Author Topic: Telling the future of Bobby Knight  (Read 862 times)

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Offline bayonetbrant

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Telling the future of Bobby Knight
« on: June 22, 2017, 08:51:27 AM »
In 1981

The real issue isn't the countenance, anyway. The real issue is the rabbits. And Knight knows that. In the Indiana locker room before a game earlier this season, Knight was telling his players to concentrate on the important things. He said, "How many times I got to tell you? Don't fight the rabbits. Because, boys, if you fight the rabbits, the elephants are going to kill you." But the coach doesn't listen to himself. He's always chasing after the incidental; he's still a prodigy in search of proportion. "There are too many rabbits around," he says. "I know that. But it doesn't do me any good. Instead of fighting the elephants, I just keep going after the rabbits." And it's the rabbits that are doing him in, ruining such a good thing.

Pete Newell, the former Cal coach, a mentor: "There are times Bobby comes so close to self-destructing." Edwin Cady, a Duke University professor, after the Indiana Athletics Committee he chaired recommended Knight's hiring in 1971: "He's in a race now between overcoming immaturity and disaster." And even the warmest, most benign observers of the man offer variations on these themes.

Others are much more critical—especially since the sad events of July 1979 at the Pan American Games in Puerto Rico when Knight, the U.S. basketball coach, was arrested for aggravated assault on a police officer (and subsequently convicted in absentia and sentenced to six months in prison). "Bobby's so intelligent, but he has tunnel vision," says another Midwestern coach. "None of that stuff in Puerto Rico had to happen. On the contrary, he could've come out of there a hero. But he's a bully, always having to put people down. Someday, I'm afraid, he's going to be a sad old man." Says an Eastern coach, "He'll get away with the bullying and the vulgarity only so long as he wins. But the shame is, he's so smart, and he's so faithful to his principles, so why can't he understand that other people have principles too?"
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