Monday, February 4, 2008

Bye Bye Bobby....for now

Today we say goodbye to one of the best college basketball coaches of all time. Although you may not like the guy or agree with some of his coaching tactics you have to pay the man his respects. He leaves the basketball world sitting atop the coaching realm with 902 career wins. The majority of his wins coming before his coaching stint at Texas Tech, where he coached Indiana University to 3 national titles and 11 Big Ten championships. Also included in his resume are 5 Final Fours, a gold medal from the 1984 Olympics, and a National Basketball Hall of Fame plaque.

Knights’ basketball records speak for them self but what he will be remembered for most by will be his actions that took place the night of February 23rd, 1985. In a game against Purdue, Knight was given a technical foul for arguing a call. He reacted by tossing a chair from the Indiana bench in the general direction of the referee. He was then given a second technical and eventually ejected from the game. After that though he would continue to foul up and recounts of prior incidents would surface. Have a look below for a fun timeline you may find helpful.

1976- Pulls guard Jim Wisman off the court by his jersey in a nationally televised game
1977- Choked and punched Indiana sports information director Kit Klingelhofer over a news release
1979- At the Pan American games he is arrested on charges of assaulting a police officer
1985- The well-known chair throwing episode
1993- Was booed by fans for kicking his son, then player Pat Knight
1995- Told off and berated an NCAA volunteer at a news conference
1997- Grabbed and choked player Neil Reed at a 1997 practice

Now we can poke fun at Bob and give him a hard time, mostly because he deserves it for being a little wacky, but in respects to his coaching ability we must tip are caps. While at both Indiana and Texas Tech his recruiting methods were never tainted by violations and his players hardly ever acted up off the court. His graduation rate was better than most, in part because he insisted his players both attend class and pursue their degrees. More than can be said for our ACC foe Gary Williams, who from 1997-2000 failed to graduate an athlete, but has since been on fire graduating five out of his last seven. Thought I’d throw that one in there for ya. Those are the kinds of numbers though that sometimes fall threw the cracks and if it takes throwing a punch at Gary Williams to show that some coaches still are paying attention to their boys outside of the gym, so be it.

Bob Knight has a terrible temper; there is no hiding that. There is also no hiding the fact that a fantastic coach retired today. But then again, who said retired? The quote from many sources was, “resigned.” Does that sound like the verbatim from a person who is done for good? Only time will tell. For now his son Pat will take over as head coach effective immediately.

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