Publish date:

End the Knightmare

If any of you in the state of Indiana had a spoonful of guts,
you'd walk up to Bob Knight, pull that stupid red sweater over
his face and punch him flush in the nose. That's what you should
do with a bully like him--slug him right in the proboscis for
the way he's embarrassed your school, your athletes, your state.

But you all hide from him like mice. Shame on you for that.
Shame on you for letting a thug run your university. Shame on
your university's president and trustees for the sniveling,
shivering way they're about to let Knight out of the noose again.

That's how this is going to go down, and you know it. The
university's investigators have 90 days to report on this latest
truckload of evidence that Knight is a leg-chewing madman.
Ninety days? It's five seconds of videotape! Knight chokes the
kid! Film at 11! It ain't Agatha Christie!

So why 90 days? Because 90 days ices it nicely. Ninety days
means mid-June, when the students have gone home and the
professors are in Florence and the NBA Finals are hot. That's
when your whimpering little two-man investigation committee will
clear its throat and mutter that Knight has been "reprimanded"
and a letter "added to his file." The trustees will have to buy
another cabinet, but it'll be added to his file.

You Hoosiers wear red, but you run yellow. At your school Knight
is Liberty Valance. At your school, Knight can throw university
president Myles Brand out of practice and not hear a peep about
it. (Knight and Brand deny it, but two players say they saw it.)
At your school Knight can shout down the athletic director--his
boss--in a hallway and not sweat a drop. He can turn press
conferences blue, yank his team off the floor in an exhibition
game against the Soviet Union, act like the Psychology Today
centerfold he is, and all anybody at Indiana does is smile and
duck chairs.

Of course, Knight should be fired. For what he's done over the
years, Knight should be treading pink slips by now. Golf analyst
Ben Wright says women's breasts hamper their swing and "lesbians
in the sport hurt women's golf," and he's gone. Knight says, "If
rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it," and keeps his job.

Woody Hayes, Earle Bruce, Frank Kush and other coaches thump
players, and they're all let go. Knight grabs Neil Reed by the
throat, head-butts Sherron Wilkerson, chews out cheerleaders,
humiliates Big Ten commissioner Wayne Duke and keeps his job.
Indiana, you must be so proud.

Why do you keep buying season tickets? Why do you keep mailing in
donations? Why do you keep sending your sons to play for a man
who so obviously hates himself, his job and his school? When is
the last time you saw him smile? When is the last time you saw
him coach with joy? Why not put the poor guy out of his misery?

Not only that, but if I were Indiana's president and I had a
coach who made more first-round NCAA disappearances than Florida
A&M, kept getting his gluteus handed to him by the human
comb-over and hardly bothers to recruit anymore, I'd be wearing
a lampshade and throwing confetti right now! You mean I can
finally fire this idiot? Is it my birthday?

But you Hoosiers would no sooner ax Knight than the Munchkins
would the Wizard. Yeah, you'll talk about how Knight graduates
his players. (So does Joe Paterno. Haven't seen him separate
anybody's brain from his air supply lately.) How Knight raises
money for his school. (So does Mike Krzyzewski. Haven't seen him
play show-and-tell with his feces lately.) How his players become
good, honest citizens. (Yeah, except those who wind up trying to
cover his ass.)

The worst part is this: You'll let him get away with it, and
he'll win 117 more games and end up the winningest coach in
college basketball history, which would be akin to Jerry
Springer's winning a Pulitzer. Knight ahead of Dean Smith? As a
man, Knight can't carry Smith's whistle. As it is, Knight ahead
of John Wooden stinks. Wooden could think of something nice to
say about Al Capone, but you bring up Knight's name and Wooden's
mouth crinkles into a "no comment."

Just one haymaker in the snoot. Won't one Hoosier step up? Based
on what Charles Barkley says, court costs, lawyer fees and fines
will only cost you between $10,000 and $25,000.

Who says money can't buy happiness?


You Hoosiers wear red, but you run yellow. For what he's done
over the years, Bob Knight should be fired.