- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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The short version? Pat Knight thinks some of the NCAA's rules are "[expletive]."
The long version is slightly more complicated. Here's the deal: On Tuesday, the Indianapolis Star reported that newly hired Lamar coach Pat Knight may face some NCAA heat for potential secondary violations committed by his father, former Indiana coach Bob Knight. (Perhaps you've heard of him?) According to the Star, the elder Knight spoke for about five minutes apiece with Indianapolis-area high school recruits Jason Smith and Donnell Minton, both of whom committed to Lamar last week. The NCAA prohibits anyone but program staff from attempting to recruit a player to a school; it's the same reason boosters can't meet recruits, the same reason schools try so hard to police those pesky "Come to our school!!!!" Facebook fan groups. The rule also applies to Bob Knight.
So what does that mean for Lamar? Probably very little. The NCAA may investigate and hand down some minor punishments, but these are secondary violations. They're minor. Oh well.
That doesn't mean Pat Knight is all that pleased with the rule itself. Never one to gloss his feelings, Pat told the Beaumont Enterprise just how he felt about the NCAA's myriad minor recruiting restrictions:
"I didn't know it was against the law to have your dad say hello to recruits," Pat Knight said after practice Tuesday. "At least I'm not paying them. The NCAA should look into guys that are paying players and not worry about guys that are doing it the right way."
"I think it's (expletive), honestly," Knight said. "The guy is my dad. If he wants to say hello to a recruit, he can. If we get reprimanded, fine. They need to check into guys that are outright cheating instead of nickle-dime stuff like that."
Pat Knight is hilarious. When placed in a similar situation, your average coach would talk about how regrettable the mistake was, how seriously the program takes its compliance, how important it is that everyone realizes these were sloppy accidents, and boy, will we make sure they don't happen again. In other words, they pay lip-service. Pat Knight, like his father before him, seems physically incapable of paying lip-service.
As entertaining as that is, he's also wrong. If you want to be a college coach, you sign up for a certain set of rules. You may not like them all, but you sign up for them anyway. The NCAA justice system isn't the place to experiment with civil disobedience. You can't just say "that rule's dumb, they should focus on other things." If only!