By LARRY VAUGHT
There was a time when I had some respect for then Indiana coach Bob Knight, but not now.
If he had treated my son the way he treated many of his players, I would have been livid.
But I also can’t believe the cheap shot the suddenly saintly Knight took at Kentucky and John Calipari Thursday night based on what the Associated Press is reporting.
During a fundraiser for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Knight said he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand why Calipari is still coaching.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m glad IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not coaching,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You see weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still coaching. I really donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand that.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Massachusetts and Memphis were both sanctioned by the NCAA for violations committed during CalipariÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tenure.
Knight, who won a record 902 games as coach of Army, Indiana and Texas Tech, did not elaborate or take questions from reporters according to the AP story.
How brave is that? Take a cheap shot and walk away without justifying it or explaining it. Wait, that’s what he did when he threw a chair on the court and grabbed one of his own players.
Unless Knight has information that has not been verified by anyone else, the NCAA did not name Calipari in any violations at Memphis or Massachusetts. And I would like the know-it-all Knight to explain how Calipari should not have played a player at Memphis that was cleared by the NCAA to play and then a year later ruled ineligible.
Knight was a bully who tried to intimidate people. He’s a dinosaur in college basketball now. He’ll an analyst for ESPN’s coverage of the Xavier-Butler game Saturday afternoon and he’ll probably tell stories about his 902 wins and three national titles that made Indiana fans put up with his outlandish behavior
However, I also remember talking to former UK coach Joe Hall before UK’s game at Indiana last week about Knight.
“Our first four games, he beat me and loved me. Then we won eight of 12 and he didn’t like me. He loved me the first four. We went fishing together, coached in the Olympic Trials together. One time we had a stretch where we won six of seven and he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like that at all. His friendship depended on him beating me,” Hall said.
And that tells you a lot about the former coach who took the cheap shot at Calipari and then “bravely” walked away without explaining it.