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.