Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bob Knight: A Dying Breed

If I ever have kids, chances are Bob Knight will not be coaching basketball by the time they reach college. Unfortunately, the chances are even slimmer that there will be any coach like him. This saddens me, because if my kid ever plays college ball (and believe me, I'll try), he's exactly the kind of coach I would want my son to learn from. But if it weren't for his history of championships, Knight probably wouldn't even be coaching now.

In today's world, discipline is illegal. You can't scream at kids, you can't hit them in the back of the head, and you surely can't lock them into a choke hold. Not that I condone choke holds, something no teacher should ever do, but I also do not condone defining a career around it. And that's what coach Knight's legacy has become; physical abuse. I have no doubts that the reason he has not taken Texas Tech to the top of the Big 12 is because of this.

Students need to be coddled and protected, and parents aren't going to send their kids off to a school where they will be under the care of someone with Knight's history. Also, students with big-time talent feel that they are too good to get the kind of treatment Knight will be giving. With this combination, recruiting at Texas Tech has to be harder than the coach could have realized.

And that makes his win Wednesday night over #9 Texas A&M even that more amazing. It was the 900th time his team has came out the victor, the most all-time for men's D-1 basketball. Even though he has proven to be one of the greatest coaches ever, not even his records can overcome the stigma of being a hardass. Parents and their kids are afraid of men like Bob Knight. I couldn't think of anyone else I would want my children to look up to more, and if you have children, I would hope that you feel the same way. Because coach Knight is, above all else, a winner.


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