Bob Knight, college basketball's Wicked Stepfather.

Taking stock of people and ideas in the news.
March 15 2002 10:36 AM

Bob Knight

It's OK if you hate him. He hates himself, too.

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At Texas Tech, Knight has been on his best behavior all year—leading many to wonder if he's mellowed, if he's changed his approach. He hasn't. It's only a matter of time before Knight blows up again. He idolizes men like Lombardi and Ted Williams, who carried themselves with masculine authority and an "inner arrogance." But it's Knight's outer arrogance that gets him in trouble. A college coach, especially one as successful as Knight, is more than a mentor to the players on the team. He's the face of the university and a role model for every student. By the end of Knight's tenure at Indiana, the student body was teeming with mini-Knights, obnoxious thugs who burned IU's president in effigy, threatened a professor who was a prominent Knight critic, and printed "Wanted: Dead" posters of the student who cost Knight his job.

Indiana grew tired of looking in the mirror and seeing Bob Knight. Texas Tech will, too.

Chris Suellentrop is the deputy editor for blogs at Yahoo News and a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine. He has reviewed video games for Slate, Rolling Stone, and NewYorker.com. Follow him on Twitter.