Posted: Mar 15, 2011 10:52 PM by Brent Carney
Bob Knight rarely minces words. In 2009 college basketball's all-time wins leader pointed the finger at John Calipari while bemoaning the lack of integrity in big time college basketball.
"We've got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and he's still coaching. I really don't understand that," Knight said while speaking at a ceremony for the Indiana Basketball Hall Of Fame.
The General is making the media rounds this week promoting ontheline.com, a website that educates men and women on prostate cancer. As part of the promotion, he was available for interview to local television stations. LEX18 asked Knight what he thought of Calipari.
"I think one of the things that John does that is really important is he coaches hard. He coaches to make kids play hard. He coaches to make kids give him everything they've got at both ends of the floor and that's why his teams, among other reasons, have been difficult to play against," Knight said.
Knight may be choosing his words with more tact this time. After all, promoting an educational website is different than entertaining a room of fans gathered at a banquet.
It's possible that Knight has a level of professional respect for Calipari the coach. Even Knight's detractors will concede that he has a terrific basketball mind.
...Or maybe he's just choosing his words more carefully this time.
Knight did not hold back when discussing other - albeit less personal - topics. For instance, he can't stand the NCAA's rule about one-and-done players.
"I think it's the worst thing that's happened in college basketball," he said.
"I think on the night of (NCAA Tournament) selection, every university team selected must send in an eligibility roster signed by the president, not by the coach or athletic director, verifying that these kids all have been bona fide students during the second semester."
That would ensure that players who already know they're bound for the NBA after the season continue to attend classes while the NCAA Tournament is taking place.
Long time college basketball analyst and commentator Billy Packer was beside Knight during the interview. Like Knight, Packer is demonstrative and often controversial. And like Knight, he loathes the one-and-done rule.
But he doesn't blame Calipari for excelling within what he believes is a flawed system.
John has embraced the system as opposed to fighting the system and probably has done it better than anybody in the country," Packer said.
"Bob and I are on the same track in regard to the one-and-done situation...You can't fault John of in effect embracing it and handling it extremely well."