Firing Line: Knight Called UTA About Hoops Job

Sources inside the Texas Tech athletic administration and Big 12 office in Dallas confirmed to me today that after basketball coach Pat Knight was fired this morning by Texas Tech, the son of coaching legend Bob Knight placed a phone call to UT-Arlington President James D. Spaniolo to inquire about the head basketball coaching position at the school.

Boise and UTA logo

(Similarly-marked Boise exiting WAC as UTA eyeing entrance? Handy!)

If only the job was vacant.

Current UTA head basketball coach Scott Cross, a former player and assistant coach at the school, has a contract to coach the men’s basketball team through 2013 at $115,000 per season. There is no imminent UTA plan in place to terminate Cross, who is 63-63 overall after recently coaching the team to a 13-16 season. But I’ve been told that could change depending on the availability of quality candidates.

A Texas Tech athletic dept. staffer told me today that Knight, knowing his tenure at the school this season was tenuous at best, had developed an interest in the UT-Arlington job as the season progressed. No word yet if that interest was reciprocated by the UTA President Spaniolo or Athletic Director Pete Carlon.

But why on earth would Knight, freshly fired at a Big 12 school, be interested in such a seemingly low-profile job? Read more…

Knight Abuse Video Gone As Son Drops F-Bombs

Seth Davis of CBS recently noted the stunning hypocrisy of how Texas Tech Athletic Director Gerald Myers has treated his high profile coaches the past four years: “Ironic that the school that fired Mike Leach for alleged player abuse wouldn’t even reprimand Bob Knight for popping a player in the mouth.

Bob Knight Punches Michael Prince

Davis is referencing a 2006 incident featuring Bob Knight “striking” (ESPN’s words, not mine) Texas Tech basketball player Michael Prince in the chin during a game against Gardner Webb.

The blow caused Prince’s head to snap back, but Myers did nothing to reprimand Knight at the time, who said later that he would do it again if placed in the same situation. Myers later said, “Coach Knight did not slap Michael.”

Knight has since left the Tech job, replaced by his son Pat Knight.

I’d love to show you the video of the Knight-Prince incident, but the evidence has mysteriously been pulled off Like Craig James, who helped hasten the termination of football coach Mike Leach at Texas Tech, Knight is now an employee of ESPN. Is it reasonable to think that ESPN might’ve deleted Knight “striking” a player in 2006 because of the Craig James-fueled incident?

Bob Knight Strikes Michael Prince

Regardless, I contacted ESPN public relations earlier today about the Knight video being pulled and have gotten no response. There were also two videos of the the ESPN broadcasted Knight-Prince incident on Youtube recently, but those have since been pulled. One had been up for three years until recently. Coincidence?

On the bright side, at least Bob Knight is gone from Lubbock and Red Raiders fans can now count on a classy coach in Pat Knight.

Pat Knight drops three fbombs at press conference

That is, if you consider dropping three f-bombs at a media press conference in 20 seconds classy - as Knight did on Tuesday night after Texas Tech was blown out by New Mexico. Why do I have a feeling “Coach Knight” won’t be hearing from Myers about his public profanity?

Video is after the jump. Since it isn’t ESPN video, perhaps it won’t get subsequently deleted. (Not that I’m implying in any way that ESPN did that with the Bob Knight video.)

Read more…

Speed Read: Kobe Bryant Scores 61, Owns MSG

So much for the Andrew Bynum injury slowing down the Lakers. All they needed was the return of a black mamba.

Kobe Bryant Back to the Future DeLorean

(After the game, Kobe went back and broke James Naismith’s peach basket with one of his trademark, snake-jumping jams.)

Just a few hours after learning that the team’s young emerging center would be lost to an extended injury again, Kobe Bryant decided to light up Madison Square Garden like a Christmas tree, torching the Knicks’ sloppy defense for an MSG record 61 points in Los Angeles’ latest win.

OK, it was a record for the modern MSG. But regardless of what era of monosodiumglutenate you’re referencing, 61 points is a doozie of a game. The amazing thing is that Bynum’s absence is almost certainly what pushed Bryant over the top. Even Dwayne Wade, watching the mamba’s highlights from Miami’s own Monday night victory (where D-Wade dropped 32 points himself) said you could tell that Bryant was on a very specific mission: He was going to dominate, come hell or high water.

“I’ve never had a night like that,” said Heat guard Dwayne Wade who scored 32 in Miami’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. “You could tell, just watching the highlights, he had a pep in his step and he was on a mission. With Bynum out, he’s going to have to do a little more, and I think he understands that. I mean, 61 points, that’s Kobe — that’s all you can say.”

Oh, and nearby Michael Beasley’s response? “Kobe scored 61?” he asked. “You serious?”

Yes, we’re serious, and the rest of the NBA better be, too, if Bryant keeps this crusade alive for the remainder of Bynum’s absence.

Of course, all the basketball news wasn’t limited to the NBA. Not when Bob Knight’s name is back being bantered about. In the latest installment of the rumor that will not die, Knight is still very interested in becoming the next head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. No one knows if Georgia is interested in him, and at least one Georgia player has already come out with an absolutely tremendous comment about being coached up by Knight, as we pointed out earlier today.

“I’d like to play for Coach Knight — as long as he doesn’t hit me,” freshman forward Trey Thompkins said.

Trey Thompkins, may we be the first to say that you should start working the higher-ups at Comedy Central. You may have a future in stand-up, dude. Let’s hope you do, because if Knight gets the job, you ain’t playing much after that quote.

Still, all this Bobby Knight hype may just be obscuring the truth behind why Knight may be “interested” in alleging interest in UGA: Maybe he’s just trying to distract the mainstream media from the histrionics his son pulled over the weekend.

THE BIG LEAD was the first source we saw shopping the theory, so we’re inclined to give them the credit for it. And you know what? It’s a good one. The last thing the Knight family needs is another member going awol on a ref, and Pat Knight came dangerously close to doing just that on Saturday, running right at one twice and having to be restrained by two separate assistant coaches.

In fact, the incident was downright scary in just how much it looked like his old man’s work. Now, instead of a week full of talking points about how the new Knight is just as bad as the old one, we’re talking about the old one being interested in a job, whether he really is or not. It’s a brilliant game of paternal brinksmanship, and Knight is just the kind of Dad who’s smart enough to pull it off … if he cares that much about his son.

bob knight espn trance
(Admit it: You’d want to get as far away from Dickie V as possible, too.)

Now, there’s no proof that he does care that much about his son, but for the sake of the argument we’re going to buy it. This is too good a conspiracy theory not to indulge.

There was college news from the football arena, too. Apparently Ohio State’s linemen are not taking three-straight BCS losses well after the fact, with former Buckeye Alex Boone going positively nuts while drunk out of his mind Sunday night in California, where he’s allegedly preparing for the NFL Draft.

According to police reports out of Alisa Viejo, Calif., Boone was so uncooperative that he had to be stunned with tasers multiple times while he was already in jail. That’s right, he was in such a drunken belligerent that he was picking fights with cops while already booked.

alex boone mug shot
(The Alex Boone entry to the sad mug shot pantheon.)

It’s a sad story, because Boone was allegedly off the drink after a 2006 DUI incident. He’d talked openly about binge drinking and how he needed to stop it to save his future. Evidently he lost sight of that while out in idyllic Orange County.

For her part, Boone’s mom is out seeking sympathy for her son, and she may need to get some if NFL teams are going to take him seriously.

“(I talked to him) and he’s hurting. He feels terrible that he let so many people down,” Amy Boone said. “What do you do? You tell him you love him and support him and that we’ll go after this (problem) like we need to.”

Right now, Boone feels way too much like the next Andy Katzenmoyer. Unless he’s got a heck of an alibi or great conspiracy theory for his personal Super Bowl party, he may not even get Katzenmoyer’s chance.

Roger Clemens, there’s a man who needs a great conspiracy theory. He better get working on a new one soon, because there’s no evidence that the man has done some needle pushing into his backside.

According to a report in THE WASHINGTON POST, DNA from blood contained in syringes that were supplied to a federal grand jury by Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee, matches Clemens’ own DNA. It’s not quite a murder scene conviction, but it’s going to be awful hard for Clemens to claim that all this blood was McNamee’s way of testing him for suitability to B-12 shots.

Roger Clemens Congressional Hearing

Naturally, Clemens’s defense team is already claiming that the new evidence proves nothing, and only undermines how circumspect anything provided by the prosecution really is.

Rusty Hardin, Clemens’s Houston-based defense attorney, said the DNA tests “won’t matter at all.”

“It will still be evidence fabricated by McNamee,” Hardin said. “I would be dumbfounded if any responsible person ever found this to be reliable or credible evidence in any way.”

Sure, Rusty. And if you believe that a jury will hear the phrase “DNA evidence” and not be somewhat swayed by it, man, do I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. Clemens’s defense may not be sunk yet, but the ship be sinking, and it’s been sinking for a long time. Sooner or later it has to hit the sea floor, and it sure feels like we’re getting close.

  • Speaking of baseball, why, exactly, did the Mets spend $36 million on a pitcher who has a combined record of 26-20 in the National League when they could have spent $3 million more per season to land a guy whose a proven playoff horse? We’re just asking.
  • From the same source: Adam Dunn is the new Harmon Killebrew … or Reggie Jackson? Sheesh, sign us up!
  • Yes, it’s only February, but we really like hardball. And the Dodgers really like Manny Ramirez. In fact, GM Ned Colletti likes him $25 million per year much. Our calculations say that’s a lot.
  • If you thought porn was the only sex peddled during the Super Bowl, evidently you weren’t watching in Houston. That telecast aired an ad for a service that helps married folks “discreetly” have sex with other married folks. Really. Go check out for yourself, or watch the ad below.

  • Well, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL, bet you thought no one was quick enough with the screen grab machine to catch you, did you? Did you? Hah! We sports bloggers, we’re fast!
  • In case you missed it, Bob Hayes’ sister read an emotional letter after the deceased receiver and world’s fastest man was picked for the NFL Hall of Fame. There’s just one problem: She may be a big fraud.
  • The latest soccer take on our favorite running video segment: “Man that was unnecessarily painful!” Our take? Owwwwwwwww.

  • If you watch one mid-major face off before the NCAA Tournament, it should probably be this one, announced Monday: Butler at Davidson. Stephen Curry vs. four unathletic looking guys who all average 13 points-per-game. And they’re white. Amazingly, this game still has sex appeal.
  • Also, maybe UConn deserved to be No. 1, huh? Ask Louisville.
  • You want ugly uniforms? These are ugly uniforms.
  • Remember how we were blabbing about the soccer transfer deadline yesterday? Well, it had two notable strange results: 1) A team which sold a player to another team for $30 million in the summer bought him back for $21 million (and the player pocketed $5 million in his 10-percent fees between the two sales) and another guy was sold because he was mad that his coach called him “Charles Insomnia” in a press conference. Hey, it could have been an honest mistake, the guy’s name is N’Zogbia. Besides, you think Phil Jackson would have caved like that? Not a chance.

With Andrew Bynum missing another chunk of time, how far will the Lakers go this season?

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Texas Tech Lucky Not To Break Scoreboard In Win

When the buzzer sounded last night, the scoreboard said Texas Tech 77, East Central 57. Sort of a typical score for an early season tuneup game, 77’s not too shabby, and wait a second why are there cheerleaders why is nobody going home oh good jesus it’s only halftime.

Pat Knight yelling
(”Hey! If we go below 130 points for the rest of the year we’re doing sprints at 5 a.m.!”)

Then the second half started, and the Red Raiders put on a display of such aberrant scoring lust that even their football brethren across campus were blushing. Texas Tech scored 90 points in the second half alone, finishing off an unprecedented 167-115 win.

Read more…

Pat Knight Finally Gets First Win As Tech Coach

Third time’s the charm for Pat Knight, as Bobby’s boy finally got his first win as Texas Tech coach.

Pat Knight Texas Tech coach pointing

The LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL (again, great paper name) reports that the Red Raiders upset 22nd-ranked Kansas State 84-75 Wednesday night. It marked the first Tech home game without the elder Knight roaming & ranting along the United Spirit Arena sidelines. Read more…

Why Knight Quit: Son Pat Needs The Experience

The LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL (great name for a paper, BTW) digs a little deeper to learn why Bobby Knight decided to step down from his coaching duties. Turns out he was doing it for his kid.

Pat & Bobby Knight

Knight says his self-termination from Texas Tech was meant to help his son Pat into the head coach role: “My thinking was that for Pat and for this team — most of which is returning next year — the best thing for the long run for this team would be for Pat and his staff to coach these remaining 10 games.”

Pat had been designated as his dad’s successor since 2005, but Bobby was worried how the transition could be done in “the most effective way“. After chatting with friend & former coach Pete Newell over the past weekend, Knight decided that leaving Lubbock immediately was the answer.

But Texas Tech’s chancellor says Knight’s departure is about more than just making room for junior.

Read more…

Flash: Bob Knight Resigns As Texas Tech Coach

KCBD-TV in Lubbock is reporting that NewsChannel 11 has just learned that Texas Tech Basketball Coach Bob Knight has resigned effective immediately. We’re told Assistant Coach Pat Knight will take over. The announcement comes just two days before Tech’s next basketball game which is Wednesday against Baylor in Waco. It also comes less than three weeks after Knight’s record 900th win.

Bob Knight Joy Jolise

(Click pic for better photo of her - SFW)

Sources tell NewsChannnel 11 that Coach Knight told Athletic Director Gerald Myers that he was ready to quit and tired of coaching.”

Pat Knight? Welcome to hell, Tech fans.