Friday, November 17, 2006

Knight in tarnished armor

Once again Richmond Times-Dispatch sportswriter Paul Woody has zeroed in on malfeasance in the world of sports, this time college basketball. This time on who surely must be the most blatant bully of a coach still being tolerated by any president of a college or university -- Bobby Knight (depicted right, in one of his lighter moods). Click here to read “Knight still a hit with Texas Tech.” Below is an excerpt of Woody’s column.

“...Knight and the people at Texas Tech can say and believe what they want. The videotape shows this: Knight formed a fist with his right hand, then brought his fist up and under Prince’s chin and knocked the player’s head up.

“To be sure, Knight got the young man’s attention.

“But here’s the thing. Coaches and teachers never should be allowed to strike students. And no matter how many of Knight’s coaching buddies come to his defense, no matter what the Texas Tech athletic director says in his official statement, Knight struck one of his players. It was unnecessary and has gone unpunished. Knight hasn’t even been made to apologize for his actions."

There’s no doubt Knight has been one of the game’s best coaches of all-time. But somewhere along the way to the 872 victories his teams have won for him -- yes, in spite of what he might think they won the games -- Knight lost track of the fact that rules apply to him, too.

Sadly, Knight, called “The General” by some, has allowed his ever growing hubris to trump all else. For way too long he has seen no reason for him to set the proper example of being under control. Bobby Knight demands that of his players, but not of himself.

For two other views of this story click here, or here.
Illustration by F.T. Rea

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