ESPN’s Bob Knight Won’t Say Kentucky

ESPN basketball analyst and Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight has gotten the attention of the Big Blue Nation.

“Wow, Bob Knight really is refusing to utter the word “Kentucky.” Basically put Cats on upset alert but refers to ’em as team ‘from the SEC.'” tweeted Kyle Tucker, Courier-Journal. “Just absurd to think ESPN has, as one of it’s top college basketball analysts, a guy who refuses to name two of the teams still dancing.”

During an interview on ESPN, Knight was asked which #1 seed he thought was most susceptible to an upset. Knight responded by referring to Kentucky as the team playing ‘from the SEC’. When social media learned about Knight’s choice of words, members of the media went on the offensive against Knight and ESPN.

Rick Reilly, Sports Illustrated
What happens to Bob Knight if he says the word “Kentucky”? Does his lower jaw fall off? Snakes spring from his hair? My God, does he smile?

Brooks Melchior, @SportsbyBrooks
“ESPN talent is leaving in droves b/c of guys like Knight”

Dan Wolken,
What is wrong with Bob Knight? And why does ESPN let him get away with that?”

Gregg Doyel, @greggdoyelcbs
Bob Knight apparently up to old tricks, refusing to name Kentucky. No shock. A bad guy is a bad guy is a bad guy

Knight has made it publicly known that he is not a fan of John Calipari and the one-and-done philosophy he has at the University of Kentucky.

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  1. LucaBrazzi
    Posted at | Permalink

    The only way ESPN survives is because its on cable. There you dont have to worry about ratings. Furthermore, will Mr Knight ever grow up?

  2. John M
    Posted at | Permalink

    What else do you expect from a crass boorish moron like knight…this clown should get together with barkley and start their own talk show. You could call it Idiots on Parade.

  3. Mona Joyner
    Posted at | Permalink

    What is the matter with ESPN or any other station who allows their people to act like this?

    This is the same descrimination that others speak so offensively about.

    I know as I am from Kentucky. This Bob Knight is definitely a racist and I am calling for the moron to be fired.

    Racism is still alive and working on white people, so let us now see what happens.

    Boycott ESPN if you don’t like racism and want Bob Knight fired.
    Has this idiot ever visited KY, and if so was he harmed by anyone? Did he enjoy our food, was he treated with respect?

    Shut up you idiot, and please don’t ever visit me. I have lots of debate for you?
    How did you ever get your job at ESPN? How long will ESPN allow you to cost them viewers?
    Maybe you should all get fired, and ESPN goes off the air for good.

    You owe me, and everyone from KY a great big sorry, on the air, and I am waiting for your phone call to get mine in person. Will you call me as I am from KY and very damn proud of it.

    Mona Joyner
    Seattle, WA
    formerly from Harlan County, KY.

    • Nate D
      Posted at | Permalink

      Being from kentucky you definitely do know what a racist is. So you are correct on that front.

  4. Nate D
    Posted at | Permalink

    I don’t blame coach knight for not saying the word “Kentucky”. He just doesn’t believe in cheating. I mean it’s been proven ( more than once ) that calipari runs a dirty program. Just give it some time and some dirt will be found out about this years team.

  5. RUSHIFIED 2112
    Posted at | Permalink

    are you serious about being upset about this? the guy coached at IU for 30 years and has a history dealing that school and the cheating that went on and goes on there. if he does not want to give them anymore crediablity by saying their name then so what? and speaking of big mouths guys like reily and doyle sure talk a big game behind a computer screen don’t they? last time I checked they could have confronted Knight at any of his press conferences after games but instead hid behind their keyboards when attacking him. and since he is in the media now why not say something to him on the air?

    • Nate D
      Posted at | Permalink

      You hit the nail right on the head. Those “KenLucky” fans need to worry about selling their souls and getting a big fat zero in return.

  6. Big Blue Fan
    Posted at | Permalink

    Nate D- John Calipari does not run dirty programs. Both of his offenses were in regards to academic fraud. The latter with Dereck Rose being completely out of his hands. Name one coach in the history of college basketball that has attended the ACT with a recruit. Not to mention that the NCAA could have ruled Rose ineligable at any point in the season and waited until after to do so. Get off your soap box and and get your facts straight. And furthermore don’t ever refer to my state as Racist again. KY is a wonderful open, caring state that opens its arms to everyone. People her respesct each other and still display kindness to strangers and one another on levels unknown to most.

    • Nate D
      Posted at | Permalink

      Cal has you fooled. When both of his final four are stripped from him…that means his program is dirty. Of course your gonna be a coach cal apologist, your a Kentucky fan. I neither like or dislike coach cal. He is a good coach. Just stating the facts. Remember, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…well you know the rest.

  7. Fire Bob Knight
    Posted at | Permalink

    Correct if I’m wrong, but didn’t Bob Knight physically abuse his players and staff to the point that he was run off by his beloved IU, having to finish out his coaching days at Texas Tech in shame. And did he or did he not once shoot someone in the back and try to cover it up. No one who is a so called analyst should be allowed to show such bias to any school regardless of what their personal opinions are. It is not only wrong but disrespectful to a young group of kids who follow the rules.

  8. dto1177
    Posted at | Permalink

    I’m a UK fan, and some of you are are ridiculous. That goes for some UK fans and the haters. How do you not see the problem here? He works for ESPN, where you are supposed to give an unbiased analogy of the game. I could care less if he thinks we were on upset alert, or that he hates UK and Calipari, but to be a major commentator and so called “expert” of the game, you can’t do dumb stuff like this. I would feel the same way if it was an ex UK coach or player called Indiana “That team from the Big Ten”. Grow the hell up Bobby Knight, and you all on here that call people racists and stuff like that. Knight gets paid to be an expert on the game of basketball, but instead he acts like a jack off. How does anyone not see a problem with the crap he does?

    Same goes to Mona and Nate. Mona- How is he being racist towards the university of Kentucky or John Calipari? I like Cal a lot as a coach, and respect what he’s done. I also think its foolish to call the man a cheater after he turned Camby in himself to the NCAA, and any team in the country would’ve taken Rose after he was ruled eligible to play NCAA basketball. The man didn’t do anything to be called a cheater. However, I don’t see how in the world Knight is being racist here. Is he biased as all get out? Heck yes he is, and honestly that’s fine. It’s not fine that he brings that bias into his job that was built around unbiased opinions and where he is paid to be unbiased.

    Nate- Do you know anything about the state of Kentucky?!? You’re an idiot for coming on here and insinuating that our state is a bunch of racists. Are there racists in the state? Sure. Are there racists wherever you live and in any state in the USA? You bet. You can hate on Cal and UK all you want, I dont care. I do get sick and tired of hearing ignorance from people like you about how we are a bunch of racist. You saying that makes you no freaking better than a racist. You’re being a judgemental, prejudice douche bag. Quit acting like a fool and saying dumb things. That’s just moronic.

    I’m done now.

  9. IsaacDee
    Posted at | Permalink

    Dtoll77- you have to be one ignorant SOB… Not one time did Nate D hate on UK or coach Cal… He simply stated that he runs a dirty program wherever he goes… If your blind to see it because your a Kentucky fan then in the future when all these wins get vacated, I don’t want you to come on here and rant and rave about how pissed off you are at Coach Cal… I’m a Duke fan. I’m very bias when it come to my team and coaches program but we as fans don’t have to worry about recruiting violations, academic violations etc etc. all we have to worry about is winning national titles the legit way… It’s funny I wonder why Duke doesn’t recruit the urban athletes that Kentucky all seems to get and leave after one year but I just figured that out… Amaybe you have to have some kind of fucking brains to get into a legit college and actually pass classes and graduate… I can’t wait to see you guys celebrate another year while half of your fucking team will be one and done… I’m sorry whatever your idiot fucking name is but IM DONE…

  10. Nate D
    Posted at | Permalink

    Maybe coach cal should have took a page out of frank martins or Jim boheims book and just decided to sit Derrick rose himself. Martin and boheim did not wait for the NCAA to step in and punish their program because they actually care about the integrity of their universities and not winning at ALL costs. Remember these kids are STUDENT ATHLETES first and not there to just play hoops. To suggest that cal didn’t know what was going on in his program is just lame. That’s the Jim tressell excuse. What happened to him??

  11. Podgeman
    Posted at | Permalink

    Hey Nate D funny you should pick Boheim and Cuse to talk about. I think that program has had the same problems that Penn State had…..they seem to like there younger men a little too much….. Would you want your son to go to one of their basketball camps?

  12. cody ray
    Posted at | Permalink

    Maybe Mr. Knight is just a bit prickly about witnessing another coach who may be encroaching upon the numerous records he has (d). Calipari did not make the one and done rule, he’s just perfecting it. Coach Cal admits it stinks as well, NBA, are YOU listening?

  13. Posted at | Permalink

    bob knight feels the same way i do if you cheat your name shouldnt be called.

  14. MOE P
    Posted at | Permalink

    He is easy to understand if you just paraphrase it. ” Bobby Knight happens” The poor man has no concept of civility as practiced by a truly great coach from the Hoosier state — John Wooden. He can and (maybe) should be respected for his technical teaching of the game but as a person? Forget it!

  15. G23
    Posted at | Permalink

    I must say I have enjoyed all the comments but the ones with the facts are the best. Of course, I love a good argument and feel like chiming in on this one. And for the record, I am not a fan of Kentucky, Syracuse, Duke, or any other school mentioned. Nor do I have any bias against them. That said referencing Syracuse in this argument was a poor choice. Between the Bernie Fine issue and the failed drug cover-ups, John Swofford has got to be second guessing the decision to allow the Orange into the ACC. As for Duke, the comments about never worrying about illegal recruiting, for the most part that is probably correct, but let’s not overlook the illegal contact with a recruit last year at a summer camp. Finally, as far as Kentucky is concerned, you have to be truly blind or ignorant to not recognize a dirty program when you see one. Cal’s legacy of having two final four appearances may go down as a record for one coach. Of course he knew what was going on…all basketball recruiting and signings go through the head coach. I know coaches within the college ranks and it is a known fact that coach Cal “cheats” but to do something about it jeopardizes revenue. And let’s face it the NCAA has never been consistent on punishment. It is only a matter of time before more violations surface with regard to coach Cal. The fact that Kentucky would hire him after the shambles he left two programs in tells me all about the integrity of the wildcats that I need to know. Coach Knight has his flaws for sure, but he is on point when it comes to coach Cal.

  16. Bill
    Posted at | Permalink

    Having lived in Kentucky (Louisville) but being formerly from Indiana and then moving back to Indiana after living in Kentucky for four years, I have to say that Kentucky fans and Kentuckians as a whole are irrational about basketball and many other things. I certainly won’t refer to all Kentuckians as hicks or hillbillies but there seems to be a culture of corruption and stupidity that holds Kentucky back. This isn’t all about basketball but when you’ve lived in both states and seen that Indiana culturally, economically, educationally is a superior state then you realize how far off things in Kentucky truly are.

    The whole sports mentality especially UK basketball is laughable because it gives you an insight of how people from Kentucky think and its usually not in the best light. It explains a lot about Kentucky and its economic system and educational system which continually ranks amongst the worst of all the 50 states. It was recently reported in the last couple of years that Kentucky has ranked 44th or lower on the state rankings of personal income since around 1939. So they have been at the bottom of the barrel since 1939 or been one of the 6 worst states for making a living. I think that explains why basketball is king in Kentucky and not just a diversion for people who have a life and jobs and spend time with their family educating their children to be the best they can be. Instead, it promotes a culture where sports and diversions are more important than education, common sense, making a good income, etc. It promotes sloth and laziness in the general population and having lived in Kentucky, this sloth and laziness is apparent when you first move into the state and actually work and live there. Things aren’t maintained like they would be in most decent Midwestern areas. The work culture is based on who you know entirely rather than what you know or what you can do at your job. It very well may be that way in many locations in the country but it seems that if you want to move ahead in Kentucky, you better pack your bags and move out.

    The Kentucky mentality can basically be summed up this way. Its about sports and religion and politics rather than doing better for yourself. If you don’t like the way we do things here, then get out. Its the mentality of that thinking that makes Kentucky and its serious corruption problems in politics and other endeavors what it is. Its not a Chicago style of corruption its more tolerated in Kentucky. That is based on the ole boy cronyism that seems to be prevalent in Kentucky especially in certain circles. While corruption often exists in politics and big business, it occurs in Kentucky in the general population. Its the culture that exists in Kentucky, its a culture of ignorance and stupidity and that will never change unless there are some serious changes in the US to where they can’t have such an insulated society from the rest of the world. Kentuckians think that way and I recommend a book called “Kentuckians are Different” Its an eye opening look at why Kentucky is the way it is.

    The sports part of it and the unabashed stupidity that exists among UK fans and a lesser extent U of L fans is part of that culture. One poster mentioned poverty and that’s quite a big part of giving these people some level of pride they don’t have because they can’t succeed at any other level other than sports.

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