Coach K’s Grandson Not With Team Following DWI Arrest, But Star Teammate Paolo Banchero Is Still Playing Despite Involvement

Duke men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s grandson Michael Savarino  was arrested in North Carolina on Sunday morning and charged with DWI. Savarino is a walk-on player for the team.

His teammate the star freshman Paolo Banchero was with Savarino in the back seat of the vehicle. Banchero was charged with aiding and abetting DWI.

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Since the incident Savario has not been a participant in team activities, while Banchero remains active, and played Tuesday, Nov. 16, in Duke’s 92-52 win against Gardner-Webb, posting 10 points and eight rebounds.

Banchero is the team’s leading scorer and a projected No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA draft.

Following the game Coach K defended the university’s decision to allow Banchero to play.

“It’s two entirely different situations,” Krzyzewski said. “Headlines make it look like it’s the same, but it’s not. The decisions we made are in conjunction with our authorities and my superiors. We’re taking action and we’ll continue to take action.”

Sure it is coach. One player is a walk-on, albeit your grandson, the other is integral to your team’s success and a future NBA top pick. Seems pretty simple.

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Ok, that’s the cynical view.

Maybe K is being earnest here. It technically is two different situations. Savarino was driving and blew a .08 BAC. He was charged with a DWI, not Banchero.

Though Banchero was charged with aiding and abetting a DWI.

According to North Carolina law, aiding and abetting DWI is classified as “when a person knowingly encourages, aids, advises or instigates another person to drive, or attempt to drive, while impaired. There are numerous different behaviors that this could encompass, but the most common scenario involves a person turning their keys over to an impaired driver, and/or being present as a passenger when the driver is arrested for DWI.”

That’s a lot of different ways to aid and abet.

It is unclear whether Banchero knowingly encouraged or instigated Savarino to drive while impaired. But Banchero was present as a passenger when Savarino was arrested for DWI.

Also of note, the vehicle Savarino was driving is registered to Banchero, according to the News and Observer.

All of this has to play out in court before Duke’s student conduct committee and the relevant university parties mete out any additional punishment.

Savarino’s court date is set for Dec. 9, while Banchero’s is on Dec. 8.

Given who Savarino is related to and his family’s high profile it is unlikely a judge and/or prosecutor in North Carolina would allow the maximum punishment. Well, unless the judge and prosecutor were UNC or NC State fans or alumni…

Cynical.

Once those charges are adjudicated for both, the university will move toward rendering their decision on any additional punishment.

“We had a violation of our standards,” Krzyzewski said following Tuesday night’s game  “We’ll handle that internally. We’re already handling it. It’s a violation of our standards and that’s it.”

What are those standards? No doubt words like brotherhood, team, together and bond are associated. It’s hard to imagine if two young men were involved in an incident the standards only apply to one.

If both young men violated the Duke men’s basketball standards, then they should both be away from the team, right?

No.

The Duke men’s basketball standards are about winning at all costs. Banchero helps Duke win, Savarino does not.

In his final season at the helm Coach K is not going to allow much of anything that prevents him from winning.