Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bob Knight broadcasting games?

Just when you thought recently retired Bob Knight had mercifully disappeared from the college basketball landscape, he returned – as an ESPN broadcaster, of all things.

Forget the fact that Knight demonstrated a disdain for journalists throughout his Division I-wins-record coaching career. It’s not hypocritical for him to be talking on TV now because as ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit demonstrated during the Michigan coaching fiasco, many former players and coaches aren’t held to journalistic standards.

It is unfortunate that Knight still has a voice because he’s misused his so often over the years. Knight can be quite entertaining, which is why he probably is good for ratings.

In his first broadcast Thursday, he answered a viewer question about whether fly fishing is more challenging than coaching.

“When you’re casting a fly, you can miss where you’re casting,” he said, according to a transcript provided by ESPN. “You just pick it up and cast it again. You never know if a kid is going to do what you’ve told him to do and actually, I’ve had flies that have reacted a lot better to my instructions over the years than a lot of the players I’ve had, so maybe I’m better at fly fishing than coaching.”

That’s innocent enough. The question is how long it will be before Knight’s temper gets him into trouble. ESPN is gambling by putting Knight on the air.

So keep those softball questions coming. – Ken Tysiac