When you first saw the news about Bobby Knight's resignation, your first response was "What did he do this time?", wasn't it? You may not have said it out loud, but that's exactly what you were thinking. I certainly was. It's a natural reaction.
Unapologetic most of the time, foul-mouthed, and volatile, whether he was throwing a chair across a court in 1985 or being accused of shooting too near someone's house, Knight is a walking contradiction. How else can you explain a guy that could produce the sound bites in the video shown below while being known for running clean programs and insisting upon graduating his players?
Here's a man who was fired by Indiana University in 2001 for "a pattern of unacceptable behavior", the same university who hired Kelvin Sampson away from Oklahoma after he'd been found guilty and punished for NCAA violations. So much for high standards.
Granted Knight could take things pretty far, but if you're one of those people who hate him what do you really hate him for? It is because he's an uncompromising son of a bitch in a world where everything is a compromise? Or it is because he was really really good at what he did while you wanted him to go crawl off into the tar pit with the other dinosaurs?
I love Bobby Knight, I do. I loved to hate him when his Hoosiers came up against the Minnesota Gophers (back when the Gophers played decent basketball and were a hot ticket here in the Twin Cities). I love to defend him against people who think that coaches are supposed to be lovable teddy-bear men that coddle and stroke the egos of poor, defenseless little boys playing basketball while simultaneously complaining that most athletes act like they own the world.
Knight stated he's resigned because he is tired and the time is right for his son Pat Knight to take over the Texas Tech program. It's a fair statement. Perhaps he finally recognized that the world has passed him by, that today's young players aren't willing to work hard enough to meet his standards and that it was time to go before he became more of a caricature than he already is.
God bless you, Coach Knight and thanks for all the memories. It's time for the teddy-bear men to take over.