Where Bob Knight Went Wrong: John Calipari and UK Are Not at Fault

Thomas QuinnContributor IApril 19, 2011

AUSTIN, TX - JANUARY 26:  Head coach Bob Knight of the Texas Tech Red Raiders during play with the Texas Longhorns on January 26, 2008 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

For the record, I am not a supporter of College Basketball’s “one and done” rule.

Not that it is really a fault of the NCAA; the NBA sets the rule on when players are allowed to enter the league. Right now, that rule states that players must be at least one year removed from high school before they enter the NBA draft.

However, at no point do I remember John Calipari help write the rule. I don’t recall any instance where John Calipari came out and advocated the “one and done” rule.

As far as I know, John Calipari is just doing what he is allowed to do. Calipari is the poster child along with the Kentucky program for “everything that is wrong with college basketball.” What I don’t remember is that during these past three years at UK, when Calipari had the top recruiting class in the nation for each year he was there, what exactly did John do wrong?

His only fault for me is being one of the best recruiters college basketball has ever seen.

Young players want to play for him, it’s as simple as that, very similar to when all of the top college football talent made their way to Southern California to play for Pete Carroll. John Calipari is not at fault here, he, like many other coaches in college basketball are simply trying to put the best roster they can on the floor, and it’s no coincidence that the best college basketball players want to go to the NBA as soon as possible.

Bob Knight can complain about the present system of college basketball all he wants, whether or not John Calipari is a coach should not change his opinion—unfortunately, it might.

The truth is, even when Calipari and Knight were coaching at the same time, Calipari was better at his job.

I don’t mean to knock Bob Knight, obviously one of the greatest coaches in NCAA history, but I refuse to agree with his opinions simply based on his accomplishments.

The players attitudes have changed and John Calipari is far more relatable  to the modern athlete, hence his recent success. John Calipari’s style of recruiting and coaching has brought his teams to multiple Final Four and National Championship games within the past 15 years.

Bob and his son Pat, with their “right” way of coaching, have zero.  

If players could go directly to the NBA out of high school (the old rule) or were required to stay in school for three years (the NFL rule), then Calipari’s teams would still be successful.

That is something Bob Knight needs to acknowledge.