Knight calls state of recruiting a “cesspool beyond belief”

  • 01/28/2012 11:52 am in

On Saturday morning’s edition of College Gameday from Tucson, Arizona, a conversation about the NCAA’s current graduate transfer rule yielded some interesting comments from former IU coach Bob Knight.

Knight was asked by host Rece Davis for his opinion on the current rule that allows student athletes that have graduated to transfer to another program without sitting out a season.

The caveat of that rule, of course, is that the school the athlete is transferring to must have a graduate program not available at his current school.

Here’s what Knight had to say on that rule as well as his broader comments on the overall state of recuiting:

“I think there are so many things wrong with recruiting in college basketball today. The summer people that are involved. The agents that are involved. The coaches that are involved with agents and summer people. Now, what’s going to happen when everybody starts recruiting that kid that has finished his degree? And what’s going to happen when people offer this kid A, B or C and somebody else offers a kid D. I don’t agree with it at all.”

“I don’t think you have anything wrong with it [the graduate transfer rule] until it comes down to the point where are a lot of people are recruiting that kid and then they’re bidding for that kid. That’s something that I think would come up very, very quickly in that whole situation.”


“I don’t have any problem with the kids transferring [and what Hubert Davis has talked about]. But I have a real problem with the way recruiting has gone in college today. I mean let’s face it, you’ve got college coaches that are paying summer coaches. You’ve got agents out there that have a deal with a college to send a kid to that particular school. That’s what I think has happened with college recruiting. I think it’s a cesspool beyond belief today. And I just wouldn’t want to see something else added to it.”

“I think you’ve got to give severe penalties. You they talk about they never want to give out the death penalty. But I think severe penalties for recruiting violations would be almost the only way that you could curb it.”

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  • jahhoosier

    Today’s was an especially interesting Gameday due to a couple of conversations about some general challenges facing college basketball. One was the conversation you mentioned above, the other was the conversation about the poor quality of game play on the offensive end of the floor.

    I’m with Coach.

    OF COURSE an adult college graduate should be able to choose the graduate school which would best serve his or her future. The coaches’ warnings about on-campus recruitment as a justification to prevent graduate transfers is exactly like a kid pleading with his mother not to buy any cookies at the grocery store because he cannot help himself from putting his hand in the cookie jar. The problem is the kid, not the cookie. Realizing that the coaches’ honesty about their lack of honor is well-placed, however, how about two rules?

    1) Recruitment of an enrolled NCAA student-athlete is not allowed.

    2) Recruitment and observation of a high school prospect via the means of a summer basketball program is not allowed.

    I don’t know. Maybe I don’t get it and simplicity is simply not feasible in the governance of collegiate athletics. But it sure seems to me like those two rules, if associated with real penalties, would solve a large majority of the problems Coach Knight describes and that EVERYONE KNOWS is wrong.

    (Plus, with respect to summer basketball, there would be the added benefit of eliminating a source of so many of the problems with offense that were described in the other Gameday conversation about overall problems affecting the game.)

  • hoosierbred

    Like you,  I agree with Coach Knight. You make some excellent points, including the two rules ideas. Having severe penalties for violation of those rules would be very crucial. Unfortunately, because of politics and money, I fear the NCAA doesn’t have the integrity nor the manhood to create and enforce those rules. But we can always hope, can’t we? Miracles do happen every now and then.

  • superhoops

    Once again, babbling Bob babbling on another topic just to try to keep him relevant in college basketball and garner some attention.  Obviously it worked as we now have yet another article about a former IU coach that has been gone from our institution for over a decade.  If he feels so strongly about it, he should sit down with the NCAA and give them his opinion.  They may listen, but then again maybe not since he has alienated so many people. 

  • superhoops

    Once again, babbling Bob babbling on another topic just to try to keep him relevant in college basketball and garner some attention.  Obviously it worked as we now have yet another article about a former IU coach that has been gone from our institution for over a decade.  If he feels so strongly about it, he should sit down with the NCAA and give them his opinion.  They may listen, but then again maybe not since he has alienated so many people. 

  • Mdwychoff

    After many opportunities over nearly a dozen years, Bob Knight has demonstrated absolutely zero interest in returning to IU, even for events structured to honor players and team accomplishments. I think it’s high time we returned the favor! Let’s start referring to RMK as ‘the former Texas Tech coach’!

  • hoosierdaddy3

    How many Final 4’s does Coach Cal have to forfeit before they come down hard on him?  He makes Sampson look like an angel and he got booted for 5 years!  It is absolutely astonishing how the NCAA can look the other way so often and then bring the hammer down on schools for minor violations.  Sampson was excessive, but texting and calling recruits is nowhere near as bad as the other stuff going on.

  • jahhoosier

    Wow…I’m shocked by the previous two comments. Look, I’m no Bob Knight groupie. I’ve never owned any item with the phrase “Texas Tech” on them. I didn’t purchase any tickets to his recent speeches in the area. I’ve never once prayed for him or to him. Still, that level of bile seems strange to me.

    There are a few perfectly logical reasons why his comments would be worth a blog entry here.

    First, he is highly articulate and thoughtful about the larger issues and challenges confronting college sports in general and college basketball in particular. He has been for some time. And going on several decades now, the media have sought out his opinions about the subject. Whether you agree with them or not, they are almost always worth considering and are often unique.

    Second, he is the architect of the program that we all support. Does Indiana Basketball begin and end with him? No.

    However, given that the last title prior to his hiring was in 1953 and the on-court and off-court health of the program at the point he was hired, there is a somewhat better chance that Indiana basketball would now be on the level of an Oklahoma State as it would be on the level of Duke had Bob Knight never stepped foot in Assembly Hall. The fact that he did, and all the things he did for the university on- and off-the-court merit appreciation and respect.

    As for the present relationship between the program and Coach Knight, or the lack thereof, it would be nice if he could react to the past the way that, say, Lou Holtz has with respect to Notre Dame. However, at the end of the day, the man was fired. Terminated. Very publicly. And in a way that he felt was highly unfair, dishonest, and manipulated. While he is not wholly right about the circumstances of his firing and his level of culpability in it, he is not wholly wrong, either. Add to it that he is a man who was always highly emotional, who takes both favors and slights very personally, who views the world in black-and-white, and that all of these characteristics fueled the competitive fire that is responsible for building up the program to the level we as alumni or fans celebrate.

    Pretend none of the above qualifiers were true, though. That his firing was not so public. That he was not emotional in the way he is. Imagine he was just fired. Now, imagine the jobs you have had that did not end so well. How many times have you been back to the break room or pulled up a chair in the conference room to shoot-the-bull at your old job? How many friendships did you protect in the face of hurt or awkward feelings about the job?

    Like I said, it would be nice if Coach could be like Coach Holtz. It’s the behavior of Lou Holtz that is rare, though, not the behavior of Coach Knight.

    In any event, the original article posting was made because Coach Knight’s thoughts this morning were noteworthy and because Indiana will always be connected to Coach Knight and thankfully so.

  • IU self imposed penalties. The NCAA didn’t bring the hammer down.

  • IU self imposed penalties. The NCAA didn’t bring the hammer down.

  • zeppers

    Bob Knight is a hypocrite how many speeches did he make at his time at IU about analysts and how bad of a profession that is.  The people that made the decision to fire him are not in charge anymore at IU.  In my opinion they should not show his face during the highlights before the game.  He doesn’t deserve the cheers.  I respect and think he was a great coach at his time at IU but he has alienated to many IU fans who supported him even at Texas Tech.

  • ufo33

    Who you callin’ Pops?
    Crash…bang…boom

  • Shime

    Why would you be shocked. He has not done anything but kick sand in our face. It is for that reason I am more confident that they made the right choice firing him. I do not understand the people that are so loyal to him. From what I  see he has no loyalty to us.

  • Shime

    Thank you well said

  • Shime

    Thank you well said

  • mmarsden

    This is not RMK/ The General.  This is some guy named Bob whining.  

  • Guest

    Sure HE felt the firing was unjust. But if you choke a student athlete while working, assault secretaries with potted plants, punch an employee of yours and generally treat your boss with contempt, would you feel like you “deserved” to be fired? The fact he doesn’t shows a lot more about his intelligence than all you described combined.

  • Htatum

    Calipari just plays the game well. Don’t hate on him. The bigger picture is what is wrong with the NCAA. Hate the game, not the player. Until the rules change the problem will remain the same.

  • Bholla43

    total cesspool is right.

  • Samuelcole10

    I just wish that Bob Knight would just come back and be apart of Indiana Basketball. He was fired because he made some really bad choices, and he payed for it. He means to much to the Indiana basketball program to not be apart of it. I don’t know about all the others apart of Hoosier Nation, but I think it would be great if he would come back and show his support for I.U.

  • CBKFan

    Why is John Calipari still coaching? He’s led his last two teams to sanctions on their programs.  If college basketball can’t even get rid of that there’s no hope for fixing recruiting

  • Plane1972

    Look at the spotlight and money his presence has brought back to Kentucky. Pitino had it, but Tubby and Billy G. did not. Anyone else in that position and UK is another IU – a program of former glory but hasn’t been to the mountaintop in a while.

    Kentucky will always be a prize in Nike’s portfolio, which brings star-power to college basketball (hell, LeBron treats UK like its his alma mater). It is also the reason they will avoid severe penalty if/whhen the chickens come home to roost. Kentucky is too valuable to the NCAA brand, when it comes to men’s basketball. They may vacate a Final Four, but they will never receive the death penalty, imo.

  • Old Man

    Bobby Knight is a bitter old man. I can’t believe anyone would listen to his senile comments. Gotta love it when a guy who physically and emotionally abused his players talks about integrity.

  • Old Man

    Bobby Knight is a bitter old man. I can’t believe anyone would listen to his senile comments. Gotta love it when a guy who physically and emotionally abused his players talks about integrity.

  • Jfjjm

    I was never a big fan of Bob Knight when he was coaching but one thing I have always believed about him is that he has principles and integrity and always played the “game” that way. I can’t say the same thing about Calipari and others like him> 

  • Daniels J 13831

    When is Jordan Hulls going to realize in order to win the ball must go through Zeller? He does no seem to be able to get the ball to Zeller, however when Zeller goes out he suddenly starts getting the ball inside .