As you’ve probably heard by now, IU alum Joe Buck did an hour long interview with former IU coach Bob Knight on the Audience Network. You must be a Direct TV subscriber to watch the full interview. At the end we tell you how to watch the full interview for free. It is must see for any IU basketball fan, irrespective of your opinion of the legendary coach. Here are some of the highlights that we noted:
- First, we’ve heard various reports that Coach Knight was having health issues. Nothing was apparent in the interview. His mind seemed as quick and sharp as ever. Physically he looked healthy and perhaps slimmer than he has in the past. He had the normal limitations that you would expect for a 77 year old.
- The interview started with some really interesting tidbits about his parents and grandmother and how they raised him. It really helped to shape your understanding of how he became who he is.
- There was a story about how he landed at Army as their freshmen coach. It was described as a stroke of luck, being at the right place at the right time. He characterized it as the most important thing that has happened to him outside of meeting his wife.
- We were reminded that at the amazingly young age of 24 he became the head coach at Army.
There were interesting details shared on Bill Parcells and Coach K during his Army years, including a story about how he told Coach K that he was never allowed to shoot.
- There was discussion about the often forgotten 1973 final four team which was Coach Knight’s second team at IU, including how those kids had to adapt to a new system.
- Coach Knight shared the way he remembered the halftime discussion in the 1976 national championship game with Indiana down 6.
- He shared his insights on the decision of whether or not to play the game in 1981 after President Reagan had been shot.
- There were some fun stories about Michal Jordan in the Olympics, and a moment during the interview where Coach Knight was clearly emotional watching the players receive their gold medals.
- Insights on the final play in 1987 from Coach Knight’s perspective, including the admiration he had for Alford and Thomas on that play.
- And finally, there were some unique insights on his disdain for Indiana University and yet his admiration for the IU fans. The distinction that he makes between the two was fairly clear.
It is this last point that we take issue with in the interview. Joe Buck, and others before him missed an opportunity to press Coach Knight on his unwillingness to return to Indiana University. Now admittedly, it would be no picnic to “press” Coach Knight. But at least once we’d like to hear someone challenge his perspective. Here is what we would ask Coach Knight if given the chance:
“Ok sure Coach, your position on how Indiana University handled things is understandable. But what is “Indiana University”? Really, it is nothing more than the legal documents that form its existence, and the land, trees and buildings that it owns. Beyond that, Indiana University is nothing more than people — the people that operate those documents and properties. And we would challenge that not one living soul that was associated with Indiana University in 2000 at the time of your firing is still there today. So really, isn’t your stance somewhat misguided, and aren’t the only people that you are truly protesting today the same fans that you admire?”
We realize many if not most fans have moved on and accepted that Coach Knight will never return to IU, but we really would like to see his position challenged, if for no other reason than to understand it better. We suspect any such effort would be futile, but nevertheless we hope that the next person in the media that gets any opportunity like Joe Buck probes a little deeper.
If you want to watch the full interview you can set up a free 7 day trial with Direct TV Now — just be sure to cancel it before the 7 days is up as you do have to provide a credit card and it will be charged after 7 days. Put a reminder in your calendar so you don’t forget!