Sports 101

Last Friday's column on Bobby Knight sparked many reactions from readers. Below is a selection of letters.

Taking (or grabbing) a student by the arm was not enough of a basis for Bobby Knight's firing, but several additional recent incidents, if valid and documented, would make the firing appropriate. Knight is respected for his integrity as a coach, high standards for his players, and insistence on perfection. Unfortunately, a too-often uncontrolled temper and inappropriate behavior is the downside.

Joyce Pace Bloomington, Ind.

I don't care whether Knight was or wasn't fired. What bothers me is that a teenage freshman [who reported being grabbed] had to leave the college of his choice because he received death threats.

Margaret Maron New York

Knight should have been fired when he first broke the terms of the "zero-tolerance" agreement that Indiana U. had made with him [in May]. It is possible that IU was waiting for a nonstaff victim to come along before they made their move. The unfortunate student who was the catalyst has left the university.

Nancy Ainsworth-Vaughn Kalkaska, Mich.

Bobby Knight is certainly a bullheaded guy, but this incident didn't warrant his firing. He should have only been suspended. If you look at the graduation rate of his players and his winning record over many years, his program is clean and he can only be respected as a coach.

Gene Zyzda Chicago

The only part of Bobby Knight's firing with which I disagree is the timing: It should have come years earlier. Anyone who's watched an Indiana basketball game has seen the so-called "general" go ballistic at one or more players in front of millions of people and in "general" manifest qualities that I can't believe any athletic program hopes to instill in its players.

Anne Eberle Ashfield, Mass.

The only question is why wasn't he fired before now. Unfortunately the answer is ... he was extremely successful in his profession and brought fame and money to the university. Mr Knight, Coach Knight, or Spoiled Prima Donna needs to take a course in anger management.

Joe Fruciano Lexington, Mass.

The recent Knight episode prompts questions about the current college-basketball "problem." Must they have a head coach at the Division I level? I think not. Fire all the overpaid, hyper mentors. Let them teach fundamentals, at which they are excellent. Let the athletic director pick a team captain and see what happens.

Carroll Brooks Peoria, Ill.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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