Cleaning my desk I came across a small clipping I had saved about Bob Knight. It was dated Sept. 29, 200. 12 years ago. I kept clippings about Knight because I was preparing for my Playboy interview with him, which would appear in March 2001. My desk, obviously, was in severe need of organization. Knight, as many know, was a controversial coach who got in trouble with the U. of Indiana administration for putting his hands around some players and students necks. Knight had appeared on Larry King’s CNN show and after King played a tape of Knight choking one of his players, Knight said that he had heard from Penn State coach Joe Paterno. “If that’s something that’s really upsetting to the people at Indiana,” Paterno told Knight, “the people at Penn State would be upset 200 times a year with me.”
Larry King expressed surprised and asked Knight, “He touches players?”
“He told me that,” Knight said.
“You think coaches are touching players all over America?” King asked.
“I don’t think there’s any question about it,” Knight said.
Now, given, they were talking about touching players, not young boys, and not (I assume) sexually, but Paterno, we have learned, knew about his asst. coach Jerry Sandusky and some of the claims against him. Just talking about “touching” seems so wrong, in so many ways. To think that this was on TV and then in print in 2000, it just kind of sends a shiver down one’s spine. I don’t recall anyone referring to this interview with Knight during the Sandusky affair, but in light of what happened, and to Paterno’s fall from grace at Penn State, it is something worth remembering. 200 times over!? Please, Joe, say it ain’t so. Coaching’s tough enough without the touching.