Apr 9, 2012
Knight Calls One-And-Dones A ‘Disgrace’

Indianapolis Star

http://tucsoncitizen.com/usa-today-sports/2012/04/08/knight-ncaa-one-and-dones-a-disgrace/

CARMEL, Ind. — Bob Knight has never been one to mask his emotions.

Before the 71-year-old former Indiana University basketball coach walked off stage during a speech at The Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday night, he leaned on the podium and looked down for a moment.

“I will tell you this without reservation: In my experiences, everywhere I’ve been, I have never come across fans that were as good to the team, as good to the coaches, as involved in trying to root as hard as they could to help a team to win as we have in Indiana, Knight said, his voice starting to shake. On the day that I die, I will be grateful to have been able to coach with fans like you.”

Knight choked up and the 1, 600 in attendance showed their appreciation for The General with a standing ovation.

Knight, now an ESPN analyst, shared a few touching moments during his almost 90-minute speech. But they were few and far between. For most of the night, Knight took shots — some friendly, some not — at former players, fellow coaches, referees, Kentucky fans and the NCAA.

Knight opened with 20 minutes on Landon Turner, the former Hoosier who was paralyzed in a car accident in 1981. One senior day, Knight — who credited Turner as the reason IU won the ’81 NCAA title — asked all former IU basketball players to stand.

“I turned around and said (to Turner, who was in a wheelchair) ‘When in the hell are you going to stand up?’ ” Knight said. “And he said, ‘Coach, I’m standing in my heart.’

“That may be the neatest moment I ever had in coaching.”

Then Knight dug in.

He hates conference tournaments and the “one-and-dones” who have littered college basketball since 2006.

“I think it’s a disgrace, Knight said of players who attend college for one year to fulfill the NBA’s requirement to be drafted. If I was an NBA general manager, I would never want to take a kid 18, 19 years old, a year out of college. I’d wait until someone else worked two or three years with him to adjust him to the NBA and I’d trade a draft pick.”

In his light olive green pants and tan V-neck sweater, Knight walked the stage regaling fans with stories from Indiana, his time in the military, his football days and how he got into coaching.

Knight didn’t shy away from using the two words that caused a firestorm during the last couple of months, especially during the recent NCAA tournament: Indiana and Kentucky.

Knight caught flack for using “that team from the SEC” in place of “Kentucky” all season — “I’ve been doing that for years, so it really didn’t bother me.” — even omitting the Wildcats from his five best teams throughout the season, but he began referring to the school while on ESPN last month.

“Kentucky managed to get irritated over that because I mentioned them as the SEC team rather than Kentucky, Knight said. Well, they might not have known that Kentucky was in the SEC. I thought that was always a possibility with them.”

Knight Calls One-And-Dones A ‘Disgrace’

Indianapolis Star

http://tucsoncitizen.com/usa-today-sports/2012/04/08/knight-ncaa-one-and-dones-a-disgrace/

CARMEL, Ind. — Bob Knight has never been one to mask his emotions.

Before the 71-year-old former Indiana University basketball coach walked off stage during a speech at The Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday night, he leaned on the podium and looked down for a moment.

“I will tell you this without reservation: In my experiences, everywhere I’ve been, I have never come across fans that were as good to the team, as good to the coaches, as involved in trying to root as hard as they could to help a team to win as we have in Indiana, Knight said, his voice starting to shake. On the day that I die, I will be grateful to have been able to coach with fans like you.”

Knight choked up and the 1, 600 in attendance showed their appreciation for The General with a standing ovation.

Knight, now an ESPN analyst, shared a few touching moments during his almost 90-minute speech. But they were few and far between. For most of the night, Knight took shots — some friendly, some not — at former players, fellow coaches, referees, Kentucky fans and the NCAA.

Knight opened with 20 minutes on Landon Turner, the former Hoosier who was paralyzed in a car accident in 1981. One senior day, Knight — who credited Turner as the reason IU won the ’81 NCAA title — asked all former IU basketball players to stand.

“I turned around and said (to Turner, who was in a wheelchair) ‘When in the hell are you going to stand up?’ ” Knight said. “And he said, ‘Coach, I’m standing in my heart.’

“That may be the neatest moment I ever had in coaching.”

Then Knight dug in.

He hates conference tournaments and the “one-and-dones” who have littered college basketball since 2006.

“I think it’s a disgrace, Knight said of players who attend college for one year to fulfill the NBA’s requirement to be drafted. If I was an NBA general manager, I would never want to take a kid 18, 19 years old, a year out of college. I’d wait until someone else worked two or three years with him to adjust him to the NBA and I’d trade a draft pick.”

In his light olive green pants and tan V-neck sweater, Knight walked the stage regaling fans with stories from Indiana, his time in the military, his football days and how he got into coaching.

Knight didn’t shy away from using the two words that caused a firestorm during the last couple of months, especially during the recent NCAA tournament: Indiana and Kentucky.

Knight caught flack for using “that team from the SEC” in place of “Kentucky” all season — “I’ve been doing that for years, so it really didn’t bother me.” — even omitting the Wildcats from his five best teams throughout the season, but he began referring to the school while on ESPN last month.

“Kentucky managed to get irritated over that because I mentioned them as the SEC team rather than Kentucky, Knight said. Well, they might not have known that Kentucky was in the SEC. I thought that was always a possibility with them.”






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