The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Knightster calls it quits, leaves lingering legacy

By John Garces/sports editor

After an NCAA record 902 victories, three national championships and one Olympic gold medal, Bob Knight has decided to call it a career.

The legendary and far-too-often controversial coach announced Feb. 4 he would retire from his post at Texas Tech and leave the game behind for good.

The departure itself, though, has raised even more questions about Knight’s integrity as a person.

What in the world was he thinking when he decided to leave in the middle of the basketball season?

Surely, for a coach who preaches to his players never to quit on the team and has chastised those who have transferred from his program for doing as much, this move of quitting with 10 games left in a disappointing season will be questioned.

In the middle of his seventh season in Lubbock, Knight has produced five 20-win seasons in his first six seasons at the helm, a first for the Red Raider basketball program.

Of course, it is the considerable extra baggage he filled in Indiana that led him to the West Texas plains in the first place.

In 29 years at Indiana, he won three national titles, the first of which, in 1976, produced the last undefeated team in the NCAA.

However, he was forcibly removed from that university after the administration and athletic director cited a “pattern of unacceptable behavior.” 

These actions included the rather-infamous tossing of a chair onto the court, as well as repeated verbal and physical bullying of his players.

But despite his suspect behavior as a human being, even his harshest critics can’t deny his positive impact on his players.

Traditionally, his senior classes have always ranked as one of the highest graduating classes in the NCAA’s calendar year.

He also never broke any NCAA allegations on the way to his 902 wins, in a period of time when nearly every college program seems a bit shady.

Still, despite his lack of transgressions as a coach, it’s the public image of the man dubbed “The General” because he began his head-coaching career at Army that once again overshadows his accomplishments.

By quitting on his team in the middle of a 12-8 season, many wonder if he had just been chasing the wins record of 880, originally held by Dean Smith.

Now that he will no longer patrol a college basketball sideline, he should be remembered in a positive light for the good things he preached to his teams, such as going to class.

The positives, however, should not overshadow the bullying tactics that he rode to many of his 902 victories.

Perhaps his lasting legacy will be one of how to and, more importantly, how not to run a basketball program.

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