If the game has passed Knight by, perhaps it's time for the game
to take three giant steps backward.
CARL T. QUINN, Lexington, Tenn.
I was disappointed to see SI imply that Bob Knight is washed up
in part because he detests players' wearing baggy shorts and
earrings (Knight Errant, May 12). It's ironic that a little more
than two months earlier you applauded Clem Haskins of Minnesota
(Gopher Ball, March 3) for his old-fashioned values in the same
CORY FURMAN, Noblesville, Ind.
Coach Knight was and is a brilliant technical coach and teacher
of skills. He is a great recruiter. Sophomore Jason Collier and
incoming freshman Luke Recker could have gone to any school in
the country, but they chose Indiana because of Knight.
Knight will not cheat in recruiting, although many coaches in
the Hall of Fame with him have been on NCAA probation. Knight
demands that his athletes get their degrees. Every school would
like to have a coach who wins games, whose players have been
recruited legally and who graduate, and who brings in millions
of dollars to support the many men's and women's programs that
cannot support themselves.
I am not aware of any player who has graduated from Indiana who
is not grateful to Coach Knight for his experience with the
Indiana basketball program.
DEAN SMITH Basketball Coach
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C.
If an Indiana professor profanely berated students, he would be
evaluated as inadequate and unsatisfactory. Likewise if a parent
openly and profanely humiliated his child, the parent would be
viewed as--and perhaps reported as--a child abuser. Yet Knight
has been treating players that way for years, and instead of
being seen as an abusive coach, he has been lauded.
BEVERLY REESE, Evanston, Ill.
It's hard to understand how a fine university like Indiana can
have an administration that is either unwilling or unable to
control the embarrassing and boorish behavior of Knight.
Apparently, he can bully not only his players but his employers
ROBERT L. LAWRENCE, Punta Gorda, Fla.
Much of what Gerry Callahan said about Bob Knight is true, yet
as a high school senior basketball player, I'd still do anything
to play for him.
ALEX MARKS, Sterling, Ill.
Rick Reilly's POINT AFTER (May 12) about Dennis Rodman's new
book is a classic. I laughed so hard I cried.
CARA GRIFFIN, Armonk, N.Y.
I was appalled by Reilly's selection of offensive and even
vulgar subject matter. Was this supposed to be funny? Is Reilly
making fun of Rodman, or is he making fun of those of us who are
offended by Rodman's behavior and shudder when we see schoolkids
wearing Rodman jerseys to class? Surely there are more important
sports subjects for editorial comment.
BILL CORDES, Peoria, Ill.
Is it necessary to continue to give a pest like Rodman, who
would be a nobody if he couldn't rebound, an arena for his
nonsense? Stop feeding the monster the attention on which he
thrives, and hand the world of sports back to the heroes who
make it great.
THATCHER HELDRING, Seattle
DIERKER WENT DEEP
Houston Astros manager Larry Dierker wants his starting pitchers
to go long and "pitch deeper into games" (INSIDE BASEBALL, May
12). I find it incredible that Dierker, who pitched for the
Astros, seeks to instill such a mentality in his starters. In
1969 he threw 305 innings with an ERA of 2.33, a remarkable
accomplishment at age 22. In '70 he pitched 270 innings, but his
ERA increased to 3.87. A sore elbow limited him to 159 innings
in '71, and by '77, at the ripe old age of 30, Dierker was
washed up. Perhaps all those innings pitched ruined a promising
ERIC BERNSTEIN, Toronto
COLOR PHOTO: RICHARD MACKSON Smith rises to the defense of the embattled Knight.[Dean Smith]