TV Time Out

Knight calls out Cal

By: Steve Moss
By: Steve Moss

Bobby Knight is making headlines again. Now that he's been out of the coaching spotlight for a couple of seasons, and currently is an analyst for ESPN, Knight is taking shots at college basketball and one of its top coaches. Speaking at a fundraiser for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Knight told the assembled group that college basketball is lacking integrity. Knight cited UK coach John Calipari as an example.

Bobby Knight is making headlines again.  Now that he's been out of the coaching spotlight for a couple of seasons, and currently is an analyst for ESPN, Knight is taking shots at college basketball and one of its top coaches.

Speaking at a fundraiser for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Knight told the assembled group that college basketball is lacking integrity.  Knight cited UK coach John Calipari as an example.

"We've gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that's why I'm glad I'm not coaching," he said. "You see, we've got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and he's still coaching. I really don't understand that."

Calipari coached at UMass and Memphis, where he led both schools to a Final Four.  Both schools have since vacated those Final Fours for NCAA violations.  Calipari was never implicated in those investigations.

There's no way of knowing if Knight's programs at Indiana and Texas Tech were spotless, but certainly Knight isn't the poster boy for all that's kind and gentle in college hoops.  If Knight did cheat, he never got caught.

In 1979, Knight was arrested in Puerto Rico after an altercation while the U.S. Pan American coach.

     1987 - the coach was fined $10,000 for banging his fist on the scorer's table during the NCAA Tournament.

     1988 - Knight told NBC's Connie Chung that if "rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it."

     1992 - draws the ire of African-American leaders for his mock whipping of IU's Calbert Chaney.

And there are numerous "other" incidents.

Much like Knight, known as much for his surly behavior and coaching antics, Calipari is a lightning rod for those who claim today's coaches and administrators employ a win-at-all-costs attitude.  The guy is viewed as a player's coach, someone who recruits the top players in the country, plays a wide-open offense, the lets the best players walk away to the riches of the NBA, even if after just one season in college.

Yes, he's the only coach in the history of college basketball to vacate Final Fours at two schools, but he's yet to be implicated by the NCAA.  And, UMass was not the subject of an NCAA investigation.  Center Marcus Camby was.

"I'm a big fan, respect him as a basketball coach," Calipari said on Friday, when asked about Knight's comments.  "I don't agree with what he said, but it doesn't change how I feel about him."

Calipari said he took his staff to watch Knight's Texas Tech team practice.  Calipari said Knight helped with the dribble drive offense and improved it.

What should prove to be even more interesting is Knight is scheduled to be in Lexington on February 13 as part of ESPN's GameDay crew.  That's the Saturday when Kentucky hosts Tennessee.

I'm sure Wildcat fans will welcome Knight with open arms.

 

Calipari recruiting another top JUCO player

The Ocala Star-Banner is reporting that Calipari is interested in 6-foot-9 forward Ricardo Ratliffe, one of the nation's top junior college prospects.  

Ratliffe, from Hampton, Va., plays for Central Florida Community College, where he was a preseason All-American pick. 

Ratliffe would fill the void when Patrick Patterson declares for the NBA Draft.

 

Hatcher the Man at Murray

Former UK assistant Chris Hatcher appears to be the new head coach at Murray State.  Football Scoop is reporting the Georgia Southern head coach has accepted the job as the new boss of the Racers.

Hatcher was a graduate assistant for Hal Mumme from 1997-1998 and was the quarterbacks coach in 1999.

Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.

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