Bobby “The General” Knight has been a lot of things for college basketball. A visionary, a troublemaker, and a champion among others. All of his past actions aside, I’ve usually found myself agreeing with him when he opens his mouth about the sport he loves. Last night is no exception.
During a fundraiser for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame on Thursday, Knight got into the current state of college basketball and one particular reason why he’s glad he’s not coaching anymore. The General mentioned a lack of integrity in the game today. Of course, like any well practiced public speaker he cited examples for his thesis. His exact quote was:
“We’ve gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking, and that’s why I’m glad I’m not coaching,” he said. “You see we’ve got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation, and he’s still coaching. I really don’t understand that.”
It doesn’t take much detective work to realize he’s talking about John Calipari(only took me 20 minutes and 31 wiki pages). This is Cal’s first year at Kentucky after stints with UMass and Memphis. He’s enjoyed considerable success at both prior schools reaching the final four with each. Unfortunately he’s also enjoyed considerable scrutiny for his actions and has never officially been to the final four with either school as those appearances have been taken away by the NCAA. Each school was also put on probation the year after he bolted for a better(higher paying) job. Convenient for him, not so convenient for the programs and fans that trusted him.
I’m sure Kentucky fans will come out and back up their stand up coach, just like UMass and Memphis fans did while he was still there. However, ask any of those fans now what they think of him and you may get a different reaction. Kentucky fans will surely point to the fact it was the school that was sanctioned by the NCAA and Cal has never been named. One thing I do ask is for us all to take a step back and use our common sense just like Coach Knight has, Calipari is no angel. Also, Coach Knight has done both good and bad for the game of college basketball, but I think we can all agree he was right on with his speech last night. There is a lack of integrity and it’s hard to blame the coach that continues to cheat and never get in trouble, you have to look higher up at the NCAA that allows it to continue. Although now that Cal is at one of the huge cash cows for basketball, it’s hard to imagine the NCAA will ever do anything about it.