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Thread: Chris Spatola

  1. #1

    Chris Spatola


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley

    nepotism question

    Just curious. I know Duke has rules regarding nepotism amongst faculty, because my parents were affected by it. How deep do they go? Obviously K isn't married to anyone on his staff, and other coaching staff's have had father/son pairings. Do the sports departments have different rules, or do the rules only apply to married couples?

    P.S. Congrats on the promotion

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Triangle
    Congrats to Chris! From my past brief dealings with him, he's shown himself to be a bright, professional young man who loves the program. He will take the job seriously and do quite well. Good luck with the upcoming basketball clinics!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Toledo
    I was saddened a couple of days ago when I heard Mike Schrage had moved on, but it will be a great stepping stone for him and his future coaching career out in Palo Alto. Schrage has been a great asset to the Blue Devil program over the last few years, and an even better person.

    I also wish Chris the best of luck with his new gig. What a great opportunity for the young man.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    Just curious. I know Duke has rules regarding nepotism amongst faculty, because my parents were affected by it. How deep do they go? Obviously K isn't married to anyone on his staff, and other coaching staff's have had father/son pairings. Do the sports departments have different rules, or do the rules only apply to married couples?
    I don't know the Duke rules and policies regarding nepotism, and Chris Spatola seems like an outstanding young man. The piece on goduke.com was very similar to the wral link, but didn't mention that Chris was Coach K's son-in-law; just reading about his background, I was extremely impressed with what this young man has accomplished as a basketball player, soldier, and leader.

    But to nepotism, I think it can occasionally be a problem, even in the sports world. I've seen two recent cases involving absolute coaching icons, Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno. In each case one of their sons had a key job as an assistant with responsibilities for the offense (Jeff Bowden was offensive coordinator at Florida State, and Jay Paterno is still the QB coach and calls some of the offensive plays for Penn State), and in each case, lack of offensive production has caused a major uproar among the fanbase, with calls for the dismissal of each. Jeff Bowden was eased out; the Paternos are still standing firm, but Jay Paterno's areas of responsibility generally seem to be the weakest part of recent teams. In each case, the criticism has definitely spilled over to the head coaches, and has somewhat marred the last stages of their great careers.

    I wish Chris Spatola well, and doubt that his situation will at all approximate the Florida State and Penn State football situations. But nepotism rules and policies serve a purpose.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Well, Duke is a private university, so nothing they do really surprises me. However, it must be nice to have your father-in-law give you a nice job...

    I hope the Spatola's marriage is great, b/c if things get start to get rocky, it can create an interesting environment in the workplace...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles

    Thank you, Watzone!

    I wasn't sure what to think about Chris S. for this position. But, Watzone, I've always appreciated your input -- and know 100% that you know. So, let's all support Chris. Again, thank you, Watzone. You're the MAN!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham

    It's not just Chris . . .

    but Duke basketball directly or indirectly employs all three of Coach K's daughters. I'm very appreciative of all K has done for the program, but it does look like he feels free to treat the program as a sinecure for his family.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    brooklyn
    ^agreed

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    Just curious. I know Duke has rules regarding nepotism amongst faculty, because my parents were affected by it. How deep do they go? Obviously K isn't married to anyone on his staff, and other coaching staff's have had father/son pairings. Do the sports departments have different rules, or do the rules only apply to married couples?

    P.S. Congrats on the promotion
    Neither of them are faculty members, thus the situation is different.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by buddy View Post
    but Duke basketball directly or indirectly employs all three of Coach K's daughters. I'm very appreciative of all K has done for the program, but it does look like he feels free to treat the program as a sinecure for his family.
    One nit to pick. The definition of sinecure is "an office or position that requires little or no work and that usually provides an income". To state that Coach K is treating the program as a sinecure for his family is to imply that his daughters and son-in-law are receiving an income for doing little or nothing. This might be the case. I don't know. But, in my opinion, there is a big difference between nepotism (getting a position b/c of family connections) and a sinecure.

    I don't have any inside knowledge of how his daughters are involved in the program or how good of a coach Chris Spatola is. However, Spatola was a grad assistant at Army in 2002-2003 and served as grad assistant/head manager this year. He seems to be working his way up the ladder. Granted, he would probably be working his way up the coaching ladder at a lesser basketball school than Duke if his father-in-law wasn't Coach K, but who among us hasn't gotten a benefit because they had connections.

    If we have a situation a few years down the line like the Suttons at OK State or the Knights at Texas Tech, where the coaching icon steps down and insists that his son (or in this case son-in-law) take over the program. Then, obviously, I was incorrect about Chris Spatola's involvement in the program. I just don't see that as a likely outcome.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    I don't know Spatola from any Joe off the street. But I do find it hard to believe that he'd have gotten a job like this if he weren't Coach K's son-in-law. It may be that he's very qualified. But I'm always going to be highly skeptical of a move like this.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Triangle
    Duke Basketball is about family. Their hires are more often than not former players for a reason. Skeptical? Of what? Who is more qualified than Spatola?

    I can't speak for Debbie or Jamie, nor can I tell you who hired them. I can tell you that they love the program immensely and work hard to promote Duke in the very best light. In their case, perhaps the best person for the job were those who understood the inner workings and the goals of said program.

    I am around Duke athletics and campus a lot due to coverage. I have always seen Debbie working hard behind the scenes and know that people like Mike Cragg think a lot of her.

    As for Spatola ... I have had the opportunity to see him in his element. He is attentive, concerned and projects a professional image. He knows basketball in a big way and has tutored under Schrage for a long time now. He is active within the camps and well, I see little drop off with regards to the position.

    My thinking is that Coach K saw his skills and decided to bring him into the program a bit back. He payed his dues and the assistants think a lot of him. Besides, Duke Basketball is about family and if that's a problem, we can petition to dump K and hire one of those cheese factory guys.

    The bottom line is that he'll do a good job and the other hires are working out too. Our coach is a legend folks! If he is a bit of a family lean, so be it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by watzone View Post
    Duke Basketball is about family. Their hires are more often than not former players for a reason. Skeptical? Of what? Who is more qualified than Spatola?

    I can't speak for Debbie or Jamie, nor can I tell you who hired them. I can tell you that they love the program immensely and work hard to promote Duke in the very best light. In their case, perhaps the best person for the job were those who understood the inner workings and the goals of said program.

    I am around Duke athletics and campus a lot due to coverage. I have always seen Debbie working hard behind the scenes and know that people like Mike Cragg think a lot of her.

    As for Spatola ... I have had the opportunity to see him in his element. He is attentive, concerned and projects a professional image. He knows basketball in a big way and has tutored under Schrage for a long time now. He is active within the camps and well, I see little drop off with regards to the position.

    My thinking is that Coach K saw his skills and decided to bring him into the program a bit back. He payed his dues and the assistants think a lot of him. Besides, Duke Basketball is about family and if that's a problem, we can petition to dump K and hire one of those cheese factory guys.

    The bottom line is that he'll do a good job and the other hires are working out too. Our coach is a legend folks! If he is a bit of a family lean, so be it.
    Hey, that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. I'm entitled to mine. Maybe I'm an overly cynical person, but I'll always be skeptical of nepotism when situations like this arise. It may be that Spatola is the most qualified person for the job, and it may not be the case that he's the most qualified. All I'm saying is that I'm skeptical ANY time I see someone hiring a relative.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Do you think he would have gotten this position at Florida, UConn, UCLA, Texas, Arizona, or Kansas? I dont think so!

    It's all about connections and who you know. Of course, there are thousands of people who are more qualified and who would have killed for the position; however, they didn't marry K's daughter.

    As for Spatola using this job to advance his career, it may be true; he may have seen K's daughter as his Willy Wonka Golden Ticket. However, I would have a lot more respect for him and take him more seriously if he had attempted to travel a path that wasn't paved by his father-in-law...

    Remember, Duke's a private school, so this type of stuff happens all the time. Nothing shocking.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    The Triangle
    Quote Originally Posted by bludev03 View Post
    Do you think he would have gotten this position at Florida, UConn, UCLA, Texas, Arizona, or Kansas? I dont think so!

    It's all about connections and who you know. Of course, there are thousands of people who are more qualified and who would have killed for the position; however, they didn't marry K's daughter.

    As for Spatola using this job to advance his career, it may be true; he may have seen K's daughter as his Willy Wonka Golden Ticket. However, I would have a lot more respect for him and take him more seriously if he had attempted to travel a path that wasn't paved by his father-in-law...

    Remember, Duke's a private school, so this type of stuff happens all the time. Nothing shocking.

    Gee! I dunno. Perhaps you could explain the qualifications of a person hired for Director of Basketball Operations for us. I suppose his resume is trash? Anyone heard of Schrage before he was hired? You? Were his qualifications vastly superior to Spatolas? Can you even name one single Director of Basketball Operations from another school without looking? I mean saying thousands of people are more qualified seemingly makes you an expert.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC area
    Gently, folks.

    -jk

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by bludev03 View Post
    Do you think he would have gotten this position at Florida, UConn, UCLA, Texas, Arizona, or Kansas? I dont think so!

    It's all about connections and who you know.
    Funny. "Connections and who you know" is what I hear about applying to any job. What should a resume look like for a person in this position?

  19. #19
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    Feb 2007
    Location
    Acworth, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by ugadevil View Post
    Funny. "Connections and who you know" is what I hear about applying to any job. What should a resume look like for a person in this position?

    Notably, in college athletics connections and who you know IS almost 100% the determinative factor in who gets the job. SO many who want in, relative to the available slots. Just the way it is, folks. Nothing to see here.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Toledo
    Schrage did tutor under Bob Knight as a grad assistant at Indiana before heading to Durham, correct? I see connections there, too.

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