Note to self: Fifty bucks is well worth the price of admission when Bob Knight is speaking.
The legendary ex-Indiana coach, now an analyst for ESPN, was back in Indiana on Thursday taking part in a fundraiser for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Those who've followed Knight's icy relationship with Indiana University through the years knew there'd be chances for fireworks. After all, Knight's never been afraid to speak his mind.
In one evening, he:
Ripped the NCAA for considering an expansions to the Big Dance
Called one-and-done players a joke to academics
Said John Calipari lacked integrity.
|Bob Knight at a fundraiser for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
(The whole quote: "We've gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that's why I'm glad I'm not coaching. You see we've got a coach at Kentucky [John Calipari], who put two schools on probation and he's still coaching. I really don't understand that.")
That's called getting your money's worth.
The Calipari comment will get the most attention – calling out another coach always riles up fans and the media – but his other comments are just as potent.
Most college hoops observers have decried the NCAA tournament expansion, but it seems that most coaches, including Mike Krzyzewski, aren't against the idea. General thinking is that a bigger tournament would provide more job security to coaches. To hear a coach of Knight's stature state the opposite is striking.
So for the one-and-dones, his outrage is understandable.
"And very few people know this, but a kid can play the first semester as a freshman, pass six hours of anything and play in the NCAA tournament without ever attending a class in the second semester. I don't think that's right," Knight said.
Can't argue with that. It's not right. But it's also not the player's fault. They're not allowed to jump right into the NBA, so they're doing the next best thing: Improving their game and, in some cases, building their reputation. That's a situation for the NCAA and NBA to address.
And don't think that Knight spent the entire evening ripping people. He even showed some graciousness when it came to his stalemate with Indiana University.
"You know, I've always been a Kenny Rogers fan and I always liked that song where he says 'You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run,"' Knight said. "I've tried to follow that philosophy, and I should have run at Indiana when the trustees and the administration had gotten too far apart and that's probably as much my fault as it was theirs."
OK, so I'm not exactly clear on what that means, but it's clear Knight's trying.
Would we expect anything less from the General?
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