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Fletcher

Bobby Knight

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Just watched the 30 For 30 - "The last Days of Knight". It's amazing how much physical abuse and bullying he got away with at Indiana (and Texas Tech) without anyone standing up to him. It led me to Knight's wikipedia page to read through a list of all his incidents dating back to the 70s and came across this:

"1960 Olympic gold medalist Douglas Blubaugh was head wrestling coach at IU from 1973 to 1984. Early in his tenure while he jogged in the practice facility during basketball practice, Knight yelled at him to leave, using more than one expletive. Blubaugh pinned Knight to a wall, and told him never to repeat his performance. He never did."

I thought this crowd might appreciate this.

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As happy as they are with Archie Miller, plenty basketball fans in the Hoosier state would have gladly had Knight back when the last coaches opening occurs.  He not only had control over the basketball operation he had the whole state in the palm of his hand and that legacy still lingers with many.

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I know a guy that wrestled there, and actually roomed with his son Pat at one time. He said that Bobby Knight loved the wrestling team, and often used them as an example for his players on what it meant to work hard for the opportunity just to compete, and how to show real pride. He said that Knight was very respectful of all of the athletes on campus.


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9 hours ago, Fletcher said:

Just watched the 30 For 30 - "The last Days of Knight". It's amazing how much physical abuse and bullying he got away with at Indiana (and Texas Tech) without anyone standing up to him. It led me to Knight's wikipedia page to read through a list of all his incidents dating back to the 70s and came across this:

"1960 Olympic gold medalist Douglas Blubaugh was head wrestling coach at IU from 1973 to 1984. Early in his tenure while he jogged in the practice facility during basketball practice, Knight yelled at him to leave, using more than one expletive. Blubaugh pinned Knight to a wall, and told him never to repeat his performance. He never did."

I thought this crowd might appreciate this.

Sorry Fletcher, fake news.

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My older brother was a pretty good high school wrestler and had attended Blubaugh's camp.  He took a college visit to IU with our Dad and wanted to say hello to Coach Blubaugh and talk to him about possibly wrestling in college.  Neither was sure where to find him so they walked up to a gentleman to ask for help.  It was Bobby Knight.  Not only did Knight help them find Coach Blubaugh but spoke glowingly of him and said that my brother would get a great education as a student at IU and would receive world class coaching if he wrestled for Coach Blubaugh.  

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Bobby Knight was 6'5", a lot bigger than Blubaugh.
 
Why would anyone be think they could just show up an interrupt IU's basketball practice (with Bobby Knight as the coach)?

Is the warrant in Puerto Rico still valid. lol

Bobby Knight, hard ass coach. Good fisherman too.

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........ if you agreed to play for Bobby, you had to know what you were "signing up" for- - doesn't make his behavior "right", but makes the complaining

player "wrong"- - - don't like the heat, stay out of the kitchen......Brands Brothers could have been shooting guards- loving that environment.........

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Knight was and is toxic to the core.  He had the fight of many a medieval knight but none of the honor, dignity, or nobility. I enjoyed reading this article (below) about him.  Almost everything I have read or seen about him characterizes him as a disgrace. 

If there was ever any doubt about Bob Knight’s irrelevance and bitterness, he confirmed both on Friday.

Knight, who lost touch with modern college basketball and common decency long ago, reaffirmed his despicable personality with some classless quotes on “The Dan Patrick Show.” 

“I hope they’re all dead,” Knight, a man who makes the Grinch seem like the Pope, told Patrick when cued up about his former bosses at Indiana.

It’s those people who rightfully booted a lifelong bully out the door at IU in 2000. They moved on. Knight’s incapable of doing so, harboring anger and acidity that he’ll die with. Patrick brought to mind the fact that some of those people Knight wished dead might still be alive. When given the chance to walk back such a disgusting sentiment, Knight did what he’s always done: dug in his heels and made himself look worse in the process. 

“Well, I hope the rest of them go,” Knight said.

They’ll go, just as the 76-year-old Knight will, eventually. But they’ll all die knowing they did the right thing. Knight can’t claim the same. The man singularly responsible for telling Knight he was no longer going to coach in Bloomington: the respected, departed Myles Brand, who died in 2009 from cancer. He was Indiana’s president then. In the years since, Brand has been proven correct. 

Knight’s legacy has only been soiled by his own accord. 

Knight, the mascot of a man-child for the worst of the worst when it comes to mental and verbal abuse in the coaching culture of yesteryear, was once placed alongside John Wooden as the greatest college basketball coach in history. In the December of his life, he has watched his protege, Mike Krzyzewski, breeze past him in that standing. This is a man who reached the Sweet 16 once in his final 13 years of coaching, a tyrant who sputtered off the sport’s sidelines before underwhelming as an unprepared color analyst.  

Now Knight’s only redeeming quality is his still-evident influence and brilliant innovation of the motion offense. Everything else about him carries a stench of rage, irrationality and contempt. He is a bitter, aging man who is incapable of letting go. Knight still holds in contempt those who had the audacity, in his mind, to push him out in Bloomington. He hasn’t returned since. And never will.

“On my dying day, I will think about how great the fans at Indiana were,” Knight said, speaking to an imaginary contingent, a faction of supporters who are a fraction of the size in reality to what he believes exists. “And as far as the hierarchy at Indiana University at that time, I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for those people. With that in mind, I have no interest in ever going back to that university.”

Indiana shouldn’t welcome him. In fact, in light of Knight’s abhorrent quotes to millions over public radio on Friday, the school should ban him for life. Endorsing the deaths of school administrators is crossing the line. Knight lived far too long doing what he wanted to do, saying what he wanted to say, choking who he wanted to choke. Indiana can let his memory linger with whatever trophies and photos adorn Assembly Hall, but let that be it. Knight thinks he’s won by cutting ties with IU. Truth is, Indiana’s too good for Knight now. In the 17 years since the divorce, the school has moved on, but been willing to welcome him back. That can end now. Bob Knight is not Basketball Jesus in Indiana, and he isn’t worthy of a homecoming. 

His style of coaching is going extinct, his force of personality fades further into irrelevance, and with these latest remarks, Knight’s place in college basketball and at Indiana University is no longer worthy of discussion. Let him live out his days in isolated anger, punching at ghosts, while the rest of the sport and the place he helped build leaves him behind.

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1 hour ago, Coach_J said:

Can you copy and paste the text?  I'm not allowed to view the text in the link.

You didn't ask me, but since I just read the thing, here it is. Just did a basic copy/paste so the format looks funny.

 

Doug Blubaugh had a great quote about himself. “I was tougher than I was good.”

I wrote about Blubaugh for the Wednesday Oklahoman, how the 1957 NCAA wrestling champion from OSU won an unexpected gold medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics and now will be inducted, posthumously, into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. You can read that column here.

But lots of good Blubaugh stories developed that I couldn’t find space for or didn’t learn until after I wrote the column. I thought I would share.

  •  

* Blubaugh’s high school classmate, Dale Sullivan, Ponca City 1953, tells the story of when Blubaugh first got to Indiana University as wrestling coach. Blubaugh coached the Hoosiers from 1973-84, and in those early years, Blubaugh still trained.

Blubaugh was jogging inside Assembly Hall during an Indiana basketball practice, and young Bobby Knight took exception to what he perceived as a visitor. Told Blubaugh in some colorful language to get out.

Blubaugh did not take the suggestion well. Sullivan said the story he heard from Blubaugh was that Blubaugh grabbed the much-taller Knight by the collar, shoved him against the wall, told Knight who he was and to never speak like that to Blubaugh again. “I guess him and Bobby Knight got along pretty good after that,” Sullivan said.

Ed Corr, another contemporary of Blubaugh, said wrestlers have a saying that “they’re a lot shorter when they’re lying down.”

 
 

* Then-OU coach Port Robertson coached the 1960 Olympic team, on which the U.S. won three gold medals. Robertson’s Olympic training camp was memorably brutal, but according to Robertson’s biographer, Ed Frost, Blubaugh declared, “They can’t make it too tough for me.” Frost, an OU graduate, said, “What a guy. Wish he’d been a Sooner, but I understand why he wasn’t.”

Wayne Baughman, a three-time Olympian and an NCAA champ for OU, later coached for decades at Air Force.

“The first time I remember seeing Doug was when he came to OU to train for the '60 Olympic team,” Baughman told InterMat Rewind after Blubaugh’s death in 2011. “He looked like he was chiseled from a block of granite. He had muscles everywhere, even on his fingers.

“I thought I'd been sentenced to death when Port made me Doug's primary workout partner even though I weighed 180 compared to Doug's 160. Doug's style was extremely aggressive. He had the hardest head literally, and somewhat figuratively, of anyone I've ever wrestled. And because of his poor vision, he kept in right in your face. I walked off the mat after every workout feeling as if I'd been the beat up with a jackhammer. I had continuous scrapes, cuts and bruises. He also had the toughest bottom defense I have ever encountered. He was like trying to turn or move a fireplug.”

(Story continued below...)
 
 

* The story of why Blubaugh went to OSU is interesting. Blubaugh’s two older brothers went to OU as wrestlers, and Sullivan said Blubaugh wanted to follow them. But he never got a scholarship offer from Robertson.

In 1959, as part of the all-Army team, Sullivan and Blubaugh were together with Robertson, who coached the Army team that summer, and Blubaugh asked why he wasn’t recruited by OU.

Robertson expressed surprise that Blubaugh didn’t know and told the story. Blubaugh’s parents came to Norman and pleaded with Robertson not to offer their son a scholarship. They said they needed Blubaugh on the farm, and if he went to OSU, he’d able to help, considering the proximity from Stillwater to the farm outside Ponca City.

Robertson agreed to the deal, so long as they explained to Blubaugh why. But they never told their son.

 
 

* Sullivan agrees that Blubaugh was “tougher than he was good,” at least early in his career. Blubaugh went to a country school through eighth grade, then went to Ponca City High School and was behind, since Sullivan and other teammates had been wrestling for a few years.

“He was a tough son of a gun,” Sullivan said. “He was a late bloomer. I’ve known him since the ninth grade. He was a little behind the curve.”

Blubaugh had a bad asthma problem and had poor eyesight. But he was tough.

“I told him, ‘Doug, I was a better wrestler than you were in high school,’” and he agreed. “He wasn’t the most efficient technician at the time. He became efficient in his later years. Toughness won a lot of matches and it did for him. Of course, he went to Oklahoma State, and you know what happened after that.”

 

* I received multiple phone calls about my Blubaugh column. The most interesting was from an Iranian immigrant who said he’s been in the U.S. for 45 years but was in Iran during the 1960 Olympics, and that Blubaugh’s upset of legendary wrestler Emam-Ali Habibi indeed rocked that nation.

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Thanks, man.  I was coaching college in Ohio when Blu was living in the Columbus area and he was a great guy, comical, direct, down to earth.

One year at our annual tournament we asked Doug if he'd attend and hand out awards.  We wanted to honor him and show him some appreciation and, since it was a two-day tournament, we arranged to put him up in a hotel for the night.  He was very resistant.

"I can just sleep in my car," he told me.  Mind you it was January and an Olympic gold medalist who is doing you a favor doesn't want to accept the hotel room.

We kind of bartered back and forth and I was overwhelmed by how humble and unselfish he was--quite the contrast to many self-important bigshots you run into.  Finally, I got him to go along with the whole hotel room thing.

"Well," I told him, "if we're gonna allow you the honor of handing out the awards, we're gonna insist that you MUST stay in the hotel."

He laughed and he ended up staying in the hotel.  Needless to say, the guys who received their awards got an extra bonus from the man who shook their hand on the podium.

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