Knight stood for more than just wins, losses Bob...

LETTERS

September 17, 2000

Knight stood for more than just wins, losses

Bob Knight's firing as Indiana University basketball coach leaves the world of college athletics a sadder place for those of us who still cling to that old-fashioned notion that kids should be students first and athletes second.

I won't say I'm terribly surprised. Today's society just doesn't understand a man who stands for something more than getting the best athletes around and keeping them eligible for at least a year or two so they can maybe get your team to the Final Four.

That was Coach Knight's genius, but like most geniuses, it came at the cost of a volatile personality. Many people don't understand how I could support a man who never met a controversy he could avoid. But I don't understand how people can so lightly dismiss the fact that the man was the winningest active coach in college basketball, with more national championships than all but a few college coaches ever, who also graduated more than 90 percent of the young men who played four years in his program.

As a former student at Indiana, I know from personal experience that upon encountering Bob Knight in a hallway, only a fool would address him in a disrespectful manner. If that young man in Assembly Hall that day had been me or my kid, the only outcome of this whole affair would have been that Coach Knight would receive a letter of apology for the disrespect

Maybe that makes me old-fashioned and out of step. So be it.

Stephen Phillips Arbutus

Firing preserves right to be treated with respect

The University of Indiana's decision to fire basketball coach Bob Knight speaks to the core of employer/employee relations: Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity.

This right applies to people who work in business, government and nonprofit sectors, and it also applies to people who coach NCAA basketball.

It must be preserved daily.

Glen Goldmark Baltimore

Reader has zero tolerance for newspaper's mistakes

Here's what I have zero tolerance for lately: your newspaper's misguided views of right and wrong in the sports world today.

First, Don Markus presented a "history" lesson linking Bob Knight to Woody Hayes. He began, unfortunately, with incorrect information. Hayes coached his final game at the 1978 Gator Bowl, not the Peach Bowl. Then Markus further insulted his readers by suggesting that Hayes' three decades of coaching success are best summarized by the outburst that caused his dismissal at Ohio State. Like Knight, Hayes was a great man who stood for principles of hard work and dedication, however inexcusable his temper and poor behavior.

And therein lies The Sun's most offensive opinion. Your editorial board followed Markus' article with a suggestion the next day that society should look to media darling Brian Billick as a model of character.

You are suggesting that Billick, a coach whose fame and paycheck depend upon men such as Ray Lewis, teaches us better lessons in life than did Hayes or Knight. You are sadly mistaken.

Brian Dulay Baltimore

O's should void contract, then send Belle packing

Aren't there clauses in player contracts that permit management to void the remainder of the contract for conduct detrimental to the team and/or league?

Peter Angelos is a smart lawyer. He and his legal beagles should take a day off from asbestos litigation and delve into the fine print of the Orioles' agreement with Albert Belle. There must be a loophole somewhere to counteract the many instances of Belle's sociopathy, with the vandalism of the Cleveland Indians' clubhouse serving as the most recent example.

C'mon, Peter. This would be a terrific way to win back the fans. Use your legal powers for good, and get this bum out of here.

Morton D. Marcus Baltimore

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