Bobby Knight, Mike Rice Not So Different: Video Proof
Should Bobby Knight share his thoughts on Mike Rice? As all the basketball world knows, a viral video escaped recently into the wild which documented some of Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice’s most outrageous coaching practices — including pushing, hitting, kicking, and swearing at his players using a colorful variety of Anglo-Saxon phrases we prefer not to repeat here.
We’re not talking about Rice just having a bad day. The footage covers the 2010-2012 season, and ESPN allegedly has “hundreds of hours” showing more of the same.
In December, Rice was suspended for three games and fined $50,000 after Rutgers’ athletic direct Tim Pernetti viewed only 30 minutes of the outrageous video.
It took less than three minutes of YouTube video for the rest of the world to demand that Rice get the axe for his bad behavior. He was fired by Rutgers on Wednesday.
Now, there are growing demands for Bobby Knight to comment on the Mike Rice situation. After all, who’s better qualified to talk about getting fired for abusing players than a guy who got fired for famously choking player Neil Reed?
36-year-old Reed died last year of heart failure, and his family still remembers the pattern of emotional and physical abuse that the one-time star suffered (literally) at Knight’s hands.
As much as we’d all like to see the creepy coach Knight get some payback, the 70-year-old is currently employed as a basketball analyst at ESPN — and other sports media are alleging that makes all the difference.
[Knight] “won’t be saying anything and ESPN is fine with that,” wrote Connor Simpson for The Atlantic Wire.
Or, as a Star-Telegram reporter put it: “What everyone at ESPN fails to mention is that they just don’t want Bobby Knight to dislike them…Most of the things Mike Rice has been fired for Bob Knight did the same.”
Bobby Knight has made the circuits as a motivational speaker in the past, so it isn’t time for him to be all shy now, is it? Tell us, Coach Knight, just how Mike Rice’s behavior motivated players.
But if the cat has your tongue, here’s an alternative suggestion:
Bobby Knight – Mike Rice cage match. Bobby wins by a chair.
— Denis Leary (@denisleary) April 3, 2013
A disturbing but blurry video of the incident where Bobby Knight choked 1997 Indiana Hoosiers player Neil Reed can be found here:
A slightly better video of the bad-tempered Bobby Knight flinging a chair onto the court:
Some of the previous videos of Rutgers Basketball Coach Mike Rice’s unusual style of coaching have been removed, but here’s a NSFW that shows the colorful language and physical abuse including kicking and hitting that the fired coach dished out:
And here’s the New York Times take on it, where they allege that Rutgers fired Rice not for his bad behavior but only because it became public as a result of viral video:
You’ll notice that the NYT can’t resist drawing the comparison to Bobby Knight themselves.
So what’s your take? Should Bobby Knight should comment on Mike Rice?
[Bobby Knight photo courtesy Airman 1st Class Jonathan Steffen and the US Air Force via Wikipedia Commons]