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Opening Arguments

Knight and gray

The General has a point:

Bob Knight criticized the NCAA and called the rule Ohio State football players broke when they sold and traded their personal memorabilia "idiotic."

The former Indiana and Texas Tech basketball coach, and an Ohio State alum, spoke to reporters Monday night before the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Awards ceremony, where he was scheduled to deliver the keynote address.

"I understand what's happened and there was a rule that was violated," Knight said. "But it was an idiotic rule."

Five Ohio State players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, were suspended for the first five games of the upcoming season after it was revealed they traded jerseys, rings, trophies and other items for tattoos.

"I think this NCAA that we're currently involved with is so far out of touch with the integrity of the sport that it's just amazing," Knight said.

The NCCA has gained the reputation of being hard-nosed about picky little stuff while ignoring or missing the point of many of the big things. That's a sure way in any institution to get dervisive reactions when you babble on about the importance of "maintaining integrity."

Knight is catching some grief (see Ben Smith here) for being a black-and-white guy suddenly seeing shades of gray because Ohio State is his alma mater. I think that misinterprets what Knight was saying. He did not say the players who violated the rule should get off without punishment. He said the rule was stupid, which is not the same thing. I think a lot of laws are stupid, but I understand that breaking them will involve punishment and behave accordingly.


Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:04am

As long as universities maintain the fiction of "student-athletes," this sort of thing will continue to happen on a regular basis.
Baseball maintains its own farm team system. It works fine.
Why can't schools that want teams simply hire them? They generate money for the school and they deserve a share. Many quit before graduating, even if they don't go into the pros.
I'd be happy to let the schools require the athletes have at least a high school education. The schools, in return, could offer free classes for credit if the athletes want to get an education, but it shouldn't be required. Kick them out on their 23rd birthday. Fair enough.