Bob Knight was always criticized for his demeanor as a coach and representative of whatever team he was coaching but he was never recognized for the one thing he always viewed as important, education. For his career, coach Knight holds a ridiculous 98 percent graduation rate, something that is hardly remembered when discussing his greatness as a leader.
Now, we have a new opportunity to recognize him for his view on education as he will be offering his championship basketball rings and Olympic gold medal to Steiner Sports Memorabilia. It’s part of a sale that features the jersey Yankees pitcher Don Larsen wore while pitching a perfect game in the World Series.
“I’ve got stuff I didn’t even know I had,” Knight said. “I don’t put anything up in the house. If you came into the house you would think I was a mailman. And I don’t even wear rings.” The auction, which has already started for some items, runs through Dec. 5 and will feature Knight’s rings from his three NCAA championship teams at Indiana — the undefeated 1976 season and the ones from 1981 and 1987. The company will also sell a sports coat and a warmup jacket given to Knight as coach of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team in 1984.
Coach Knight is often remembered for throwing a chair across a basketball floor during a game, his tirades on the sideline and his overall tough guy personality, but the thing to remember him for is not his 902 wins but his enduring emphasis on the importance of education.