Bob Knight? : LUSENET : Xeney : One Thread

Background: Bob Knight is the coach of Indiana Unversity Basketball. He was just fined $30K, suspended for 3 games, and given notice that any more bad behaviour won't be tolerated.

Why? What bad behaviour?

Choking players, throwing chairs, using soiled toilet paper as a prop, knocking fellowing coaching staff out, etc...

What do you think? Should he have been fired or did deserve one last chance to straighten up given he's the coach of a fantastic team. (at least from reading this that's what I've been led to believe - I don't keep up with college/any other basketball.)

-- Anonymous, May 16, 2000


I think the punishment meted out was reasonable. Bob Knight has a horrible temper, he always has had a horrible temper, and IU turned a blind eye to it because while his kids don't always win the pennant, he does run a clean program and all his players graduate with a better than C+ average. Hell, this is the man who put his own son on the bench for ending up on academic suspension. While it's patently obvious that the man has a horrible temper, he's never been expected to keep his temper in check, so firing him now for doing something for 29 years of which everyone had tacitly approved wouldn't be at all fair.

(Though, I must say, I think it's kind of a low blow for all the media outlets to be bringing up the chair throwing incident again, which happened fifteen years ago, and for which he was sanctioned and fined at the time.)

You will notice, that in spite of Bob Knight's egregious rage, this has not stopped players from flocking to his program. In fact, his team this year all threatened to quit the program if Bob Knight was fired. Draconian, he may be, but he's a hell of a coach, and quite frequently, a hell of a guy. He paid for his assistant coaches' raises out of his own pocket when the university wouldn't cough it up, and he's more than once taken his team off a court when the crowd, or other players, have gotten out of control.

So, now, if he breaks the new rules, I say sure, fire him. It's only fair, however, to give him the chance to meet or falter with new regulations, than to fire him outright for an abrasive coaching style he's always had.

-- Anonymous, May 16, 2000

Hi. Born and raised in Indianapolis for 26 years. Fled to Chicago to escape, among other things, the insanity of basketball worship in the state.

Bob Knight will NEVER be fired because the alumni of the University would strangle Myles Brand. Bob Knight = alumni contributions = $$$$$$$.

When our state high school basketball championship structure was changed, there was state-wide outrage and editorials in newspapers for months. If you visit and go to the forums, please note that there are about 10 forums for sports and two - 2 - for anything else.

Indiana is a sick and twisted sports obsessed state.

That's the reality behind the whole Bobby Knight thing.

-- Anonymous, May 16, 2000

I'm disgusted that anyone would keep their job after such violent displays of behavior. My husband is a programmer for an insurance company. If he threw a chair or choked someone there, I'm sure he would be fired.

I think Bobby Knight should be fired. I don't care if he is a great coach or not. I hate it that these famous sports people can get away with behavior that isn't appropriate because they have a skill that most people don't have.

I think the baseball player that spit at the umpire a few years ago should have been thrown off the team. Right or wrong, kids look up to these people. I think they should at least have good sportsmanship and set a good example.

-- Anonymous, May 17, 2000

Everyone's known about his behavior for years. What's new is that someone was willing to come forward and press charges or produce video tape (I'm not clear on the details).

College sports are totally corrupt, in my opinion. The college wants the income and the alums, who donate money, want wins. So, any coach who produces a winning team is okay and the college will turn a blind eye to any of their faults until they are forced to.

I think his punishment is appropriate. And it's true that people are still lining up to be coached by him.

-- Anonymous, May 17, 2000

Having lived in Indiana since 1977 I consider myself somewhat of a Hoosier so I really have to comment on this. I have been saying for years that they should get rid of him. He is an embarrassment to this state. I think that the IU president is a wimp. He was leaning toward dismissal and let Knight talk him out of it on Sat. afternoon. Our paper has been filled every day with this mess and I am disgusted with the whole thing. I don't care what good things he may have done or what his commendable good qualities are.....the temper tantrums are what is on public display and these are a terrible example for young people. They can surely find a good coach with good character and good qualities who can control himself. I think that IU probably has NOT had a lot of players attend because of Knight and his ways. I did not follow basketball then, but if you watch Larry Bird (a downhome, local Hoosier kid) coach the Pacers, it's not too hard to figure out why he didn't go to IU. He is very calm, laid back, and very much in control of himself. I don't know if he ever said it....probably not...he's not one to run down someone, but it is my theory that he wanted no part of Knight and his temper. I am an alum (graduate school) and I think I will write them and tell them they will never, never get any money out of me now. (Not that I have money to give, but they don't know that...who knows...I might win the lottery.....(well, if I bought a ticket)

-- Anonymous, May 17, 2000

I don't care if he's the best coach since sliced bread, what he did was abusive AND wrong. I think both HE & the University President that allowed it to go on so long should both be fired.

Regardless of the results he's produced, abuse, no matter whom from, is wrong - ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS. Choking a player? That is assault! You can go to jail for that! If I walked up to you on the street & did that, Id go to jail. Hello?!

Where I live, if a teacher comes near a kid, the teacher if fired. End of story. There is no fine and one last chance.

Additionally, he did these things AND LIED about having done them.... A classic abuser. The kids who stood before cameras and said that the other kid was lying in order to protect the coach are enabling victims. The kids who said that the reason they are so good is because coach is hard on them are stereotypical victims. (He only beat me because I deserved it - it makes me a better person.) The source of the story is the fact that so many top athletes left this man's program. Why?? That's what they were looking for - why?

As a coach, an adult, and as a person, he has the responsibility to control himself. He, obviously, is out of control.

We preach about violence all the time on the news now. When have school shootings, citizens rail against the media & rock music & the depreciating values of today's youth. But when we have a situation where *a large audience* can see that violence, no matter *WHO* perpetrates it, is unacceptable, the University does nothing. What does that really say about our values and the source of our problems? What *does* that say for all the students who were this man's victims? What does it say for all those at the school who are in violent situations?

It says, violence is okay as long as 1) you don't get caught, 2) you lie about it if you do, 3) you're revered enough. For the victim it says 1) don't report it because people will call you a liar, 2) people will not believe you, 3) even if people believe you, they *still* won't care to do anything about it. Second violation of the victim.

Shame on the University, its president, and most of all, shame on Bob Knight.

-- Anonymous, May 17, 2000

I don't think Knight should be fired. Sports stopped being about heroes and role models 25 years ago, or at least by the end of the big baseball strike ten years ago. Sports figures are supposed to be "controversial" now. That means that sports not only has room for dangerous assh*les like Lattrell Spreewell (remember the guy who almost got thrown out of pro basketball for throttling his coach? He's a big star on the NY Knicks right now) and criminal miscreants like Mike Tyson, it welcomes them in with open arms. If the antics fill a seat, they justify themselves.

Look at the less frightening, but equally weird, Dennis Rodman and his cross-dressing superfreak bid for publicity. Oops -- did he get accused of beating Carmen Electra? I get the Dennis-Carmen and Tommy-Pamela facts mixed up. Well, if Rodman did beat Carmen Electra, I apologize for calling him less dangerous.

Anyway, all of that just serves to make my point. Pro sports is so filled with repulsive and morally reprehensible men, why should Bob Knight be kicked out of them? Just because he works for a college? Naaah.

I was at the annual Boston Chamber of Commerce dinner in 1999, and they gave three awards for public service. The last person to speak was a sixty-year-old woman who had given her life to feeding and educating inner city children. She talked about how difficult federal cust had made her job, and made a discreet pitch for donations. She was supposed to be the last speaker at the dinner, but the National Football League commissioner had decided to join us, and of course he got to speak last -- he made a (less discreet) pitch for help building a new $500 million stadium for the New England Patriots in Connecticut, and suggested that donations were appropriate because "sports transcends business."

Hearing that phrase less than five minutes after the social worker had meekly asked for money for children's shelter, I gave an audible groan.

The funny part is, two of the men at my table later gave me grief for groaning, and when I complained that this millionaire who works for billionaire team owners to resolve labor disputes with millionaire players (did you know OJ Simpson's NFL pension is $25,000 per month, and he gets every penny of it, even though Nicole's family has an unsatisfied judgment in the multi-millions against him?) was inappropriate to ask us for money after the speech by the threadbare social worker, they told me they didn't like people who were "anti-sports."

-- Anonymous, May 17, 2000

You know, I'm almost embarassed to admit this. I'm usually very picky about the college teams I support. . .but as irrational as this is, as an IU alum, I hope he keeps his job. It's irrational, but that's how alums act. They want as few things as possible to change about their alma mater as they remember it. . .and that's why we donate money. Whoever said it above was right. Bobby Knight = alum contributions. Would my contribution be as big if he weren't there? Probably, but they'd have to work harder to get my enthusiasm. Sad, I know.

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2000

By the sounds of that kind of behaviour, he should be chucked in a looney bin.

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2000

Bob Knight = Name of my church's choir director.

Heh. That is all. ;)

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ