Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bobby Knight resigns at Texas Tech. What's his legacy? (Part 1)

I was going to make this a long winded post, but being as I can't digest reading long dissertations online I thought it would be best to break it up.

I'd rather not link a bias piece (of crap) from ESPN's Pat Forde so here's a link to his sudden resignation. He says after 42 years he can't do it anymore. What I want to do is break this down into 3 segments: recent history, his off the court antics, and his Indiana days.

Recent History
Bobby Knight put Texas Tech on the map of college basketball, but never could get them to the next level. Sure he has a Sweet 16 under his belt, but for the most part his reign in Lubbock was middle of the pack level. Resigning midseason can be viewed 3 ways...
1) he's really tired and can't do this anymore.
2) a strong arm tactic to make sure Pat Knight would be the next HC.
3) He contradicts everything he supposedly represents.

- He's really tired and can't do this anymore
He's leaving on his own terms, no fanfare or goodbye tour. That's the way CBK has lived his coaching life. No one except Bobby Knight (and maybe his son) saw this coming. The questions that come up are why didn't he do this either before or after the season. If he did it before then he wouldn't look like he was cashing in on 900 wins and checking out. If he did it after the season it wouldn't seem like he pulled a Bobby Petrino. I'm of the belief he just got tired, but I understand the sentiment of the other 2 scenerios. Bobby Knight for the most part is an unlikable man.

- A strong arm tactic to make sure Pat Knight would be the next HC
I know that PK was designated to be the successor in 2005 (I think), but what if CBK left at the end of the season and Texas Tech decided to go another direction? I kind of think CBK resigned midseason in part to give his kid a chance. If true, it's both a strong arm tactic and a gift to his son. Can't blame him for it.

- He contradicts everything he supposedly represents
If CBK is not about individual accomplishments why did we wait until after his 900th win to resign? Why did he quit on his team when he preaches the total opposite?

Off the Court Antics
We know about the choking incident, the throwing the chair across the court, the way he handled Steve Alford at Iowa, and how much disdain he had for the media. With the exception of his disdain for the media, no sane person can give him a pass for what I listed.

- The choking incident
Obviously the first real sign that CBK has anger issues. There was no excuse for that. Here's the problem I have... if CBK is such a terrible man why haven't we heard more former players talking about the bad side of CBK? For the most part, you hear former IU players talk glowingly about CBK and how he molded them into men. Off hand I can't think of any former players under CBK that ended up on the wrong side of the news so he must've done something right.

- Throwing the Chair Across the Court
I liken this to John McEnroe when a call didn't go his way on the tennis court. Was it over the top... yeah, but in the end it didn't hurt anybody.

- Steve Alford
I remember watching an interview with the both of them where CBK didn't let CSA get a word in. It was quite uncomfortable to watch. It was obvious that CBK didn't like CSA at Iowa (or anywhere in the Big 10). For some reason CBK thought CSA was not loyal to him for taking that job. Years later, CBK vented his silent frustration at Mike Davis after CBK was uncerimoniously (sp?) fahred for "a pattern of unacceptable behavior." CMD had the audacity (sarcasm) to take the IU job instead of following CBK wherever he ended up as an assistant.

- His Disdain for the Media
I'm not sure he had true disdain for the media, but didn't take kindly to any criticism from them. For the most part I think he played them well. Still, the one interview I remember the most was when Jeremy Schaap interviewed him. Long story short, CBK started to belittle Jeremy telling him he was nothing like his father (Dick) when Jeremy asked his some tough questions about his antics at the end of his Indiana career.

I probably sound like a CBK hater, but I'm not. As a coach I think he's one of the best to ever coach the game... getting the most out of his players and more importantly molding young boys into productive men in society. Many want to brush his resignation off as "it's about time," but what just happenned is we witnessed the end of an era. It could've been a storybook ending, but CBK probably didn't want it that way.

I'll touch on his Indiana days in Part 2.

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