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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Reflecting on Bob Knight's Career

by Roger Metzger

Pastor Ed --

Can't pass on the opportunity to comment about Coach Knight, tho what I say will probably be a lightning rod. I first met Coach when I was a greenhorn sports editor at Columbia City, IN.

Knight was at West Point and made an annual spring scouting tour visit with the outstanding coach we had there because Knight respected him and his advice about the best players in the area. The CC coach introduced me in flattering terms and Knight greeted me warmly and with a characteristic comment for the media: "I always wanted to shake hands with an outstanding sportswriter."

Our CC coach told me afterward to keep an eye on Mr. Knight because he was "going places."

That set me to checking and Knight's team was at the top, defensively, in the nation. And soon he came to IU, where I followed him closely through the years, as I have at Texas Tech.I've always thought the people who played four years for him were in the best position to analyze him. And the great majority of them are grateful for what he taught them about basketball and about life ... many credit him for their career success.

His coaching record speaks for itself, tho many sports commentators dwell even today on his public mistakes. One ESPN expert even accused him of "bailing out on his team" when those closest to the program say that wasn't the case.

As a 50-year journalist, I can't help but wonder how those who are most critical of Coach even in retirement would be willing to put their lifelong conduct up for public scrutiny and condemnation.But I leave the fault-finding to them and join Pastor Ed in thanking Coach Knight for many great memories and outstanding contributions to the game of basketball.

Note from Cyber Pastor: Roger Metzger is a good friend and will be the newest regular contributor to the Do The Right Thing team! I will have more on Roger later in the week, and since it's still Tuesday, this is not the major announcement for Wednesday - but it will be big time news as you will get to know and appreciate Roger like I do. By the way, Roger is also a PPT Ambassador and that's him shaking my hand in the picture above.