New Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz has strangely blamed Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant for making recruitment harder than it should be.
The 44-year-old rejoined the University of Miami late last month, following a short spell at Temple, and there are huge hopes on his shoulders.
However, Diaz is expecting difficulty on the recruiting front as he reckons Durant has impacted the present teenage generation, encouraging them to go where the grass is greener if they can.
Durant infamously left the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Warriors in 2016 and is still being criticized for what was perceived to be disloyalty and taking the easy way out. And, while college football is far from being related, Diaz is blaming the NBA and Durant for making his job harder.
“Look, the world has changed, and I’m going to blame the NBA," he said, per the Miami Herald.
"Once Kevin Durant went to the Warriors after they were 3-1 up when he was at Oklahoma City - kids want to go where the winning is. So, that’s hard because you have to create the winning to get them to come to where the winning is. So, there’s a natural tendency to be drawn to the places that are currently on top, which, that’s fair.
“OK, so the only way you can battle that is you have to put out a product that makes a kid say, ‘I’ve got to go do that,’ and they’ve thought that for a long time. Remember, what’s occurred now the last couple years is really new in their memory at Miami, but we have to continue to pound on it where the ninth-graders and the eighth-graders are like, ‘Look at the Miami Hurricanes. I want to be that guy.’"
What This Means
KD is hardly the first superstar to move to a better team in pursuit of championships. LeBron James did so in 2010 and there are a few more examples.
Even without stars forming superteams in the NBA, kids would prefer going to a college with a winning record as opposed to choosing a school they'd be less likely to win at.
Kevin Durant can be criticized for plenty of things. But blaming him for college recruitment being harder if just unfair. It is the way to go if you want some added publicity, however.