Will Bob Knight Be Caught Committing an NCAA Violation Now?Posted by nvr1983 on October 19th, 2011
Indiana‘s legendary coach Bob Knight has been a controversial figure for nearly four decades. Media, fans, coaches, opposing players, and even some of his own players have said just about everything you can say about him. One thing that he has never been called before is a cheater. That is until this past Friday.
In a story that was posted on Friday, The Indianapolis Star reported that Bob Knight spoke with two Indiana-based recruits (Jason Smith and Donnell Minton) about how they would fit in well playing for his son Pat Knight at Lamar, the school that they both eventually committed to earlier this month. On the surface, it appears to be an innocent enough interaction and surely would be viewed as a highlight for these two young players who grew up in a state where Bob Knight is college basketball. When you dig a little deeper though it turns out that Bob Knight may have committed a NCAA violation by calling the players, which the NCAA prohibits as NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson states, “telephone calls to prospects can only be made by coaching staff members or those listed in the exceptions” with the exceptions being the university president and academic advisors. As the article notes, this rule was created to prevent celebrities or other well-known people affiliated with schools from directly contacting and attempting to influence recruits. In this case, Knight is the celebrity, which he most certainly is in the college basketball world, who appears to have used his reputation (knowingly or unknowingly) to direct a recruit (or two) to play for his son.
One of the ironic things about the entire incident is that Knight has been an outspoken critic of coaches and programs breaking NCAA rules. While this isn’t the most brazen NCAA violation we have seen if it happened as described it is a pretty clear NCAA violation and both Lamar and Knight should be given some kind of punishment even if it is merely a verbal reprimand. For his part, Pat Knight has issued a statement essentially admitting that a violation had been committed, but attempts to minimize it saying the players would have come to play for him anyway and the NCAA should focus on the big violations:
I didn’t know it was against the law to have your dad say hello to recruits. At least I’m not paying them. The NCAA should look into guys that are paying players and not worry about guys that are doing it the right way. That’s all I’ve got to say about that. Jiminy Christmas. I don’t care if my dad is a celebrity or not. I think it’s (expletive), honestly. The guy is my dad. If he wants to say hello to a recruit, he can. If we get reprimanded, fine. They need to check into guys that are outright cheating instead of nickel-dime stuff like that.
While we appreciate Pat’s comment we are a little more interested in what his father has to say about what happened and what he thinks of the NCAA particularly after it issues its ruling on the matter