SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The Potentially Great Story That Just Won't Go Away (or, "Hello, Columbus")

First we read about how Ohio State dismissed Jim O'Brien, its head men's basketball coach, over allegedly improper payments made to an Eastern European player on his roster. Next, we read somewhere that Bob Knight could be on the list of potential replacements, because Bob Knight, as everyone knows, played with Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek at Ohio State. Then, just a few days later, we read where Texas Tech gave Coach Knight a three-year contract extension.

So, we all had reason to conclude that Texas Tech AD Gerald Myers answered the rumor mill and put any and all rumors to rest about where Bob Knight would be wearing his loud red sweaters in the fall. But, if we drew that conclusion, we were wrong.

There are reports on various networks that Bob Knight just might be a candidate and might be interested in coaching at his alma mater. And, as we all know, sometimes those reports turn into press conferences and do turn into hirings.

And, sometimes, they do not. Andy Geiger, the AD at Ohio State, seems an unlikely candidate for bringing in Bob Knight as his men's hoops coach. On the one hand, the program has underachieved in recent years. On the other hand, after the initial publicity, after the honeymoon, the reality will be that AD Geiger will have to live with Coach Knight. And, despite his great coaching ability and his almost equal ability to graduate players, Coach Knight has proven to be a major-league headache at times.

But the story is too tempting to resist -- Bob Knight, back in the Big 10, playing at Indiana. Bob Knight, perhaps building a team to get one final chance at a Final Four, a result that might be unlikely in Lubbock.

So let's follow this one closely. If it happens, the news of Bob Knight's return to Buckeyeland will dwarf every other college b-ball story this summer or fall.

Will it be "Hello Columbus?"