Bob Knight's "Integrity"

AustinCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2009

Actions speak louder than words, and somewhere between choking his own player, playing down choking his own player, hurling his chair across a court, and recently calling out Kentucky coach John Calipari about “integrity,” Bob Knight's actions have drowned out his words.

He won’t acknowledge his own failures, but he’s the first to wag a finger at someone else. Knight creates his own code of ethics and fails to see the reality of his own actions.

Everyone is aware of his infamous actions of choking a player and throwing a chair, so let’s look at his other acts of “integrity.”

Let’s start in 1987 when he banged his fist against the scorers table after receiving a technical foul against LSU. That only forced the NCAA to fine Indiana University $10,000. Knight also received a reprimand.

Knight's integrity blossomed in 1988 during an interview with NBC’s Connie Chung, who asked him how he handled stress.

Knight replied, “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.” That seems like a logical answer, right? Barring that it was totally off topic and highly inappropriate, sure.

Knight showed his humble nature in 1991, when he asked not to be renominated to the Basketball Hall of Fame. He called the voters’ rejection of him in 1987 “a slap in the face.”

In 1994, he head butted Sherron Wilkerson and then said it was “unintentional.” He “unintentionally” head butted someone. Fancy that.

Knight also showed integrity the next year, when he was once again reprimanded and fined $30,000 after an outburst at an NCAA news conference. This is just white noise at this point.

In 1999, Bob Knight called Ted Valentine’s officiating “the greatest travesty” he had seen in his career. After scolding Valentine during a game against Illinois, Knight received three technical fouls and was fined $10,000 by the Big Ten.


In 2004, Knight got in a verbal fight with Texas Tech Chancellor Dr. David Smith at a grocery store. A public out burst from Knight? Rare. At first, Knight took the blame. Then he said he didn’t start it. What is this? Third grade homeroom?

These are just a few incidents he’s had. I could write a ten-page paper on this guy’s wrongdoings, but I don’t think he’s worth it.

Integrity? Knight shouldn’t go around saying big words he doesn’t know the meaning of. So maybe he can ask Calipari what integrity means. Better yet, I’m sure 24,000 Kentucky Wildcats fans will inform him when he and his ESPN College Gameday crew visit Rupp Arena on Feb. 13.

During his speech, Knight said something I think we can all agree on: “We’ve gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that’s why I’m glad I’m not coaching.”

Yes, Bob, we’re all glad you’re not coaching.