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The big difference between Bob Knight and Mike Rice

Ap_rice_rutgers_basketball_dolak_130402_wgHad to get only slightly sick when listening to perhaps the best college basketball analyst, Jay Bilas of ESPN, embarrass himself in an on-air radio segment on the four lettered discussing the differences between former Indiana and Texas Tech coach Bob Knight and the recently fired Rutgers coach Mike Rice.

Bilas brought the hammer on Rice, but wants us to believe the differences between these two badgering bully coaches is that what Knight did to the late Neil Reid when he choked him was just a one-time thing and that what Rice did was worse, and a pattern.

Knight is still on ESPN's payroll as an expert college basketball analyst, and yet he won't be talking about the Mike Rice story. Why does ESPN have this guy on its staff if he won't talk about something he so obviously would have so much personal insight? 

Because what everyone at ESPN fails to mention is that they just don't want Bobby Knight to dislike them. Even after all of these years, people who are around Bobby Knight are dying for his approval even if it means signing off on behavior they currently criticize.

Knight-chairIf you have not seen the video of Rice using gay slurs to demean his Rutgers players, or throwing a basketball at their heads, it's pretty sad. Rice is trying to fire up his players by demeaning them with verbal, or physical, abuse. Rice was fired because the national backlash to the aired video tapes was so strong, and that in his three seasons at the state university of New Jersey the basketball team was 44-51.

Knight did the exact same thing at Indiana for decades, and with great success. He won national titles, his teams never were afoul of the NCAA, and he generated millions for Indiana University. He threw a chair in the middle of a game in the general vicinity of an opposing player and it was laughed off. He head butted his own player. Try to find the audio of his legendary rant at his team where he said he would "not to lose to Purdue!"

Most of the things Mike Rice has been fired for Bob Knight did the same. The difference was Rice didn't have a legion of local, regional and national sycophantic friends defending and explaining his every transgression up to and including today.


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Rutgers University should FIRE the President and AD. They were involved in a cover-up and they jeopardized the well-beings of student athletes, in order protect the image of Rutgers University. Read more at:


I went to Indiana University. I remember a film once shown of Knight's ball practice. He used his favorite adjective quite a bit. As far as verbal abuse, Mike Rice has nothing over Knight. The biggest difference is that the culture has changed. Back in Knights day, lots of coaches acted inappropriately. Both fans, parents, and society were more tolerant of what we consider abusive behavior today.

Patrick Bright

Glad to see I am not insane for thinking how hypocritical it is for ESPN to criticize a coach yet hire a coach known for his consistent abuse of players. Sickening.


Excellent points regarding Jay Bilas' and ESPN's hypocricy. I also find it laughable that some are engaging in moral relativism in their comparison with Penn State's handling of Sandusky.
Cover-up? Are you kidding? Rutgers did not make the tape public immediately, but they did fine and suspend him for physical and verbal abuse in practic. They also monitered all procatices from then on. The only argument that could be made is that they were too lenient, or as some have suggested there was too much bureaucracy to proceed with the firing at the time.

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