Thursday, February 28, 2008

New meaning for March Madness?

Legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight, 67, with all 902 of his Division I victories at the top of his resume, has already gotten himself a new job. Earlier this month he resigned from his position as head men’s basketball coach at Texas Tech. Now AP is reporting Knight has signed on with ESPN to appear as an analyst on live broadcasts of upcoming conference tournaments and the subsequent NCAA tournament that determines the national championship.
College basketball fans flipping channels back when Bob Knight was coaching couldn’t resist stopping when they spied one of his interviews or news conferences. Nobody wanted to miss what he might say or do. ESPN executives figure nothing will change with the Hall of Famer switching careers. The network announced Thursday that Knight will appear as a guest studio analyst leading up to and during the NCAA tournament.
Click here to read the entire AP story. Click here to read Knight’s bio at Wikipedia.

It should come as no surprise that ESPN management would want Knight on its roster of analysts. His presence will surely cause a stir, at least to begin with, because of Knight’s well-earned reputation for being outspoken, even confrontational. Even mean and obnoxious.

Much of his vitriol over the last 30-some years has been hurled at reporters, including those of ESPN. His bullying contempt for the working press has been seen as either entertaining to his fans, or beyond the pale to his detractors. Few basketball fans have no opinion on the former head coach at Army, Indiana -- where he won three championships -- and most recently at Texas Tech.

Now Knight can add another line to his resume -- hypocrite.

Perhaps that should come as no surprise, either. After all, he consistently demanded his players stay under control, while he blew a fuse whenever the mood struck him.

Will Bobby Knight explode during a broadcast, maybe throw a chair, or punch a fellow talking head? Who knows? Stay tuned for more, ahem, March Madness...

-- Words and art by F.T. Rea

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