he isn’t buying Coach K’s BS.  Titus doesn’t believe Duke is suddenly cool.  He thinks they are cheating.

“I would just say that Duke has a very fine connection with the duffel bag industry,” Titus said.  “In all honesty, I actually love it.  I seriously do think Duke is cheating their ass off.  It’s amazing to me that Coach K has kind of brainwashed the rest of the country.  If this happens literally at any other school, people would start screaming about how they’re cheating.  But for some reason, everybody thinks that K is just a leader of men.”

Titus did not just shout that into the wind.  He backed up his claim with some evidence.

Some of it is simple logic, like: “You think the kids are sitting around saying I want to play for a 70-year old?”  Other evidence is more concrete and makes sense, almost too much sense.  Right after the FBI revealed college basketball’s pay-for-play scheme, a private institution that isn’t subject to Freedom of Information Act requests now has all of the country’s best players.  All of those players were recruited by a guy who left his old job because of a par-for-play scandal.

“I just want to point out that Jeff Capel is the recruiting guru for Duke,” Titus said.  “He was hired in 2011 at Duke after leaving Oklahoma.  He left Oklahoma because he was fired because Oklahoma was paying one of their players.  An assistant coach knew about it and Capel himself weaseled his way out of it all and didn’t get any punishment.

“Part of the reason he left Oklahoma was he got fired for that.  Then he goes to Duke.  Duke up to that point, the only one-and-done guy they had was Kyrie Irving.  After that, Capel joins the staff and they start rattling off all these one-and-done guys.”

If you want to connect the dots and hear Titus’ argument for yourself, listen to the latest Pardon my Take around the 36-minute mark.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

60 Comments for Mark Titus Believes Duke is Cheating Their Ass Off

  1. bluegrassstu
    1:37 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    Screw Titus.

  2. bluegrassstu
    1:39 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    Every big time team cheats wtf.

    • bdmnky81
      2:31 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      Bwahaha…. hey, guys! I found the duke troll. Haha. Time to start a new account with a different handle.

    • 4everUKblue
      5:25 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      Wait…so you, bluegrassstu (dUKe troll) are acknowledging that dUKe does cheat. Hahahahahaha and thank you.

    • Eazy
      7:58 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      It’s just that duke cheats the most. We still own duke though. 8 titles to 5. 4 current nba all stars to their 1. Not even close.

    • Catsby80
      8:37 am January 26, 2018 Permalink

      Eazy – i’m as big a cats fan as there is, but “we still own duke”? come on man. They have (only) 5 titles, yes, but they’re in the last 30 years. That is an absurd rate. In that same time, UNC has 4 (*), UCONN has 4, UK has 3, Kansas has 2, and Florida has 2.

      Yes, historically UK is the better program, but comparing programs from 60 years ago and using that as a “we own (insert team)” is ridiculous. Right now, Duke is on top of the college basketball world and anyone that is objective would agree.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:51 am January 26, 2018 Permalink

      Catsby, I believe several other coaches could match that record of titles in 30 yrs if given the same set of circumstances that K has enjoyed. He has has the best talent every year even before the one and done era, plus he has gotten the easiest bracket every single year. That includes not leaving his home state until the elite 8. So I’m not as impressed with K as you and others.

    • Catsby80
      2:32 pm January 26, 2018 Permalink

      It is mind boggling to me how people, like you, can say you’re not impressed with K. He is the all-time winningest coach in men’s basketball for God’s sake… You say he has the best talent every year even before the one and done era (which is debatable), yet Cal has had an absurd amount of talent over the same span and done far less. Cal defenders often defend Cal by saying that recruiting is an integral part of coaching, yet you’re not going to give K respect for being a good recruiter? Hypocritical. In the last 30 years, Duke has been to 11 final fours. UK has been to 8.

      My point was simply that UK doesn’t “own” anyone, as Eazy alluded to. But to suggest that K isn’t the best, or one of the best, is ridiculous, arrogant, and downright ignorant. Give respect where it’s due.

  3. Bobbum Man
    1:40 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    Meh, they could have Coach K on camera handing a recruit a bag of money and there still wouldn’t be anything done…. look at all the proof they had for UNC and they still did nothing, won’t take down one of their own

    • ScoggDog
      1:54 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      Man has a point.

      Corey Maggette admitted to accepting $2,000 from Myron Piggie, yet the NCAA declared in that case that Duke was clean … because they didn’t know.

    • Kfckernel
      1:57 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      100% correct. After UNC, the door is open since nothing was taken seriously. The NCAA will fall over themselves looking the other way for UNC or Duke.

    • J-Dub421
      2:28 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      Maggette wasn’t the only former Duke cheater. Lance Thomas (a starter on Duke’s 2010 team) put down $30,000 in cash for about $100,000 worth of jewelry while at Duke and somehow there was no violation found because no one would talk to the NCAA.

    • NcCatFan75
      1:04 pm January 26, 2018 Permalink

      Ironic given the NCAA punished Memphis not because they had a preponderance of evidence, rather because Rose refused to talk to them after he already declared for draft. My guess is if Rose had mysteriously come up with 30k and failed to talk to the ncaa, Memphis would have gotten death penalty

    • crazycatfan65
      2:54 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      How did Bagley get into dUKe? He went to 3 high schools in 2 years and 1 of those schools the NCAA doesn’t recognize so how did he have the grades to even get into dUKE university? The NCAA needs to be done away with because of their blatant bias towards schools like UNC, UCLA, Kansas and the golden cow dUKe.

    • 4everUKblue
      5:27 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      Coach Cal is on the other end of that spectrum. He could give a kid a Snickers and the NCAA men in black would swarm him from all directions. And that is the double standard we deal with all the time. It’s Kentucky against the world.

  4. Mathlete
    1:42 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    I salute you, Captain Obvious!

  5. KSRCommenter
    1:46 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    Uhhhhhhhh….. ya think?

  6. inside info2
    2:01 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t think we should be the school pointing fingers at other schools due to baseless allegations. UK fans crying about Capel cheating will be the same ones patting Cal on the back for hiring Coach Orlando Antigua again this summer.

    • Bobbum Man
      2:19 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      As much as I would love to have him back and think he was a big factor for the recruiting success I just don’t think it makes sense to roll those dice

    • runningunnin.454
      2:55 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      Orlando was not implicated in the infractions at South Florida; and, he is currently employed by the University of Illinois.

    • inside info2
      3:02 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      runningunnin — See info on Capel. Same thing. He wasn’t implicated either.

    • runningunnin.454
      3:05 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      And neither was Cal, so they’re all free to pursue their careers. I would like to have Orlando back.

  7. meeksfor3
    2:33 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    Anyone else think K literally sold his soul to the devil?

    • RealCatsFan
      3:16 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      K is a vampire, so he is lock step with the devil. And Capel is the devil – it is obvious looking at his picture. So you have K standing there with the devil on his shoulder.

  8. Jiminy Crickets
    2:41 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    Coach k only has 2-3 years left. He’s already retiring from team USA, and his health has been deteriorating rapidly over the last 2-3 years. He’s looking for one more national championship, and then he is out

    • t_f_licker
      2:49 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      Well he’s about to get 2 back to back, so it’d be a good time for him to start making those retirement plans.

    • Han
      3:44 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      t_f_licker those 2 will go well with the 5 or 6 consecutive titles he’s won lately when Duke had a top recruiting class and/or was a favorite for much of the season. Also they always get an easy path.

      I mean, who can forget the title they won last year when they were supposed to.

      K’s an annoyingly good coach, but they have plenty of early exits despite great talent. Not to mention they barely won in 2010 when a Butler buzzer beater almost went in.

  9. UKfan4TwoDecades
    2:57 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    There is and has been the case for decades, a long list of biases against UK and biases for Duke and North Carolina. North Carolina, having confirmed cheating for decades for thousands of “students, is a recent example as the punishment was…nill. Nada. Nothing. It is mind-blowing that they got away with it.
    Duke, in college basketball games, seem to always get the favorable calls or no calls which is just as bad. I’ll never forget Lattener, just typing his name bothers me, stomping on the UK player who I believe was named Timberlake and Lattener should have been ejected as any other playing in the NCAA would have been. Lattener ejected? Kentucky wins. Mashburn on the court? Kentucky has a great chance to win. During the same game remember Mashburn fouled out. Several of those calls were suspect. The combination allowed for Lattener, aaaaagggghhhhh, to hit that last second shot.
    No other college would have been able to get Bagley “eligible” in record speed (i.e. the NCAA ruled him eligible just in time to start the season. Years ago we had Kanter who was ruled eligible by the NCAA spend his time at Kentucky on the bench as the NCAA magically reversed itself.
    Kentucky always gets the NCAA Tournament “brackets of death” in the NCAA Tournament. I have no doubt this will happen this year (providing that this UK team starts playing better).
    Classy for KSR to ask for donations to Martin County which I did yesterday and the majority of my employees are doing today. We should all keep them in our prayers.
    UK has a tough game coming up against West Virginia and going against their tough defense will be a challenge. I’ll be cheering them on with a frosty beverage or 3 depending on the outcome.
    Take care.

  10. runningunnin.454
    2:57 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    I’m certainly not a Duke lover; but, this is trial by media. Accusation = guilty.
    Where’s the proof?

    • RealCatsFan
      3:18 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      I am just hoping and praying that someone will provide the proof, but in the end, it won’t matter to the NCAA. See – UNCheat.

    • runningunnin.454
      3:45 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      You’re probably right; but, Titus is just a big mouth looking for attention. Sometimes lawsuits calm people like that down.

    • ClutchCargo
      4:00 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      Well, unless the media can put a school on probation, let them accuse all they want.

    • 4everUKblue
      5:29 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      The ACC blue bloods will never be punished, but can’t let Enes Kanter. No hell no!

    • RG, I love ya man, but I’ve thought for a little while there’s some skullduggery going on at Puke. I had forgotten they aren’t subject to record requests, so that makes me even more suspicious. The Maggete and others cases where they skated speak volumes IMO.

  11. 8 god
    2:59 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    Duke student here. The players do drive pretty nice cars. BMWs, Mercedes, suped-up Jeeps. Makes me wonder. Kevin White and Coach K are the only people who could pull off a successful pay-for-play scheme without getting caught or implicated.

    • runningunnin.454
      3:46 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      Then blow the whistle.

    • Han
      3:47 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      Not the only ones. Wheels of Heels was never fully dealt with. And no one on Kansas’ staff or among their alumni will catch any heat for that freshman who just left. Of course no one had any idea he was driving a too-expensive car until he got into an accident.

      Meanwhile, here at UK, our local newspaper sportswriter was asking questions when Patterson was driving a different vehicle after a game. Turns out his parents bought it for him, but ole Tipton was looking for dirt and didn’t bother to do any research.

    • rabblerabblerabble
      5:09 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t doubt that you go to school there. But BMW, Mercedes, suped-up Jeeps? Is this common knowledge? Also, FWIW, Trevon Duval was driving a Ford Escape in the drive-by dunking video he shot with Grayson Allen over the summer.

  12. Hancock73
    3:03 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    Back to Back #1 recruiting classes. Not titles.

    • Han
      3:48 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      And since Capel got there, I think Duke has been #1 or #2 class every year but 1. It’s usually us or them, depending on the recruiting service. (For example, Cal’s first year, ESPN ranked Avery 1st and Wall 5th, which no other recruiting service was dumb enough to do.)

  13. Catsby80
    3:07 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    People act like this kind of stuff doesn’t go on everywhere. College athletics is no longer about amateurism. It is a full fledge billion dollar business. You have coaches making $10M a year, which is an absurd amount of money to coach a “non-professional” team. Saban makes a million bucks per game. I want to be sure and point out that I don’t care how much coaches make because they’re paid based on the value they bring to their respective universities – yay free market capitalism. But this notion that college athletics is sacred and cheating/paying players doesn’t exist at 99% of institutions is incredibly naive.

    • RealCatsFan
      3:21 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t think many of us are trying to argue that it doesn’t go on at most programs. The thing that everyone is pizzed about is that a few select programs can do it with impunity. Yeah, UK did it and got caught back in the 80’s. We served our sentence and moved on. Why should programs like dook and UNCheat get to slide by with no punishment when they get caught? (and they DID get caught)

    • NcCatFan75
      1:17 pm January 26, 2018 Permalink

      The interesting thing is the NCAA has taken it upon themselves to open an investigation on the Nassar situation at MSU, just like they did with PSU (where they put a hammer down on them), despite the fact that they had (have) no direct ties to athletic cheating. . Yet they couldn’t do anything to UNC because it was an academic issue that “didn’t have ties to athletics” (allegedly). NCAA is SUPPOSED to keep the playing field LEVEL, but instead engages in favoritism with its power

    • Catsby80
      3:32 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

      Quite simply, because the NCAA is worthless. It truly is as simple as that. When you’re the judge, jury, and executioner, then you can play favorites and everyone else just has to fall in line, which is why i think you’re going to see a lot more movement for teams to drop out of the NCAA in the coming years.

      And also, just to create some dialogue, I think the cheating goes on at most institutions and isn’t necessarily in the form of someone handing the kid cash. See the recent adidas scandal for a prime example of the breadth of cheating at the college ranks.

  14. Rick_S
    3:23 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    Anyone with half a brain knows hoghead is cheating his ass off, but i doubt they get caught

  15. serdi
    3:41 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    North Carolina at Chapel Hill spent $18 million to defend the myth of Dean E. Smith and three illegitimate national championships won with ineligible players…players not student athletes.

    I don’t know what Duke has or hasn’t done. Don’t care. The NCAA is totally irrelevant after October 13 and the [email protected] decision.

    If UK ever gets an inquiry from the NCAA from rifle, to volleyball, to basketball and any sport in between, I refuse to talk to them other than to tell them to stick it. And BTW, since the NCAA went to 48 teams to present, we will always be put in the most difficult bracket so stop hoping for something different. It will NOT change.

  16. Aar
    3:55 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    I point no fingers. The 10,000 foot optics of Duke and Cal’s UK recruiting are so similar that neither has any credibility in pointing fingers at the other until true impropriety is revealed.

    That the Freedom of Information Act doesn’t apply to private schools has annoyed me about Duke for decades but I don’t dwell on it and this is my first ever mention. If I cared about football it would have bothered me about Notre Dame as well. I’m just resigned to everybody cheating, that we’ll never know about private institutions and only measure the ones we learn about by the way they respond. If they “take their medicine”, I forgive. It’s the only way I’m still a member of BBN.

  17. RealCatsFan
    4:00 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    Just look at the picture of those two and tell me this: Would you buy a used car from either of them? 🙂

  18. D-Rob
    5:17 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    Congratulations, Nick. In the history of KSR, this is the greatest piece of journalistic work by any writer, past or present. You should be proud that you were able to copy and paste quotes from a conspiracy theory by a blogger/podcaster. You are living up to the motto of KSR, which is “Facts Are Optional.”

  19. Kevin C
    5:58 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    This complete BS. What kid WOULDN’T want to play for a 70 y.o. rat-human hybrid, that looks like the progeny of Mister Roger’s Lady Elaine and Nosferatu?

  20. Smyrna_Cat
    7:55 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    This is embarrassing, even for KSR. Yes, facts are optional, but stupidity is stupidity. Come on.

  21. jytruebluefan
    8:18 pm January 25, 2018 Permalink

    The worst thing about it is even if this is true the NCAA would never do anything to investigate them. Who else’s butt would they be kissing all year and giving them the easiest path to a title every year? The NCAA is a joke. All these teams who have been cheating for years and it took the FBI to actually look into it. They make all these rules and only enforce them when it’s convenient for them.

  22. dballrb
    3:18 am January 26, 2018 Permalink

    He’s a cheater, an chester, cheater cheater cheater cheater cheater

  23. 1UKFAN6
    9:01 am January 26, 2018 Permalink

    This made my day hearing someone say this out loud. The Duke fans that I know seriously think DUKE does everything by the book but it’s funny as soon as Capel showed up the whole system changed and how they recruited. When UK got a class like that people exploded and the media questioned everything but they do it and Coach K gets write ups like he hung the moon. I can’t wait till he retires and maybe Duke will just be a normal school and stop getting the GOLD paved bracket to the final four. 2 to 3 of Dukes championships came from having to play basically the easiest teams in the tournament until the final four then they make excuses why they got that bracket. I agree with a lot of people who have left comments saying they could know Duke is cheating and wouldn’t do anything to them because of coach k legacy in college basketball. The brotherhood just makes me cringe and want to puke.