Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Knight time in Indiana again?

When searching for guidance to find the answers to the mysteries of life, I've found that there is no shortage of muses to help light the path. Some folks will turn to the Bible or their parents. Others might find inspiration in the quips and crones of John Lennon.

Personally, I look to the words of wisdom of James Bond when I need answers to life's toughest questions. For example:

How should you introduce yourself at a party? Bond. James Bond.


What should you have for breakfast? Vodka martini — shaken, not stirred.

Can't figure out what to wear? How 'bout a tux? (Or nothing at all.)

So when I was at a loss as to how to interpret Indiana head coach Mike Davis announcing his resignation at the end of the season, I quickly turned to 007 for counsel. Sure enough, he had an answer for me, in the form of a one-liner in the final minutes of "Tomorrow Never Dies."

Before slicing and dicing the appropriately named villain Elliot Carver, Bond shouts the classic cliché "Give the people what they want!"

That is exactly what Indiana needs to do. No, not grind Mike Davis up with an oversized underwater drill, but give its fans what they really want.

And what they want is Bobby Knight.

When Knight was unceremoniously ousted as head coach on Sept. 10, 2000, Indiana University president Myles Brand said that the move needed to be made for better or for worse. In the minds of the Hoosier faithful it has been worse, much worse.

Davis, put in the unenviable position of following up a legend, was never accepted by Bloomington and has been on a hot seat pretty much since day one. In his second season at the helm, Davis went to a national title game. Did fans shower Davis with praise? No.

Instead, detractors decided to focus on the fact that Knight recruited the players and that Davis was the first Indiana coach to lose a title game.

Maybe the most telling sign of the disdain for Davis came when Texas Tech hired Knight in 2001. Almost immediately, fans started showing up to Assembly Hall wearing Texas Tech T-shirts, sporting the red and black of the Red Raiders, not the Hoosiers’ cream and crimson.

Sporting other schools colors in Assembly Hall was sacrilegious during the Knight regime. In fact, you pretty much didn't hear much out of the Indiana fan base at all when Knight was there. In short, the Hoosiers biggest supporters have grown undisciplined without their coach. Every rabble needs its leader, and the Indiana mob is no different. They need "The General."

They need Knight to restore order. Now, a man with a record that includes shooting a hunting partner, throwing a chair on the court and more ejections than caterpillars have legs typically isn't the ideal candidate to restore structure and discipline, but Knight leads by counter-example.

They need Knight to restore the tradition and pride that is Hoosier basketball. When Davis was hired, alumni and boosters were immediately critical of his not embracing the tradition of Hoosier basketball — a fair assessment, seeing as he said it "wasn't worth the pressure" to coach the team almost immediately. Currently, Indiana's best recruits are from Davis' home state of Alabama — unthinkable considering there are few basketball recruiting grounds more fertile than Indiana.

What better way to remedy the problem than to rehire Knight, who is the tradition and is the source of pride at Indiana.

His resume is almost impeccable with three national titles, four national coach of the year awards and 21 20-win seasons during his 29 years in Indiana. There is not a more qualified head coach out there to coach the Hoosiers, especially not Iowa head coach Steve Alford, who has, if anything, underachieved until this season with the Hawkeyes.

And don't think for a second Knight wouldn't relish coming back.

His ego is larger than a socialite's bank account and the fact that Indiana would effectively be crawling back to him would excite his fancy to no end.

Plus, it's obvious he is already tiring of Texas Tech's fickle spectators; the last home game had fewer than 7,000 fans prompting Knight to wish for Nebraska's rowdy followers after a game in Omaha.

"You only live twice," is yet another James Bond axiom relevant to this situation. Indiana can only hire Bob Knight twice. They should listen to Bond's wisdom and not miss out on the second opportunity.

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