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Bob Knight: It’s as if NBA has ‘raped’ college basketball

Mar 25, 2014, 10:14 AM EDT

Bob Knight

Bob Knight, coaching Indiana University in 1988, faced hot water for his casual use of the word “rape.”

Malcolm Moran of The New York Times:

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.

  1. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    I am not one for being PC but it is a terrible term to use. People use it was too much nowadays. I remember playing modern warefare hearing a ten year old kid screaming you got raped……terrible.

  2. lazykiz - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Why would I stay 3 more years in college when I can get a 1-5M deal in the NBA.

  3. slickdemetrius - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    At least now he seems to understand that rape is wrong, there is some progress going on here.
    Perhaps in another 10-15 years he’ll figure out that the NBA recruiting from the college ranks isn’t really as serious as forced sex on another human being.

  4. TheMorningStar - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    College basketball is just an inferior product compared to the NBA.

    I tried watching some of the NCAA tourney, thrilling upsets aside, the teams are slow and decidedly not as athletic as pro players.

    • stlouis1baseball - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      Let me fix this…

      The NBA is just and inferior product compared to college basketball.

      Personally, I like watching teamwork, discipline, ball distribution and defense.

      Whereas, you apparently like watching dudes rebound…dribble up the court and shoot.

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 26, 2014 at 6:27 PM

        If you think there is superior teamwork and discipline in college ball you don’t really know much about basketball Xs and Os.

      • stlouis1baseball - Mar 27, 2014 at 9:49 AM

        Hahaha! Having grown up in the state of Indiana and played baseketball my entire life that is laughable. To put it in perspective for you…I was the only white dude who started on my Army team. And I didn’t play high school ball. I wrestled during basketball season. I realize my comment might have upset your gentle sensibilities with regardsto the NBA. But I stand my what I posted. Unless you are talking about the Pacers…for the most part defense, discipline and teamwork fall woefully short in the NBA. Until the playoffs of course.

      • TheMorningStar - Mar 27, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        Thank you Kurt.

    • acieearl - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      In related news AAA baseball is an inferior product to MLB. I tried watching the Pawtucket Red Sox the other day, the pitchers are not as good as MLB and the hitters aren’t nearly as patient and skilled.

      • TheMorningStar - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        Putting your d’bag trolling aside for a moment, your attempt to compare minor league baseball and college basketball is both flawed and baseless as the NBA already has a minor league, along with the fact that both the NCAA and the NBA stated that college basketball is not a minor league for the pros.

        Back to the forest for you troll!

      • zerole00 - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:36 PM

        I don’t think he was trying to troll as much trying to point out that what you said was redundant. Of course those leagues are slower and not as athletics. They aren’t paid professionally, their equipment and resources aren’t as vast as an NBA team, etc. By virtue of definition, yeah they’re not going to be as skilled.

    • sportsfan18 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      There are pros and cons to both college ball and the NBA…

      In college, they play with more passion.

      To many NBA players, it’s just a job, a business. There are so many games and it’s a grind, landing at 3:30 a.m. etc… little practice time and many of the games get sloppy. Not as many NBA players are able to get up for each and every game of an 82 game season, like when the Heat get into Philly when it’s 20 degrees and the Sixers are at the bottom of the standings…

      In college, there are much fewer games and the games all mean much more. Many of the college kids are playing for the chance of the big dollars in the NBA and they are busting their behinds.

      There is a lot more rah rah with college, kids painting their faces at home games etc… Should pro games be this way? Of course not.

      Again, both the NBA and college ball have their pros and cons…

      More college teams play as a team, much less clearing out and one on one play in college ball. Now teams like the Spurs move the ball, pass and play team basketball but so many don’t.

      I can find reasons to watch and like BOTH college ball and the NBA…

  5. fanofthegame79 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    I just don’t get this argument. The age limit is silly – if we can die for our country at the age of 18, why can’t these kids put a ball through a hoop at 18? What other industries mandate an age limit? None (except politics). If a company wants a college graduate as their employee, they implement a college degree requirement – not an age limit.

  6. rajbais - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    The NBA can only be viewed as a villain because it does stereotype older players in the draft.

    This isn’t untrue.

    First of all kids are as responsible as the NBA is because it’s their choice to enter.

    However, the NCAA is at fault for their stupid “sign with an agent” policy and their prohibition on draftees that don’t make teams as rookies.

    Those kinds of players should be allowed back into the NCAA.

  7. titansbro - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    If you’re good enough, you should be able to go pro right away. Screw the NCAA. I’d take the Brandon Jennings route if I were an up & coming all american.

    • therealhtj - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      That’s the thing – you’d think most of these kids would go that route. Collect a quick 7 figures, play against better competition, and possibly be better prepared for the NBA.

      So why aren’t they? If I had to guess, it’s because the money they’re getting under the table plus added notoriety the shoe companies want is more or less equivalent to the European paycheck.

    • zerole00 - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      Actually no, the OWNERS favor the one and done. It protects them to a degree from draft busts. High school prospects are filtered to the college level, then further filtered to the NBA level. The more filters there are, they less change of a bust.

      • zerole00 - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        the less change of a bust.*

        Man that was terrible.

  8. greej1938l - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    That word “rape” can be interpreted as inappropriate no matter how you defend yourself

  9. cbking05 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it”

  10. csbanter - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    If the NBA and the union decide to push he age limit up, some players who don’t wan to risk injury will play half assed like Clowney did at South Carolina. No one wants to see his money drop like Nerlens Noel after a devastating injury. NBA teams are not forced to draft these kids, but the marketing potential overrides common sense. Lets see how low Doug McDermott drops before he is chosen. Four year player or Andrew Wiggins. Greed makes this an easy choice.

  11. kclanton80 - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Dominating inferior talent in college will not get you ready to play against men in the NBA. The coaches are all mad because its harder for them but, screw them! It’s easy for these coaches who are all millionaires to bitch and moan that college players wont stay. Many of these young men come from struggling families that need the money. If your good enough to get drafted, you should be able to go play at any age.

    • nickjackalson - Mar 27, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      Yes – agreed, if the nba “rapes” college, doesn´t college “rape” its players even moreso?

  12. aboogy123456 - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    I don’t like that Andrew Wiggins and other phenoms are already better than most NBA players, yet the only way we get to watch them is by watching college basketball, which is very poor basketball compared to the NBA. The NBA is much more entertaining to me, so I think if they are making players stay in college it’s depriving me of watching some great players for longer.

  13. 00maltliquor - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Nobody wants to really draft a 21-24 year old, that’s only a 9-6 year span before they start to break down and lose value. Quit crying coach! Who cares about college basketball, they should be there to learn, not to make money off of while the players can’t even accept a nickel.

    But LMAO at the 1st rape comment though!

  14. therealhtj - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Imagine how the chair felt.

  15. arrondior - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Until colleges start paying the players, they have absolutely no ground to stand on, when complaining about the NBA.

  16. jzone954 - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Money sometimes talks….
    Especially when you never had much…

  17. thenew013 - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    Good point about the d league. Elite high school ballers don’t necessarily have to go to college anymore.

  18. kanemoney - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    The only valid point in this discussion is that a large percentage of adults (not kids) leave for the NBA too soon. For every Kobe Bryant there is 50 guys we have never heard of.

    The D-League doesn’t have a lot of great success stories I have heard of (I am sure the exist).

    When comparing sports, it’s important to remember that basketball relies on the individual talent of a small group of players more than any other sport. There are 5 guys on the floor for each team and most teams only play 8 players with any significant minutes. While there is an active roster of 15, only 12 usually play.

    So – the pressure to performance is immense. This WOULD be made less of a hurdle with another year in college, but it’s impossible to apply this standard to everyone, college basketball is slavery to Knight’s comment on pillaging (unpaid players generating millions for the NCAA schools), and it may actually not make much of a difference for the players that would make in the long run anyway.

  19. mnsadsportsfan - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    This guys act is so old and out dated find a retirement community with sid hartman and stay away!

  20. ranfan12 - Mar 26, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    ” They’ve made plenty of money for Kansas, Duke and Kentucky (and Bill Self, Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari).”
    How much money did they make for themselves though during that time :/

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