Bobby Knight Retires. So …

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I never got it. Truly. The Bobby Knight thing. I never got it.

Oh, I get the record. I get the 902 wins. I get the 29 20-win seasons. The three national titles. The numbers speak for themselves.

But I never got the man. I never got why he had to be the way he was, never got whom he seemed to be so damn mad at all the time.

I never got the attitude. The anger. The jerk.

Men I admire spoke otherwise of him. men who played for him. Men who endured the attitude. The anger. The whip.

They said otherwise. They said he was great to play for. They said he was what they needed.

They said he helped them become men.

But so did a lot of other men, and they did it without the attitude, the anger, and without being a jerk.

Bobby Knight retired tonight. Smack dab in the middle of college basketball season, he up and quit. No one seemed to know why, or have any warning. His son Pat is now the head coach of Texas Tech. Good for him. Pat said: “He was tired.”

If Bobby Knight is indeed retired, then what do we do? Do we celebrate a maker of men? Or do we just say, well, bye?

I never got it. Some people did. Just not me. So I’ll say, well, bye.

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9 thoughts on “Bobby Knight Retires. So …

  1. mc900ftangus says:

    I’m with you. Give me Dean Smith anyday.

  2. Eddie says:

    Mr. Knight is definitely old school. He did some crazy things in his life to say the least. He seems kind of like one of those marine sergeants from the 60’s. Maybe like the one in the Movie “Full Metal Jacket”, only in a red sweater. Yes, his style was unorthodox, maybe not always the right way of doing things, but he was a success in the world of basketball. In the world of classy people, probably not.

    As for quitting. I think Bobby just wanted to hit that 900 win mark, and that he recently did. His son is taking over which ain’t a bad thing for his family.

    Mr. Bobby Knight, good luck in your retirement.

  3. You know, I used to be on the “didn’t get it” side of Bobby Knight, particularly when it came to how he treated his players. But then I talked to my cousin, who used to be the coach at Ole Miss and Arizona State, and he told me about all of the things he needed to do just to keep his roster out of trouble and academically on track. It was mind blowing. A lot of these athletes are broken men, particularly mentally, and depend on some sort of a defining experience in college ball to guide them through life. Knight was a jerk, but just like we learn in college stat class that association is not causation, he also cared about his players. And that resulted in an astounding graduation rate over forty or so years. But even now, I have to say it through clenched teeth.

  4. Dirk says:

    Sorry, the college Basketball scene and the sports scene is better off without his kind of abusive behaviour. Sorry so many people want to idealize him. His kind of treatment of young people is not the best and it does not represent where we need to go as a society. Glad he is gone. Sorry that he will probably be popping up as an expert around and about to make extra money and not just disappear.

  5. Oscar says:

    I will admit that I am a “Knight” fan for the accomplishments of the man. While I didn’t agree with some of the ways that he acted, I know that in his instance, the end justifies the means.

    His style of coaching was different than John Wooden’s as well as Don Chaney, but all of their players would swear by those coaches. The same thing goes for Belichick and Coughlin, Riley and Jackson, Torre and Lasorda – all great coaches, all with different coaching styles, all great maker of men.

    The question is “would you send you son/child to play under Coach Knight?” My answer would be a resounding “Yes!” I would prepare and expect my child to understand the types of behavior that Coach Knight would exhibit. Tough love still has love as part of it.

  6. Spicy Salsa says:

    I thought that his seemingly always angry demeanor was hilarious because I know that it’s impossible for a person with such great accomplishments and financial prosperity to be that mad. I’m sure he won’t know what the hell to do with himself now that he’s not screaming at collegiate basketball players anymore.

  7. illest says:


  8. CDR Wyndell Patterson says:

    Tough love. Our society, our modern society, has long since lost the meaning. Tough love is not always pretty. Tough love is raw. Tough love doesn’t pamper. Tough love is more honest than we care to admit. Does it shine bright in proper, politically correct society? Hell no. It wouldn’t be tough love if it did.
    I don’t agree with all his methods. But, I don’t agree with all of anybody’s methods including my own. But, the reason that those who played for him love him is because within the “tough love” was LOVE. They were and are loyal to him because he was loyal to them! Often he had to “drag them to victory both on the court and in life. Tough love. Not a job for the sqimmish!
    I’ve noticed something over the years,over the years of leading sailors into and out of harms way and being led in return. Those who have accomplished things in life, won some battles, lost some battles but won the war, suffered hardships, endured ridicule yet persevered, have the right to speak, the right to comment, the right to explain, the right to ponder…because their experience gives them substance to speak! Our airwaves, our society is full of those who have never been on any battlefield of life or accomplished anything! Yet, it is often these very same people who, criticize the most, opinionize the most and laugh the most.
    You are right not to “get” Bob Knight. He is a complicated man. But, you are wise because you do not criticize…you just don’t understand all that he is and you express as such. No problem. That’s fair. But, for all his histronics, he is a man of accomplishments and he has profoundly altered the lives of countless young men for the better. That alone, given the lack of caring by so many so called defenders of decency, warrants my respect.

  9. pdmason says:

    Excuses are many for this guy. Was his attitude necessary for him and yes, his players to be successful? I say NO. Would I allow one of my sons to play for him? Absolutely not. I don’t enjoy saying this, but the College game is better off without him. Calhoun, Cheney, & others are tough; this guy is/was abusive.

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