Why Not Bobby Knight?

It seems clear that the smart money is not on Bobby Knight, but what would be wrong with Georgia hiring Knight as their basketball coach?

Here's the resume that most people know: 902 wins, three national championships, the winningest coach in men's NCAA history, a chair thrower, highly critical of his players and the media, and a highly-volatile coach who is more trouble than he is worth.

Here's the resume that people should know but don't: over $9 million raised for the Indiana University library, true loyalty and love from the players who had the guts to play four years for him, someone who graduated almost all of his players and didn't want anyone who wasn't coming to school to get a degree, a man who raised money for Landon Turner a former player who broke his neck in a car accident, and someone who's players play as hard as they can on every single possession regardless of talent level or score.

Bobby Knight is a proven winner, a guy who runs a clean program, and a basketball genius no matter what his critics may say. This is the guy who revolutionized basketball with the motion offense, so why wouldn't Georgia want to take a shot at him?

He just got done with another rebuilding project at Texas Tech where he took the Red Raiders to the NCAA tournament in his first four years and one sweet sixteen appearance. A program that hadn't seen the NCAA tournament in five years, was at the bottom of its conference, and the definition of Big 12 mediocrity. Sound familiar?

The controversial figure that is Bob Knight managed to avoid the troubles that plagued him at Indiana in his tenure in Lubbock, and he also proved he could win without the likes of All American talent, which is something he could have if he recruited Georgia - a state loaded with basketball talent.

Georgia could only be so lucky to have such a proven coach grace the doors of Stegeman. I think the main drawback to Knight and Georgia is his age. The basketball program at Georgia cannot afford to bring someone in who may leave or retire next year. If they could get a four-year commitment from Knight then I think it would be worthwhile.

If Damon Evans, who is making the only significant decision of his tenure as Athletics Director so far, could entice Bobby Knight to come to Athens the Georgia faithful would receive several guarantees. First they would get a clean program. This is a must because of former NCAA probation which has crippled the basketball team for several years.

Secondly, they would get a team that would play hard and give it their all each and every night. They would also get a defensive oriented man-to-man team that would be as well coached as any in the country.

Finally, they would get a program that would be in a much better position in the conference and the national scene than in previous years, and be in a better position to turn the program over to a guy who could continue what Knight started to build.

All baggage aside, Bob Knight would be an excellent choice to turn Georgia's program into something respectful instead of the joke that it has turned into, and Georgia should wake up and see the reality that is in front of them.

Bobby Knight is a program builder and that is exactly what Georgia needs: a basketball program... not a team that just plays basketball.


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