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Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight bluntly criticized and expressed his distaste for an additional Hall of Famer, the late John Wooden, in an interview on “Undeniable with Joe Buck” that can air Wednesday evening.
“I’ve by no means been a Wooden fan,” Knight stated of the 11-time NCAA champion coach at UCLA. Wooden is broadly thought of one of many best and most influential coaches of all time.
Knight, the previous nationwide title-winning Indiana coach, was notably disgruntled with the Bruins’ recruiting ways within the ’70s that stretched into the ’80s — particularly in how UCLA allowed booster Sam Gilbert to violate NCAA guidelines in making an attempt to recruit gamers. The college acquired a one-year postseason ban in 1981 and had its 1980 nationwide title runner-up end vacated on account of Gilbert’s actions. Wooden, nonetheless, was lengthy retired at that time.
MORE: Knight addresses Indiana firing
“I’ve a whole lot of respect for Wooden as a coach, how he coached. He was a great coach,” Knight said. “But from then on, and I do not thoughts saying it, I do not respect Wooden, as a result of he allowed Sam Gilbert to do no matter it took to recruit children.
“And one time (Wooden) told me, he said, ‘I just didn’t know how to deal with Sam Gilbert.’ And I’m saying to myself, ‘I damn sure could have dealt with him.'”
Knight, who was fired from Indiana for an altercation with a scholar, speculated that Wooden fell sufferer to a then-growing recruiting tradition that has morphed the game over the past three-plus a long time — taking particular intention at UCLA. Currently, an FBI investigation into pay-for-play recruiting has engulfed the faculty basketball world, costing coach Rick Pitino his job at Louisville.
“Personally, I liked John as a person, but it isn’t just John, it’s a whole UCLA approach to recruiting,” Knight added. “I think John was called in and told he didn’t have to worry about recruiting, that they had people that would take care of that for him.”
As for the incident that led to his firing at Indiana, Knight instructed Buck:
“That child made a dumb mistake. I went over to that child and I did much more for the son of a (expletive) than his dad and mom ever did for him. And I went over there and I stated ‘Son, let me tell you something, you don’t tackle adults like that underneath any circumstances.’ And that’s why I’ve no use for Indiana University, as a result of they used that as a purpose to get me out of there, and that’s absolute (expletive).”