Take back the Knight

Bob Knight criticized for his choice of words

By Courtnie Martin, Sports Reporter

The NCAA has been a cash cow since its inception, and this year’s March Madness was no different. Warren Buffett’s billion-dollar challenge to the contender with a perfect bracket sparked additional viewers this year as well. With all the money flying around though, there was more to be discussed than just basketball.

With more viewers tuning in, many began to take a closer look at the big-name athletes playing in the tournament. Players like Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins have been questioned on their mental and physical preparedness for the NBA. Coming out of high school, the two were some of the biggest names since LeBron James. After the duo didn’t make it anywhere in the tournament, the media began to wonder about their abilities to successfully contribute in the NBA at such a young age.

Former famed Hoosiers coach Bob Knight ignited a media frenzy, when he used a less than suitable term to describe the NBA and NCAA’s relationship. He was quoted on ESPN’s radio show Mike and Mike, saying, “It’s as though [the NBA have] raped college basketball.”

Pause. Let’s talk about what he meant exactly.

When a player goes into the NBA at a young age, it doesn’t allow them to develop fully, mentally or athletically. Both Parker and Wiggins were expected to be huge prospects, and they blew it at the biggest tournament of their collegiate careers. Would it be safe to assume it was just a bad night, or was it the competition catching up to them—this is what Knight was trying to express when he made the outlandish comment.

Knight’s full quote reads as: “If I were involved with the NBA I wouldn’t want a 19-year-old or a 20-year-old kid to bring into all the travel and all the problems that exist in the NBA. I would want a much more mature kid. I would want a kid that maybe I’ve been watching on another team and now he’s 21, 22 years old instead of 18 or 19, and I might trade for that kid. On top of it all, the NBA does a tremendous, gigantic disservice to college basketball. It’s as though they’ve raped college basketball in my opinion.”

Now everyone is pointing fingers over his comment. Likely, it is because this isn’t the first time he’s used the term to prove a point. In the late ‘80s, he had also been quoted when asked how to handle stress, saying that, “I think that if rape is inevitable— just relax and enjoy it.” His comment was completely inappropriate, and you could certainly understand why some heads would turn after finding out he slipped another time.

Although his intentions behind the comment were seemingly clear, his word choice was woefully poor. He could have made a strong statement, but instead his comment is disgusting and very disappointing.