Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Bobby Knight Question

I don't like to talk about kids-becoming-athletes on this blog -- this is about kids-becoming-fans.

But there is an age-old question that is a bit of a litmus test for a sports-minded parent:

Would you let your kid play for Bobby Knight?

In my experience, there are two opposing camps: (1) Absolutely vs. (2) Never. There is rarely a middle-ground.

Assuming your kid will never be good enough to play basketball for Bobby Knight (or at any college level, for that matter), it is still an interesting discussion point:

If your kid WAS good enough to play for Knight, would you even want them to? Look forward to hearing your comments on this.

-- D.S.


Tripp said...

Never. Knight is a crazy person.

kellanjace said...


rvoelkel said...

Long time reader, first time commenter. Never felt a strong enough need to comment but when it comes to Robert Knight it is time. I have a pretty good, 13yr. old son, bball player and would be honored to have him "mentored" by Coach Knight as he is much more than a mere Coach. IMHO.

sigszilla said...

Absolutely. Then again, I'm in the military. My first Chief in the Navy was very similar to Coach Knight: no-nonsense, gruff, sometimes a jerk. However, many years later, it's easy to look back and realize he was just trying to take this punk kid and turn him into a responsible, productive member of society. I personally put Coach Knight into that same category. I knew what I was getting into when I joined the military, just as anyone who went to play for Coach Knight knew what they were getting themselves into.

eh17 said...

Absolutely. Knight is more than a basketball coach. He is shaping young men to become winners in life. I'm willing to bet that with the exception of Isiah Thomas, Knight's former players have had more off court success in life then kids who played for other coaches.

Your Humble Correspondent said...

Everything that people say so positively about Knight are the very things that parents should be doing for their kids.

If parents are doing their jobs, they don't need to go to Knight to be coached.

He is very loyal...to an extent. He demands total allegiance, and any straying gets you cast into the diaspora.

He yells and treats you like crap, then hugs you or pats you on the head. Sounds like a guy who beats his wife, then comes crawling back with flowers, and says, "sorry, honey, It'll never happen again."

So, mark me down as a NO.

Perks said...

I do not have a kid.

I have strong feelings about how kids are raised, their influences, etc.

In my opinion, I would be happy to have my child coached by Coach Knight.

His tough demeanor and resilient attitude are something I believe all young men should endure. It makes them strong-willed, and encourages decisiveness. I think it also goes a long way for families trying to raise a strong son if they do not come from strong finances.

Not that money has everything to do with it, but if you have luxuries at home already, there's a different ball game being played when it comes to attitude and responsibilities taken.

Also, I had a baseball coach who reminds me very much of Coach Knight. I spent 3 years coaching as an assistant to him when I graduated high school and attended college. The tough-love approach seems "risky" in our society. However, I think for some it's a wonderful thing

Mike said...

Dan you aren't allowed to comment on whether you'd like your son to be coached by Bobby Knight. We all know who wears the pants in your relationship...so you answering the question is like my mom answering it. Of course a mom is going to say no.

BD said...

As a 15 year old I was nearly thorwn out of Rick Majerus' Basketball camp. I spent a week as his whipping boy. Looking back I'm not sure if he saw potential in me or was just a jerk.

I also went to Indiana for Bobby's final season. The year was up and down with us flaming out in the 1st round. I later rioted when he was fired and was at Assembly Hall when he returned to calm the students. I even later met with Myles Brand to discuss Coach Knight (the jerk never even read Season on the Brink).

I know that when I played basketball a coach like Bob Knight would not have brought out the best of me on the court. I also realize later in life that he would have brought out the best in me as a human being.

Any athlete who signs up for "Knight School" knew what was coming. If they didn't like what they experienced they had the oppourtunity to transfer (and many did.)

If I ever have a son, I could only hope that he would have the courage and foresight to want to play for a coach of such integrity.

Natsfan74 said...

Having gone to school at Bobby Knight's first coaching stop, and seeing many of his players come back and talk to us about teamwork, and playing for the General, I would want nothing more than for my son to have a chance to play for him.

Bobby Knight created greatness in the most improbable place. Some people might think Coach K is his best product at Army. I am going to say it was Coach K's teammmate, Bob Foley, who won the Medal of Honor in Vietnam and became a 3-Star General. Those Army teams had basketball success, and more importantly are successful in life. His Indiana teams are the same way, if you discount Isiah I mean.....

Mr. White said...

Very easy answer: Yes. Knight is a great teacher and coach second. He teaches life on and off the court. I would be honored to have my sons play for him. He teaches so many things that are priceless that so many parents and teachers are afraid to teach even though they have real world applications. Life is hard and you need to be tough to make it. Knight taught something that most people can't and was vilified for it. On the flip side anyone who worked or played for him are truly better for it.

I truly hope his legacy is one of a great man, teacher, and coach.

J said...

I do not have kids. I am nowhere close to having kids, growing up where I have and having seen so many athletes think they are above their respective game. I would definately let my kid play for Bobby Knight. His tough demeanor and demanding personality teaches humility, sacrifice, and ultimately turns these boys into men. He gets rid of the "me first" mentality.

Michael said...

What about letting your kid decide? Assuming they are 17 or 18 years old looking to make a college (coach) decision, they are old enough to decide their own way in life and live (or learn to live) with their mistakes. A parent that decides something such as this for their kid is only hurting their kid. Sure, you want to protect them and help them, but at 17/18, they need to go out on their own. I wouldn't play for Knight, but if my kid wanted to, I would support them.

Therapeutic Ramblings said...


1. He demands the best from his kids, and he gets it from them on the court and off.

2. He does things the right way, which is more than I can say for many coaches out there. He doesn't break the NCAA rules and although his temper may get him in trouble, he isn't chasing women, paying off kids, or screwing his program.

3. He graduates his kids, and he provides them an education in basketball and in life. There is something to be said about the hundreds of kids who swear by him.

4. He is fiercely protective of his kids. What parent wouldn't want him to be in their child's corner?

5. When Mike Krzyzewski says he was the single biggest influence on his life outside of his family, that means something. Hundreds of other kids have sworn by him too.

6. No one player is above the team. In today's world of "Me First", it was nice to see that there was still a basketball court where the team always came first.