Bobby Knight wants Integrity in College Athletics
There aren’t many public figures (especially in athletics) who are more polarizing than Bobby Knight. On one hand, Knight’s berating style, mental and physical abuse of players, and frequent disdain towards the media has made him public enemy No. 1 amongst much of the college basketball crowd. On the contrary, he makes players attend class, prepares them for life after basketball, has an excellent graduation rate, and he is a superb coach. Simply, if you view Knight in first manner, you are a Knight hater, and if you view Knight in the second manner, you are a Knight supporter (often called enabler). John Feinstein does an excellent job explaining this.
I bring this up because Bobby Knight has made some comments suggesting the new rule of making all players be at least one year removed from high school before entering the NBA hurts the integrity of college basketball. Knight said that the rule is
The worst thing that’s happened to college basketball since I’ve been coaching. Because now you can have a kid come to school for a year and play basketball and he doesn’t even have to go to class. He certainly doesn’t have to go to class the second semester. That, I think, has a tremendous effect on the integrity of college sports.
Knight’s comments are particularly directed at Texas for recruiting Kevin Durant — who’s expected to leave for the NBA as soon as the season ends. Marc Isenberg of Money Players wonders if the comments show that Bobby Knight is out of touch reality. I say applaud Knight for maintaining integrity — being unwilling to sell his soul for a quick fix at the hands of a one-and-done phenom.
Rather than criticize Knight for being unrealistic or old-school, I laud him for actually valuing a college education — a positive trait Knight has long espoused, and far too many other coaches disregard.