Jump to content
Fletcher

Bobby Knight

Recommended Posts

Doug often stayed with me and my wife Bev after I created the International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Newton, Iowa (now the Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo) while he was traveling the nation. He was also the guest at our booth many times at the WIN Memorabilia show at the NCAA tournament. Like Dan Hodge, he loved meeting fans and talking about wrestling. He is on the cover of my book "Legends of the Mat" which has the stories of 34 of the greatest wrestlers in American history, and I also created a poster of Doug called "The Epic Struggle" which shows him pinning Habibi in the 1960 Olympics. How tough was Doug? One time while staying with with us it had snowed and as we were leaving the house, I told him to look  out for the front steps as they were very slippery. Suddenly, his feet went out from under him and he fell hard -- the back of his head hitting the concrete step with a loud thud. I feared he was seriously injured. He sat up, shook his head once and stood. "Doug," I said. "let's go back in the house for you to rest. That was the hardest head hit I have ever seen!"  He just smiled and said, "No, I'm fine. Let's go."  He was one of a kind in so many ways. My latest book is called "Wrestling Tough: Second Edition" and it just came out last week. There is a lot about Doug in it -- including an amazing story about him running down a horse that was acting ornery. For more on Doug's influence as a coach, you can read the book by Dale Anderson called "A Spartan Journey". Dale was a 2-time NCAA champion on the 1967 Michigan State team that won the NCAA title and Dale dedicates the book to Doug, who was assistant coach at MSU at the time.  -- Mike Chapman 

 PS --There are several versions of the Blubaugh-Knight story. Doug told me a slightly different one but the basic fact of the confrontation is true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TobusRex said:

To be fair Indiana has been crap at bball ever since they pushed Knight out.

Yes, but they were not very good in his last years either. The fact is, Indiana does not produce good players and there was less and less reason (ultimately no reason) for out-of-state stars to sign up for IU

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, NJDan said:

Yes, but they were not very good in his last years either. The fact is, Indiana does not produce good players and there was less and less reason (ultimately no reason) for out-of-state stars to sign up for IU

His first decade or so at IU was great, after that he was just decent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/4/2018 at 11:17 AM, Greatdane67 said:

That being said, he graduated almost all his players and Indiana rarely had players in trouble.

He was from a different era.

I am sure there were many similar wrestling coaches in regards to this type of behavior during his time period.

You're right that he represents an era of coaching that has thankfully ended, but he was in a class of his own in terms of being a despicable coach.  See the following. the

https://www.chron.com/sports/college-basketball-men/article/List-of-incidents-involving-Bob-Knight-1849372.php

I'm also highly skeptical of graduation rates for D1 athletes, given that we have seen reports from multiple schools that athletes have been given passing grades without having to go to class.

Some highlights:

 

1979 — Knight is charged and later tried and convicted in absentia for hitting a policeman before practice at the Pan American Games in Puerto Rico

1994 — Head-butts Sherron Wilkerson while screaming at him on the bench but says it was unintentional.

1999 — Is investigated for possible battery after allegedly choking a man at a restaurant. The man reportedly confronted Knight as he was leaving, contending he heard Knight make a racist remark. Prosecutor refuses to file charges. Assistant Ron Felling is fired after Knight allegedly throws him out of a chair after hearing him criticize the program.

March 2000 — Is investigated by university after former player Neil Reed says Knight choked him at a practice in 1997. A videotape of the practice appears to support Reed. Reports surface of other confrontations. In one, Knight throws a vase at a university secretary. In another, Knight's son Tim suffered a dislocated shoulder and a broken nose during a scuffle with his father during a hunting trip. In another, Knight attacked and knocked out an Indiana sports information director in the '70s.

 

Sept. 7, 2000 — Is accused of grabbing a student by the arm, cursing and lecturing him about manners after the coach was addressed "Hey, Knight, what's up?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From A Season on the Brink:

Cutting class and cutting a tutor were inexcusable offenses at 
Indiana. Giomi had been dismissed because of a pattern of cut 
classes. If Kurpius sent Knight a notice about a missed class, the 
player was asked to explain his absence. Short of a hurricane or 
a flood, no excuse was accepted. The same was true of a missed 
tutor. The guilty player might have to run the steps after practice 
or, in the case of a tutoring session, might not be allowed to 
practice until he had seen the tutor. 

Knight's toughness in this area was consistent with his approach 
throughout his coaching career. When he recruited a player he 
told him that he would have to go to class to play, and that he 
would be expected to graduate. Certainly, parents hearing this 
were bound to feel kindly toward Indiana, but Knight had the 
record to back up what he said: In fourteen years at Indiana only 
two players who had stayed four years had failed to graduate. 
One of them. Bob Wilkerson, had all the necessary credits but 
needed to fulfill a student teaching requirement. The three seniors 
on the '86 team— Morgan, Robinson, and Witte— were all on 
schedule for graduation in the spring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Billyhoyle said:

You're right that he represents an era of coaching that has thankfully ended, but he was in a class of his own in terms of being a despicable coach.  See the following. the

https://www.chron.com/sports/college-basketball-men/article/List-of-incidents-involving-Bob-Knight-1849372.php

I'm also highly skeptical of graduation rates for D1 athletes, given that we have seen reports from multiple schools that athletes have been given passing grades without having to go to class.

Some highlights:

 

1979 — Knight is charged and later tried and convicted in absentia for hitting a policeman before practice at the Pan American Games in Puerto Rico

1994 — Head-butts Sherron Wilkerson while screaming at him on the bench but says it was unintentional.

1999 — Is investigated for possible battery after allegedly choking a man at a restaurant. The man reportedly confronted Knight as he was leaving, contending he heard Knight make a racist remark. Prosecutor refuses to file charges. Assistant Ron Felling is fired after Knight allegedly throws him out of a chair after hearing him criticize the program.

March 2000 — Is investigated by university after former player Neil Reed says Knight choked him at a practice in 1997. A videotape of the practice appears to support Reed. Reports surface of other confrontations. In one, Knight throws a vase at a university secretary. In another, Knight's son Tim suffered a dislocated shoulder and a broken nose during a scuffle with his father during a hunting trip. In another, Knight attacked and knocked out an Indiana sports information director in the '70s.

 

Sept. 7, 2000 — Is accused of grabbing a student by the arm, cursing and lecturing him about manners after the coach was addressed "Hey, Knight, what's up?"

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Billyhoyle said:

You're right that he represents an era of coaching that has thankfully ended, but he was in a class of his own in terms of being a despicable coach.  See the following. the

https://www.chron.com/sports/college-basketball-men/article/List-of-incidents-involving-Bob-Knight-1849372.php

I'm also highly skeptical of graduation rates for D1 athletes, given that we have seen reports from multiple schools that athletes have been given passing grades without having to go to class.

Some highlights:

 

1979 — Knight is charged and later tried and convicted in absentia for hitting a policeman before practice at the Pan American Games in Puerto Rico

1994 — Head-butts Sherron Wilkerson while screaming at him on the bench but says it was unintentional.

1999 — Is investigated for possible battery after allegedly choking a man at a restaurant. The man reportedly confronted Knight as he was leaving, contending he heard Knight make a racist remark. Prosecutor refuses to file charges. Assistant Ron Felling is fired after Knight allegedly throws him out of a chair after hearing him criticize the program.

March 2000 — Is investigated by university after former player Neil Reed says Knight choked him at a practice in 1997. A videotape of the practice appears to support Reed. Reports surface of other confrontations. In one, Knight throws a vase at a university secretary. In another, Knight's son Tim suffered a dislocated shoulder and a broken nose during a scuffle with his father during a hunting trip. In another, Knight attacked and knocked out an Indiana sports information director in the '70s.

 

Sept. 7, 2000 — Is accused of grabbing a student by the arm, cursing and lecturing him about manners after the coach was addressed "Hey, Knight, what's up?"

You're skeptical of actual men who graduated with degrees but you take anecdotes with no charges as fact? 

The truth is Knight definitely graduated kids, definitely did some bad things, and might have done some other bad ones.  Don't try to spin it by using only the parts that fit your narrative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Sheerstress said:

From A Season on the Brink:


Cutting class and cutting a tutor were inexcusable offenses at 
Indiana. Giomi had been dismissed because of a pattern of cut 
classes. If Kurpius sent Knight a notice about a missed class, the 
player was asked to explain his absence. Short of a hurricane or 
a flood, no excuse was accepted. The same was true of a missed 
tutor. The guilty player might have to run the steps after practice 
or, in the case of a tutoring session, might not be allowed to 
practice until he had seen the tutor. 

Knight's toughness in this area was consistent with his approach 
throughout his coaching career. When he recruited a player he 
told him that he would have to go to class to play, and that he 
would be expected to graduate. Certainly, parents hearing this 
were bound to feel kindly toward Indiana, but Knight had the 
record to back up what he said: In fourteen years at Indiana only 
two players who had stayed four years had failed to graduate. 
One of them. Bob Wilkerson, had all the necessary credits but 
needed to fulfill a student teaching requirement. The three seniors 
on the '86 team— Morgan, Robinson, and Witte— were all on 
schedule for graduation in the spring.
On 12/5/2018 at 5:47 AM, TobusRex said:

To be fair Indiana has been crap at bball ever since they pushed Knight out.

Yes, but they were not very good in his last years either. The fact is, Indiana does not produce good players and there was less and less reason (ultimately no reason) for out-of-state stars to sign up for Indiana.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, boconnell said:

You're skeptical of actual men who graduated with degrees but you take anecdotes with no charges as fact? 

The truth is Knight definitely graduated kids, definitely did some bad things, and might have done some other bad ones.  Don't try to spin it by using only the parts that fit your narrative.

Rampant cheating in D1 institutions is not in dispute, is it?  There is plenty of reason for him to be skeptical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Plasmodium said:

Rampant cheating in D1 institutions is not in dispute, is it?  There is plenty of reason for him to be skeptical.

There is not a single thing connected to the university or to Knight regarding cheating or anything about academics.  On the other hand there is overwhelming evidence the guy actually cared about grades and attendance.  .  

As was mentioned above by a poster...you can be an abusive jerk of a coach who also cares about players and respects academics.  People are complicated and are never all good and are rarely all bad.  He was a bully who picked on people who could not fight back because of his position.  That's enough to vilify him if someone is inclined.  But don't twist facts to fit a narrative.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, NJDan said:

General changes in attitudes aside, Knight could not function in the one-and-done era. His thing was building a team over time. Villanova still does that, but few others.

He coached the original one and done, Isaiah Thomas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, unbiased said:

FACT: This is a college wrestling board.

Re-read the initial post - college wrestling coach straightens out college basketball coach. It belongs here and it warms my heart.

Edited by Fletcher

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, NJDan said:

General changes in attitudes aside, Knight could not function in the one-and-done era. His thing was building a team over time. Villanova still does that, but few others.

Butler, Gonzaga to name a few

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, NJDan said:

Yes, but they were not very good in his last years either. The fact is, Indiana does not produce good players and there was less and less reason (ultimately no reason) for out-of-state stars to sign up for Indiana.

 

 

5 hours ago, NJDan said:

General changes in attitudes aside, Knight could not function in the one-and-done era. His thing was building a team over time. Villanova still does that, but few others.

He generally produced a final 4 team every 5-6 years, and most of the time win. this was his pattern over his tenure at Indiana. Build TEAMS. In '92 Ted Valentine foul out all of Indianas players in the semi final against Duke. He may have had another championship there. Duke did win that year. The year after he got fired, Mike Davis took the team to the final game, championship, and lost, There was no doubt in anyones mind Bob Knight would have won that game, were he the coach. That teamthat he built. was to be his last hooray , then Im sure he would have road off into the sunset. 

Edited by southend
mis spell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, boconnell said:

"....People are complicated and are never all good and are rarely all bad..."

 

I think that's the case with Bobby Knight.  He was an excellent coach who demanded a lot from his players on the court and off the court.  He demanded that they attend class and graduate.  Given that only about 1% of collegiate basketball players go on to a professional career, I've always thought that displayed an unusual concern for the long-term welfare of his players.  

Despite what may have been a big heart for people, it was all too often overshadowed by his tendency to act like a bully or a 2-year old when he didn't get his way or didn't get the attention he wanted.  Many examples above testify to this behavior that has come to characterize him.  

A little insight: a friend of mine was the team physician for the 1984 Olympic basketball team that Knight coached to the gold medal.  It had many future NBA stars, and they all managed to work under Knight for a common goal.   Yet my friend noted that all of the players with whom he spoke said that they were always counting the number of days left with which they had to work with the guy because he was so difficult to be around and such a hotheaded jerk.  

In sum, people can be demanding and strict, but there's a fine line between using that to build someone up rather than tear someone down.  Too often, Knight fit the latter.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/4/2018 at 1:17 PM, Greatdane67 said:

That being said, he graduated almost all his players and Indiana rarely had players in trouble.

He was from a different era.

I am sure there were many similar wrestling coaches in regards to this type of behavior during his time period.

You could say the same about Joe Paterno - but somehow these types have fatal flaws that are let go until there is absolutely NO choice but to dump them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×