The Bob Knight saga has more legs than an Ethan Allen warehouse.
Last week alone Indiana English professor Murray Sperber,
Knight's most vocal critic on the Bloomington campus, went on a
leave of absence after receiving death threats stemming from his
negative remarks about the Hoosiers' basketball coach.
Meanwhile, the school cleared Knight of the charge that he had
punched a former player, not identified but believed to have
been Matt Nover, during halftime of a 1990 game.
Good Knight or Knightmare? Chances are that you already have an
opinion on him, but do you have a zero-tolerance policy for a
contrary view? If not, check out two Web sites that are at
opposite ends of the spectrum: coachbobknight.com, which is
Knight's snazzily designed official site, and the cruder-looking
location members.aol.com/rmkgeneral, which bills itself as "The
Dark Side of Bobby Knight." Some comparisons:
--Hands-on coach. The home page of the official site has a photo
of Knight laying his right hand upon the shoulder of his
Wisconsin counterpart, Dick Bennett. One assumes that the two
red-sweatered gurus are sharing a congenial word or two. The
Dark Side site provides a link to www.cnnsi.com, on which you
can view the tape of Knight choking player Neil Reed during a
practice in 1997.
--Video. The official site has a brief snippet of a Knight chalk
talk (topic: creating off the dribble). The Dark Side has grainy
footage of the notorious 1985 chair-throwing incident.
--The record. The official site, unsurprisingly, devotes copious
space to his accomplishments. "Knight has proven over and over
again that he is the finest basketball coach in America," it
declares, and lauds what it claims to be his 96% graduation rate
among players who have completed their basketball eligibility.
The Dark Side has different stats, such as a partial list of
players who have transferred from Indiana during the Knight era.
A more entertaining read is the chronology, dating back to 1975,
of Knight's aberrant behavior. "Thanks to the coach's apparent
lack of self-control," says the Dark Side, "this page is
permanently under construction!"
--Language. Rate one G, the other R. The official site is as
clean as the Hoosiers' record with the NCAA Infractions
Committee during Knight's 29 seasons. The Dark Side isn't for
the easily offended. An audio link catches Knight, circa
mid-1990s, in a full-throated screed launched at his players, in
which he drops F-bombs with Glengarry Glen Ross frequency: 16 in
--Coaching philosophy. Official site: "Victory favors the team
that makes the fewest mistakes." Dark Side: "I'm not here to get
my ass whipped!"
The official site, however, isn't totally devoid of humor. In
the "Interactive Corner," visitors are invited to play a game of
Indiana basketball trivia. "Pick the correct answer and make
coach happy," it instructs. "Pick the wrong one and receive,
well, a pep talk."
PICKS TO CLICK
Beginning on Monday, follow the action from the All England Lawn
Tennis and Croquet Club in real time with this link off the
official tournament site. Features include Radio Wimbledon and
the Wimbledon Channel, with interviews in streaming video. You
can also get creative with SlamCam, which allows you to select
shots from five cameras. (Bring your own strawberries and cream.)
portraits of the embattled Indiana coach.