Interscholastic athletics on Kaua’i-some of the purest sports-for-fun anywhere
to be found-is a long way from Indiana University men’s basketball in
Bloomington, Ind., both in scope and geography. Then again, there is a
connection. The adult leaders of the respective programs are role models, and
thank goodness there isn’t one here like ex-Indiana coach Bob
“Newly fired” are two that have a nice ring to them, but many of
the best words to describe Knight can’t be printed in a family newspaper or
uttered in polite conversation. Suffice to say he is brutish, boorish and
…well, anyone who’s heard news reports about his antics can fill in the
In plain public view at his team’s games and in team
practices and other less public settings, Knight has offended the standards of
sportsmanship and decency with temper tantrums and borderline physical
aggression. Growing public resentment of his actions landed him earlier this
year in a form of no-tolerance probation meted out by his university’s highest
officials. It was a brilliant move by them at the time: Let Knight-who has his
staunch supporters, including University of Hawai’i coach Riley Wallace-bozo
himself out of a once glorified career with an additional act of stupidity,
rather than fire him and risk retribution from fans who believed-as many still
do-that he deserves chance after chance.
Last week, he ran out of chances.
A student claimed Knight grabbed him and cursed him for reportedly not showing
the coach proper respect in a casual encounter on the Indiana campus. An
investigation by the university concluded Knight violated his administrative
probation. For that, past transgressions and other more recent alleged
exhibitions of his arrogance, Knight was canned Sunday.
The world’s sports
community will be a better place without Knight occupying a prominent place in
it. There are other adult authority figures in athletics who behave like
Knight. Perhaps now they will realize that even an icon like him (in their
eyes) is not above society’s rules of civility.