The story of the day is obviously the shot across the face at Calipari taken by Bobby Knight in his supposed “feel-good” speech given at the Indiana Hall of Fame dinner last night. What was supposed to be a great story about a college basketball legend returning to the school that made him famous, has ended up being about a tift between Knight and the current hottest coach in the game. How did that happen? Well of course it was classic Knight….speak off the cuff, make a speech in which you appear to take the moral high ground and in the process show yourself to not recognize the hypocritical nature of your comments. He has done it a 1,000 times and last night was no different, except this time the victim was Calipari.
In case you missed the comments, Knight was pontificating on the ethics of major college basketball and wondered aloud how Calipari could have “put two teams on probation” and then still be allowed to coach by the NCAA. Again, this is a classic Knight move. Because he was never involved in any trouble with the NCAA, he acknowledges none of his failures, but points his fingers at others. By all accounts, most believe that Bobby Knight’s Indiana team was relatively clean by NCAA standards. Good for him. But Knight was also a tremendous bully who was awful to many of those around him, punished players without mercy, made public quotes that were beyond offensive and generally believed his behavior was unquestionable. To Knight, these tactics are just “old-school coaching” and he sees nothing wrong with what he did at Indiana, even suggesting that his problems were just a drifting apart in mindset between he and the powers that be at the school. Knight believes the true culprits in the world are other coaches who by all accounts have had no such personal issues, but instead are found guilty by the Knight code of justice.
The shot at Calipari doesnt really anger me. At this point I expect it. So long as Calipari is the coach at Kentucky, we should get used to such actions. But what is bizarre to me is the brazen way in which Knight believes he is the moral compass of college basketball. You would never hear Calipari, or for that matter any major coach, say his infamous line to Connie Chung about how those that are being raped and cant stop it should just sit back and like it. Knight said it. Has Calipari, Pitino, Williams, etc ever choked a player? Not that we know of. Knight has. Ever seen Calipari, Boeheim, Calhoun, etc throw a chair on the court? Knight has. But he forgets all of those things, leaves aside the “there but for the Grace of God go I” views and throws stones from his cracking glass house. He is beyond brazen and time has done nothing to temper his scalding hot ego.
But hey, he comes to Rupp with the Gameday Crew on February 13. Think that will be a good scene?