No doubt by now you’ve heard about Bobby Knight’s return trip to Indiana last night to speak at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, and the lick he got in on Kentucky head honcho John Calipari. Just so we’ll have it in front of us, here’s what the General said:
“We’ve gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that’s why I’m glad I’m not coaching. You see, we’ve got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and he’s still coaching. I really don’t understand that.”
That’s from the ESPN.com report on Knight’s trip to Indianapolis for his speaking appearance. The initial reaction for most people is going to be to question Bob Knight’s definition of integrity. They’ll reel off a laundry list of Knight’s transgressions and try to discredit him in that fashion. They’ll assault his character and call him all kinds of nasty names. Much will be written about the irony of Bob Knight accusing another man of a lack of integrity.
Of greater importance to us, though, is the actual content of what the guy said. Everything you read is going to focus on his slam of Calipari (though he didn’t actually say the name, for some reason), but we think any examination of the statement should start with a much more basic question: is what he said factual? Were things really “cleaner” back in the good ol’ days of Knight’s time of prowling the sideline? And did John Calipari really put two schools on probation?