I'm glad to see SI finally cared enough about college basketball to write an article showing the human side of one of the sport's greatest coaches—Bobby Knight (The Rabbit Hunter, Jan. 26). He has probably brought more joy to the people of Indiana, especially the students of Indiana University, than anyone else. If only we all could be as good at our jobs as Bobby is at his.
SI has redeemed itself in the eyes of Indiana University and Bobby Knight fans. Excellent, objective journalism by Frank Deford.
MARK V. KAMINSKI
Indiana University '77
Frank Deford produced a consummate article on Coach Knight. As a junior high school coach, I only hope I can remain as dedicated to my principles and goals as Bobby has to his. His deep concern for the purity of the college athletic and academic experience is something that I hope will become the standard of the future. When those who squeeze all they can from the college game have moved on to more lucrative endeavors, Bobby Knight will still be selling principles and hard work in exchange for a fishing rod and a chance to hunt some rabbits.
STEPHEN D. WOLKOFF
The article on Bobby Knight was a disgrace and a cheap shot. I suggest Frank Deford stick to sports writing and leave the psychoanalyzing to the psychiatrists.
JAMES P. MOONEY JR.
The article was one of the best I've ever read. People can say what they will about Bobby Knight as a person, coach or diplomat, but in the final analysis he must be looked upon as an extremely positive force. The predication of his entire educational philosophy on honesty and integrity is a pleasant change from the scandals of present-day college athletics. Isn't it something of an enigma that such a philosophy should be the source of such vehement criticism?
SAM K. SHRIVER
By spotlighting an immature, self-serving coach, you have unfortunately given a great deal of credibility to a style of coaching that will be emulated by others seeking to match Bobby Knight's record. But at what price? Will we see the next generation of young athletes who undergo such "coaching" transfer what they've experienced in sports to their everyday activities? Imagine a world full of people seeking to succeed through intimidation, belittlement and verbal abuse.
It has become my habit to silently cheer whenever Indiana loses a basketball game. At the same time, I hope that the IU players rise above their shoddy role model.
JERALD T. WRUBEL
I was on the plebe (freshman) basketball team at West Point during 1970-71, Bobby Knight's last season there. During what is known as "Beast Barracks," the most difficult time of plebe year, Coach Knight's home was always open to us. On many a Sunday afternoon half of the plebe team would be in the Knights' basement talking, watching television and eating treats prepared by Nancy Knight. The Knights knew what we were going through and did what they could to provide us with a home away from home.
"Too many people humor Knight instead of responding to him, and that may be the single real deprivation of his life."
Superbly put! I know. I once was humored (feared) like Knight. My joy in living began only when people reached through my defensive posture and confronted me honestly, bluntly, warmly. I'd been killing rabbits with TNT. When I was able to stop that, I was able to respond to what was there, not what I feared was there.