Hating |hat-ing| [heyt-een]; 1. to dislike something or someone for personal or subjective reasons; 2. to create trouble, clamor or discord in order to disparage something in an attempt to bring it down
A lot of you may have seen Bob Knight pop one of his players on the chin, back on November 13th. The incident was blown up by the media and every sports media outlet with a pulse led their publication or broadcast with something commenting on Bob Knight’s action on that particular night.
Afterall, he did not do anything that hasn’t been done before, by almost every coach, at almost every university in almost every physical sport that there is in the NCAA. I was a collegiate football player and saw plenty of coaches get physical with players in college. I also played my high school ball in Texas, and if you’ve ever seen an episode of Friday Night Lights, than you know the severity of football in my home state. To say that I saw several player-coach confrontations go sour would be to understate it.
So when I saw Bobby Knight hit his Texas Tech Basketball player in the chin, it did not resonate with me until I watched an episode of ESPN’s Sportscenter. Prior to that, I had watched CNN for quite a while and saw no mentioning of the event. So when I finally turned to Sportscenter and saw that this story was leading the show and almost every program thereafter, I asked myself, “Is this really news?”
Granted, I would never condone a coach putting his hands on a player- at least not in a violent manner. What Bob Knight did was inappropriate, but it wasn’t wrong. To say what he did was wrong, is to say that Jay Walking is wrong. Yeah, it’s against the law and it’s preferable that you don’t do it, but if it doesn’t hurt anybody than it really is not a big deal. And fact of the matter is, the kid who Knight struck said he thought nothing of the hit, his parents thought nothing of the hit, and the Athletics Director at least is not so overblown by Knight’s actions to reprimand him.
The reason people are blowing this incident out of proportion is due to Knight’s track record. Is it fair to super-analyze this based on his past? Yes. But only in regards to Knight himself, thus we shouldn’t even discuss it unless we’re discussing Knight or maybe his basketball team. Just because he has a poor track record of deviant behavior doesn’t mean he should be headlining all of sports news. When he temporarily removed his best player from the team, it didn’t lead Sportscenter. Whenever he finishes with one of the top graduation rates it doesn’t get mentioned on College Gameday. So why can’t we take this incident in the same regard with which we take every off-court move that Bob Knight makes, which is with little concern?
I’m not defending this particular action by Knight, I’m just questioning why it is when other coaches hit their players, and they don’t undergo the same scrutiny that Knight has. Clearly, there are a lot of people in the media who have a problem with Bob Knight and see it fit to blow all of his “indiscretions” out of proportion.
A lot of people see something in Bob Knight that is bad, and thus his success disturbs them. I understand he made a mistake, but to attack him and question everything he does and is as a man, is nothing but pure, unadulterated, self-serving HATING!