It stands to reason that Bob Knight wouldn’t stay quiet. He never could. But ripping the most respected college basketball coach in history?
Let’s just say nobody except Knight would do it.
ESPN reports that Knight believes former UCLA coach John Wooden allowed booster Sam Gilbert to break recruiting rules. In an “Undeniable with Joe Buck” interview on Audience, Knight said, “I have a lot of respect for Wooden as a coach, how he coached. He was a good coach.”
“But from then on,” Knight continued, “and I don't mind saying it, I don't respect Wooden, because he allowed Sam Gilbert to do whatever it took to recruit kids.
"And one time he told me, he said, 'I just didn't know how to deal with Sam Gilbert.' And I'm saying to myself, 'I damn sure could have dealt with him.'"
That could be true. At the same time, I’ve never heard accusations of Wooden kicking, slapping or throttling players, tossing folding chairs or berating students, publicists or media members.
Gilbert’s involvement with the program got the Bruins briefly banned from the postseason, but it wasn’t during Wooden’s tenure. Knight was never hit with NCAA violations. I’ll give him that. He apparently ran a clean program. At the same time, how a coach treats players and people matters as much to me as how his recruiting is done.
How about talking about that?