If you’re a college basketball fan, the name Bob Knight might trigger a few different reactions. ‘Legendary coach’ might be the first phrase to come to mind, but I think ‘crazy coach with an insane temper’ might ring more of a bell. I’m sure you’ve seen the footage of Coach Knight throwing a chair on the court after an argument with officials.
However, there are now new stories coming out that prove Knight was a lot more extreme than you might think, especially to his players. In a new book called Jadlow: On the Rebound, former Indiana basketball player Todd Jadlow alleges that Knight was not only emotionally abusive but physically abusive to his players. If this comes to as a surprise to you, then you definitely have never heard of Bob Knight.
Let’s take a look at some of the stuff Coach Knight did, according to Jadlow.
- Knight made sport of Jadlow’s facial tic in front of the entire team. In the book, former IU teammate Mark Robinson wrote that Knight yelled at Jadlow, “If you don’t stop the (bleeping) twitching, I’m going to throw your ass out of here.”
- During a practice, Knight forced Dean Garrett and Keith Smart to run hours of sprints while barking like dogs since they were, in his words, “playing like (bleeping) dogs.”
- Knight punched him in the back of the head with a closed fist during a walkthrough for an NCAA Tournament game against Seton Hall.
- Knight made a habit, with Jadlow and others, of grabbing players by the testicles and squeezing.
- Knight continually called Daryl Thomas a “(bleeping) p*****” and once instructed the managers to wallpaper Thomas’ locker with pictures of female genitalia. Knight also liked to throw tampons at Thomas, who took more abuse than anybody on Jadlow’s teams.
- On the flight home after the 1986 NCAA Tournament loss to Cleveland State, Knight tore up the plane and ultimately grabbed Thomas by the neck and shook him violently.
This is nuts, pun intended. I say that because if Knight were to do this in today’s society of social media, Knight would be fired and thrown in jail in a heartbeat! However, I totally believe Knight did all of this because that’s who he was. He was tough on his players and if you couldn’t take it, you wouldn’t play, plain and simple. The squeezing of people’s balls might be a little too much but making players bark like dogs while running is laugh out loud funny.
You would think Jadlow would hate Knight after all this abuse, right? Wrong. In fact, it’s the total opposite. Even though Jadlow had a tough life after that included alcohol and drug addiction, he actually defends Knight and calls him a father.
“I’m a Knight guy. I’m proud to have played for him and love him like a father; let’s not mistake that,” Jadlow said, per Kravitz. “But this was the life we led when we were playing for him.”
Bob Knight once again proving that tough love can be the answer. The legend lives on.