Legendary Coach Bob Knight was in the state of Indiana Saturday, April 16th. Seaking at the Honeywell Center in Wabash, Knight discussed a variety of topics.
First he was asked about whether he thought John Calipari was good for college basketball, Coach Knight replied, “Well, I’m sure if I was a Kentucky fan I would. But I’m not a Kentucky fan.”
The majority of the conversation was about his time as a head college basketball coach and the improvements that need to be made moving forward.
On graduating players
“I thought that it was really important, that you as a parent of a kid that was playing for us, to eventually know that your son had a degree. I thought that was the most important thing that I owed to the family of any kid that we recruited. In the end, I don’t think anybody even came close to what our record was in that regard.”
On Kentucky’s one and done players
“We have a situation in college basketball that really bothers me beyond anything that’s ever bothered me in my career. That’s this idea—Kentucky, year before last, started five players in the NCAA tournament game that had not been to class that semester. And that’s that one and done philosophy that we have now.”
His proposal to treat college basketball players like baseball talents
“College basketball will never get back to the integrity that it had until the NCAA is able to adopt to basketball the same thing that governs college baseball today and that is this. A kid either signs out of high school with a professional team or he goes to college. If he goes to college, he has to stay three years.”
On his coaching career
“The thing that I felt best about was the part of (Frank) Sinatra’s song where he sang, ‘I did it my way.’ That’s what I tried to do at the three schools that I coached. Not because it was the best way, but I just thought I knew more about it than anybody else did. And so for those years, I did it my way.”
Bob Knight will always attract a big audience no matter where he talks. The pride of Indiana still loves and embraces Coach Knight, who was the head coach of Indiana for 29 years.
Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart didn’t like the cheap-shot from Coach Knight and issued the follow statement Monday:
“The University of Kentucky, our student-athletes and their families take great offense to the blatantly erroneous comments made by Bob Knight that ‘Kentucky, year before last, started five players in the NCAA Tournament games that had not been to class that semester.
Academic performance has always been a priority at UK and it’s unfortunate that, although every starter from the 2010 season finished the spring semester in good academic standing, these myths exist. Our men’s basketball team’s (Academic Progress Rate) score reflects our attention to academic progress and our student-athletes take great pride in representing the University of Kentucky on and off the floor.”
DeMarcus Cousins responded to Knight’s comments via twitter, saying “All respect Coach Knight but I went to my spring classes at UK and finished out strong good gpa even after declaring for draft. Hope you correct your statement!”
As did teammate Patrick Patterson on twitter as well. “Ha I’m not even gonna comment on such bullshit (excuse my French) think me graduating & teammates GPA’s speak for themselves.. don’t u?”
Follow Scott on twitter @ScottAgness.
Below is a video except of his speech via JOEDCTALK.