Coaches Bobby Knight and Mike Davis; pick only one...

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If you follow college hoops, you may remember the name Bob Knight. He does color for ESPN during March Madness and many, many IU fans will never forget the glory days when he reigned over IU's campus like Tim Keller reigns over postmodern Christian hipsters of a certain age and skin color. Coach Knight's reign wasn't just over IU basketball or IU athletics; it extended to the IU Library, the IU Business School, the IU biology and sociology and English literature departments, Bloomington barber shops, Indianapolis car auctions... It extended almost to the fifty-yard line at Notre Dame and center court at Purdue's Mackey Arena—all of it was what they call Hoosier Nation and Coach Knight was king.

Then the IU Trustees brought in a philosophy professor from Oregon as president. He was punching well above his weight class so he made a name for himself and managed a lateral transfer to president of the NCAA by presiding over a year-long, shameful firing of Coach Knight. It should have been done years earlier. No one but his wife had been able to stand up to Knight and, lacking discipline, he'd turned into a bully, so the time had come for his departure. How Miles Brand did it was despicable, but that he did it was a relief...

Since the firing, Coach Knight has proven it was the right thing to do by refusing ever, ever, ever, ever, ever to return to IU—even for the occasion of his induction to the IU Hall of Fame; even when his own son issued a public statement that the time had come for his return—or, as his stepmother says to her husband, "the horse is dead; get off it!"

The gracious and humble Christian man of a certain skin color who took over the program when Coach Knight was fired was our family favorite. We haven't liked an IU coach since as well as we liked Coach Mike Davis. But during his tenure at IU, he was lampooned and scorned and hated by Hoosier Nation, and that's all the introduction you need for this excellent article about Coach Davis's recent return to Indiana University.

If you miss everything else, note Coach Davis's two statements about sports and the "real world."

(Thanks to Taylor)

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This post was edited to correct my mistake in referring to Knight's present wife as Pat Knight's "mother." This is Knight's second marriage and therefore Knight's second wife is Pat Knight's stepmother. Thanks to my own personal encyclopedia of all-things-IU-sports, David Wegener, for the correction.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

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