Tuesday, February 5, 2008

There's no School like the Old School Good Bye Bobby Knight

Say what you want about his methods (I don't agree with many myself - including quiting on four seniors with 10 games left) but you have to agree he was "good" for college basketball (mostly) and athletics. Nobody's perfect. Here's why I say that coach Bob Knight was good for sport:

1) When many coaches brought their basketball teams to the NCAA Final Four on Tuesday. Coach Knight brought his team on Thursday or Friday so they could go to class.

2) Coach Knight has one of the highest graduation rates of all time.

3) Knight has continually fought the playing of late night games for network TV (ESPN, ESPN2) because the "kids need to be in class tomorrow morning".

4) Knight demanded discipline in the class room and in the gym in an age when that is not fashionable at best.

5) He fought the NCAA tooth and nail for what was right for student athletes. Much of which spilled over to "minor sports" like mine on the Division I level. It made us more student than athlete. A lot of people should thank him for that.

6) Bob hated the NCAA burocracy. I agree. The billions of dollars that the NCAA makes off of basically free labor needs more oversight and regulation from a different group. One that will look out for students and not just sport and the money to be made on event tickets, college jerseys, t-shirts and baseball cap sales.

I played water polo for a Bob Knight disciple. He was tough. He was fair. He pushed me to be better than I thought I could be. That is what a coach should do. So if you see Coach Knight, say thank you for me. Thanks for keeping student in student athlete.

3 comments:

  1. While Bobby Knight did receive a TON of bad PR, he won games and his players graduated from Indiana...For as much as he screamed, I liked him...in a weird way. Jen H.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I grew up watching the Hoosiers and Indiana Basketball (my dad got his Masters andPhD from IU). Not only do I agree with your points, but I'd like to add one or two... He donated lots of money to libraries and other projects that would help better the community. He was very loyal to his former players - Landon Turner, a player on the 1981 team was paralyzed in a tragic accident, and bob knight made sure that Turner had tickets and court side seats to every game. When he didn't feel he had earned his salary as a coach, he gave it back. I think the best thing about him was what he expected of his student athletes. They were students first and foremost... which disciple did you play water polo for? (I had a crush on Damon Bailey... a 1994 graduate)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Marit - I played water polo for Rich Normann. Rich learned some of his coaching style from Bob Knight. I had a chair thrown at me (in the pool) a ref. flag broken on me and lots and lots of yelling. BUT...Rich taught me how to play polo at the highest level and be a student at a tough academic institution. I even had to catch a different flight to the NCAA Final Four because of a mid-term. I got to the pool and went right into a warm up that was 1/2 over.

    ReplyDelete