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It’s now mid-November, and the fact that Duke’s football program is still a hot conversation piece for the second straight year this late in the season is impressive.

If David Cutcliffe ever decides to write a book on how he managed to turn the Blue Devil football program around, it will be an immediate must have on the shelf of every coach. Coach Cut has Duke sitting at 8-1 and ranked in the top 20 nationally heading into this weekend’s matchup with a 4-5 Virginia Tech squad.

Duke senior associate athletic director Gerald Harrison touched on Cutcliffe’s philosophy a bit during a meeting with the Orangeburg Touchdown Club yesterday while praising the steady leadership that Cut has brought to Duke.

“One of the things we always say at Duke is faith, family, future and football. It’s very obvious that those things are alive and well.” Harrison shared with the Times and Democrat.

Then he said something about Cutcliffe’s approach that many coaches will find interesting; Duke’s football program opts for standards instead of rules.

“We don’t have rules in our football program. We have standards. You live by the standard.”

“Be where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be there, doing what you’re supposed to be doing to the best of your ability,” Harrison shared.

I’ve long been a believer that the days of “do this because I said so” coaching are long gone, and this certainly shows a change in the tide. Having standards in place of strict “you can do this, and you can’t do that” rules is an interesting, and refreshing approach that should resonate with a lot of the coaching community.

Read the full piece here.