Bob Knight, coaching Indiana University in 1988, faced hot water for his casual use of the word “rape.”
Asked by Connie Chung, the NBC News correspondent conducting the interview, how he handled stress, the Indiana men’s basketball coach said, ”I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”
Then, apparently realizing what he had said might be offensive, Knight went on: ”That’s just an old term that you’re going to use. The plane’s down, so you have no control over it. I’m not talking about that, about the act of rape. Don’t misinterpret me there. But what I’m talking about is, something happens to you, so you have to handle it – now.”
Now, 26 years later, some are already beginning to criticize his use of the word on “Mike and Mike” this morning. As transcribed by Chris Littmann of Sporting News:
“If I were involved with the NBA I wouldn’t want a 19-year-old or a 20-year-old kid, to bring into all the travel and all the problems that exist in the NBA. I would want a much more mature kid. I would want a kid that maybe I’ve been watching on another team and now he’s 21, 22 years old instead of 18 or 19, and I might trade for that kid. On top of it all, the NBA does a tremendous, gigantic disservice to college basketball. It’s as though they’ve raped college basketball in my opinion.
“Major League Baseball has the best idea of all. Three years before they’ll take a kid out of college, then they have a minor league system that they put the kids in. I’m sure that if the NBA followed the same thing, there would be a lot of kids in a minor league system that still were not good enough to play in the major NBA.”
First of all, I don’t find Knight’s use of “rape” egregious this time. I believe it clearly qualifies under this dictionary definition:
to plunder (a place)
However, I am offended by college coaches and former college coaches repeatedly using their influence to push for a system that makes them rich to make themselves even richer at the expense of young men forced to work at below market value by a cartel system.
The NBA shouldn’t want 19- and 20-year-olds? I bet college coaches would gladly take them and their maturity issues. Show me the college coach committed to redshirting all his elite freshmen so they can get accustomed to “all the travel and all the problems that exist” in college basketball.
By instituting the 19-year-old age limit, the NBA has done a tremendous service to college basketball, funneling elite players to the NCAA. Even if it’s just for one year, college basketball has capitalized. Probable one-and-doners like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle are among the sport’s biggest stars. They’ve made plenty of money for Kansas, Duke and Kentucky (and Bill Self, Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari).
By pushing for a 20-year-old age limit, Adam Silver will even further aid college basketball. Maybe the NBA will someday supplant college basketball with the D-League, but that has not happened yet.
Knight would be hard-pressed to be more wrong here.
The NCAA received a $10.8 billion contract to televise its men’s basketball tournament. Imagine how much more money the non-profit could have gotten if it hadn’t been pillaged by the powerful and evil NBA.