Fire Indiana interim coach Mike Davis! The sooner the better!
He lost in the first round of the NCAAs last Thursday, didn't he? Did the great Bob Knight ever do that? (Well, not unless you count four times in his last six tries.)
Why would you want a humble lamb like Davis, who says he doesn't swear? Knight won 661 games at Indiana, and he swore like a longshoreman with bunions. Why would you want a milquetoast who won't smoke or drink and listens to tapes of his pastor's sermons while he's driving? How would that look in a Playboy interview?
Hey, Indiana, you don't want a cream puff like Davis! You want a killer! You want someone who's Ginsu-tongued and always ready with the devastating put-down, the way Knight was. Davis fights a stutter every day. In high school he stuttered so badly he had to quit playing quarterback because lie couldn't get out the signals.
You want someone who understands the vital importance of college basketball. You don't want someone with perspective like the 40-year-old Davis, whose father died when Mike was 12, who vas so broke as a young coach that he sold T-shirts out of the trunk of his car to help pay the rent. A guy like Davis, whose two-year-old daughter, Nichole, was killed in a car wreck in 1990, isn't going to appreciate the mind-blowing tragedy of losing to Purdue.
After the Hoosiers lost to Kent State last Thursday night, did Davis get angry at his players and walk home alone in the rain? Did he tie them up with rope and singe their arm hair? Stick bam-DOO shoots under their toenails? No! He hugged them! What land of Indiana coach is that? If Knight ever hugged one of his players after a loss, he was probably trying to break the guy's clavicle.
I mean, where are the crowd-pleasing theatrics? Knight kicked his own son! Slam-dunked a scorer's table telephone! Heaved a :hair across the floor! What has Davis done this year? Zippo! He hasn't even checked his players' neck sizes yet! "Oh, no, no," he says. "Hit a kid? No, man, never. That doesn't prove you're tough. I wouldn't want anybody hitting my kid. I'm not going to hit anybody else's kid. I teach, not hit."
Where's the accidental shooting of a hunting pal? The talk of wanting to live in the good old days of dueling? The threat by his lawyer of a lawsuit against Indiana? Davis's idea of controversy is thinking bad thoughts about the officials. "I wish I could stop that," he says. "I ought to be above that."
Pink-slip that altar boy! He doesn't know the first thing about Indiana coaching tradition. Secretaries don't even duck when Davis comes into the athletic offices. Faculty aren't putting their names on an e-mail petition to keep him from coaching, as more than 60 members of the Texas Tech faculty did last week in opposition as Knight was being interviewed for the Red Raiders' job. Knight used to yank players out of the game for making mistakes, sometimes followed by a head butt. This season Davis had to yell at his players to stop looking over to the bench after every mistake. "Just play!" he'd shout. "I'm not pulling you out!"
Has there ever been a job worse than the one Davis took after Knight was fired? Student protests attracted cops in riot gear, the university president was getting death threats, Davis was getting hundreds of hateful e-mail messages, minicams were everywhere, and fans howled for Davis to quit.