Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
Bobby Knight has retired as coach of the Texas Tech basketball team (“Legendary Knight steps aside,” February 6). Thank God I won’t have to hear about him any more. Being the winningest coach in U.S. college basketball history saved him from his just desserts as an awful human being. The success of Bobby Knight in society demonstrates the pathologically high regard and unjustified position afforded sports and athletic accomplishment in the American mind. Here is a man who ought to have been in jail as a chronic, incurable violent offender, not kept in a position of influence over young men and revered for his work. But his teams kept winning, so he was tolerated. Let’s not forget how Mr. Knight came to Texas Tech in 2001 after being fired from coaching in Indiana after a criminal assault on a student athlete that ought to have landed the man in jail. And, that incident was not exceptional, but the norm for this odious human being with a long history of not just annoying, but criminal behavior on the court and in the locker room.
Sports have no true, lasting value. They are ridiculous. Ultimately, our bodies are not important because they are only vessels that contain our spirits and house our minds, which are our true selves. That’s something to keep in mind in anticipation of the media hype of an Olympic year.
I suggest we let Britney go and incarcerate Bobby for mental evaluation instead. He’s earned it more than she has.
Published on Sunday, February 10, 2008 as “Coach is gone and good riddance.”
This was edited so that some the memorable Zing! of my original letter was removed. But the gist of it remained intact. Coach Knight was clearly a criminal assaulter of his players. Maybe many excuse him for being tough. But since my regard for organized, competitive team sports is low to begin with I have little or no tolerance for such an excuse.
The Saturday, July 28, 2012 Japan Times story “Player involved in Knight row dies” reminds us of the whole sordid tale of coach Knight and the events that so greatly tarnished his reputation in college sports. The article reported the death of 36-year-old former Indianabasketball player Neil Reed who, in March 2000 accused his former coach of choking him during a practice in 1997. Videotape was produced to support the allegation, thus painting Bob Knight as a violent criminal.