April 2nd, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

He was suspended and fined in December. Also, this: "In addition to Rice's physical actions seen in the practices, Rice calls Rutgers players "fa--ots," "mother----ers," "pu--ies," "sissy b-tches," and "c----," among other epithets." --


April 2nd, 2013 at 3:49 PM ^

Holy shit. That's not tough love anymore, that's taking your job as a power trip. Guy ought to get fired for sure. Honestly, I'm not sure how they could have seen all of that and just suspended him privately. Could that really have done anything?


April 2nd, 2013 at 6:38 PM ^

Woody punched an opposing player.

I don't really see why that should be an essential difference, assault is assault, but the "it's just tough love" arguments from the people that think this was OK don't apply at all when you go after players on the other team.


April 2nd, 2013 at 7:40 PM ^

I actually have not heard that. A Knight disciple in many ways, yes, but not in terms of the negative stuff that people usually associate with Knight (which, as a poster below points out, is sometimes inaccurate and even misleading).

I've actually attended a Duke practice, one that was not open to the public, and the Coach K that I saw was nothing like the negative stereotype of Knight or this Rutgers joke. Actually the most surprising thing to me was how little Coach K said and did. The practice was almost machine-like. Everyone knew where to go, what to do, how long to do it, where to go next. I walked out with kind of a "whoa scary efficient" feeling more than anything else.


April 2nd, 2013 at 5:51 PM ^

Nearly twenty years later he grabbed an IU student hard by the arm, which was the action that led to his firing. Please keep your stories straight!

Bob Knight treated many reporters with contempt, and in return most couldn't stand him. They reported things that other coaches routinely got away with (profanity, rants, etc). Much of Knight's bad reputation is well-deserved, but it's important to understand that that reputation is also based on what you hear from the media. He was arrogant, articulate, profane, single-minded, and prone to anger, though a lot of the stuff he did was quite calculated.

His coaching style was direct and could be very negative. In that, Knight was really no different in that respect than most coaches of that generation. Bo Schembechler was a longtime friend of Knight. Canham was a longtime friend of Knight. They surely understood a lot about his coaching approaches. The recruits and their families understood what they were getting into when they signed up to play for Indiana. Knight was very honest.

Knight's teams at Indiana won a ton of games, and his teams often performed far better than the sum of their parts. He ran a clean program that graduated kids at a fantastic rate, kids who went on to successful careers in and out of basketball. Off the court, Knight was heavily involved in charity work and regularly visited hospitals around the state. Abusive bully and generous with his time and money, that's Bob Knight.

By the mid to late 90's, there was a sense that he was slowing down as a recruiter and he had a couple of disastrous classes. Some felt his methods weren't changing with the times - certainly I had that sense. Knight's arrogance and obsession with winning must have made those mediocre seasons especially frustrating. Poor seasons also eroded the tolerance Hoosier fans had for his outbursts. I was upset when he was fired, even though I was tired of his antics. I've gotten over it years ago, and I'm sorry that he won't reconcile with IU.

As an IU alum from the glory years, I get why people couldn't stand him, but I also really enjoyed watching Knight's teams develop, and I enjoyed the reflected arrogance - mostly he was hated because his teams were better - and better coached - than most teams he faced. I always thought there were strong parallels between IU basketball and Michigan football.

What's weird about the Rutgers video is how dated it seems. Why would a kid in the 21st century put up with that - especially for a losing program like Rutgers? I have to add that Knight's rants were not much like that. His profanity specialized in the scatalogical. As far as I know he avoided abusive female or gay terms - very progressive in a sense, that Bob Knight.

M Fanfare

April 2nd, 2013 at 3:55 PM ^

He has all the power. If they throw a punch at him, there goes their scholarship. And if that scholarship gets taken away and the kind tries to transfer, the coach can start making phone calls about how the kid is a bad teammate and thus sabotage any chance he has of landing at an equivalent place.


April 2nd, 2013 at 3:52 PM ^

If people think he should get fired, that's fine, but I didn't think that most of what was in that video was all that bad. And I assume that video included the worst stuff he did.


April 2nd, 2013 at 3:55 PM ^

What? In what way can this possibly be condoned? He's obviously using his position of power to abuse his own players. It obviously hasn't translated to wins on the court. Who will possibly allow their child to go play for this guy now?

Not only should he be fired for being abusive, he should be fired for practical reasons. No one will want to play for him, and he isn't a good coach to start with. What if a Michigan coach was caught on camera doing this? I would be ashamed.


April 2nd, 2013 at 4:02 PM ^

I won't argue with firing him for basketball reasons. And I haven't followed this story so if there is other stuff not in the video, I don't know about it, but I don't think it was that bad. When I played basketball or football, my coach would grab my jersey and above me to where I was supposed to be if I was in the wrong place.

The throwing of the basketball is a little much, but outside of the head shot none of those would hurt, and remember that most of these dudes are huge.

I'm not taking a stand in his defense or anything, I'm just giving my opinion of the video and I didn't think it was that terrible.


April 2nd, 2013 at 4:11 PM ^

Dude, he is a college basketball coach in charge of coaching student athletes. You can't throw a basketball at a player's head - not even once. That shit is unacceptable and when taken in the context of the rest of the footage paints a pretty shitty picture of what kind of coach and person he is.


April 2nd, 2013 at 4:13 PM ^

I don't think in the eyes of the law, or common sense for that matter, "it didn't physically hurt the guy" is an argument that hold up very well.  I played a lot of sports and have dealt with lot of coaching styles, from pathetically passive to extremely aggressive (good ol'  Michigan high school football coaching legend Chuck Lori).  I've seen coaches put their hands on players in the heat of competition.  It's always a shock when it happens, but in most situations (which a few and far between), it's a one off occurrence that just happens and is clearly not done with malintent.

To do what that man did so many times on that film and clearly was done with utter disregard for the kids he's trying to turn into young men is appalling and does absolutely require swift and harsh punishment.  You forget, being a coach on any non pro level is not purely about results on the court.  This coach is setting a horrible example to his players for how a grown man should behave and is an embarrassment to his school. 


April 2nd, 2013 at 4:15 PM ^

I don't condone his behavior.  But hell, I had a number of coaches who did just this.  Cussed the entire practice, grabbed you by the shirt/jersey, threw a ball at you, belittled you.  Anyone who is saying this is horrible has never played a contact sport.  Had a coach make us run at halftime once until someone puked.  Coaches scream, coaches throw stuff, coaches act like asses, so either deal with it or dont play.  The only reason this story makes national news is because he coaches for a large university and has players that think they deserve special treatment.  The John Beiein way is always better.


April 2nd, 2013 at 4:28 PM ^

His players don't want special treatment, they want to be treated like human beings, not dogs or cattle.

Your line of thinking is archaic and silly. Because it happened for years means its ok. nope.

His verbal abuse was worse than the physical IMO. Shows a lack of maturity for some supposed to be helping kids become grown men. Lack of intellect as well. Some of these kids are getting their first exposure to quality coaching. And some I'm sure didn't have father figures growing up. And Rice is totally forgetting about the players when he is acting like this.


April 2nd, 2013 at 5:33 PM ^

I've played a lot of sports and this is pretty weird stuff. I've had coaches yell and scream at me and even kick a ball or two at players. If you can't deal with verbal abuse, don't play sports, but this physical stuff is crossing the line. Directly kicking a player or pushing/punching at them is grounds for a good old fashioned ass whooping.


April 2nd, 2013 at 5:49 PM ^

I played a contact sport.  I think it's horrible.

Part of what I love about Beilein and Hoke is they seem to be so consistent in their ability to control themselves and see the bigger picture of life.  And I love that their aim is to raise up not just athletes, but quality men, husbands, fathers.  Sometimes that means being firm and getting in people's faces.  But it is clear this dude is not in control of himself.  Glad the student athletes at Michigan have better role models to be shaped by.  

MI Expat NY

April 2nd, 2013 at 4:56 PM ^

I thought the physical stuff, with the exception of the ball throwing wasn't that bad.  Maybe the time when he put a forearm in a guys chest and walked him backwards 10 or 15 feet, but other than that, I don't think it was out of bounds.  Throwing the ball on the other hand was over the top, even when he was simply firing the ball at the guys feet.  Throwing the ball at the guys head was a fireable offense in and of itself. 

Also, I don't think there's any place in college athletics (or anywhere for that matter) for homophobic slurs.  Just like I don't think there's any place for racial slurs.  The rest of the cursing and yelling, fine, a lot of respected coaches could be filmed saying the same things.  But saying what he did crossed a line.