Knight takes jab at NCAA
DUNCANVILLE, Texas -- The first question about a sports venture bearing Bob Knight's name wasn't aimed directly at the Hall of Fame basketball coach Tuesday.
The leader in Division I men's basketball victories quickly answered anyway because it involved one of his favorite targets -- the NCAA -- and whether the governing body he has long loathed would be involved in his Dallas-area basketball and volleyball operation.
"If the N-C-double-A had anything to do with this," Knight said, "the roof would leak, there would be no locks on the doors and the court would only have one basket."
Nearly two years since he was on the sidelines, the former Army, Indiana and Texas Tech coach said he offered his name to Bob Knight's Fieldhouse simply because he thought it was a good idea.
Six basketball courts that convert into 10 volleyball courts will be housed in a former ice skating facility run by the NHL's Dallas Stars, who surrendered the money-losing venue last month after the suburb of Duncanville wouldn't change terms of the lease.
Developers want the $1.2 million project to be a youth league haven for what they call the underserved southern section of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They also said they want to partner with schools to emphasize academics, and offer lessons in life skills, two of the ways they piqued Knight's interest.
During Tuesday's unveiling of a planned February opening, the 68-year-old Knight wanted to make sure adults knew they would be welcome.
"There are guys that are 50 years old that think they can still play," he said. "Well, we'll give them a chance to play, to come in there and act like they can play. And every once in a while, one of them will do something that you say, 'Well, you know, 30 years ago he might have played."
The idea is the brainchild of VaShone Rhodes, a team manager for Knight at Indiana when the coach was compiling most of his 902 wins and all three of his national championships.
Knight has a small stake in the investment and said he doesn't have grand plans for other business ventures. He's also not ready to say his coaching days are behind him 20 months after he walked away from the Red Raiders in the middle of the 2007-08 season.
"I learned a long time ago never say 'won't,'" Knight said. "It just comes down to right now, that sounds interesting. That's all the thought I put into most of what I do."
Knight was fired at Indiana in 2000 after violating a zero-tolerance behavioral policy. He said Tuesday he hadn't decided whether to attend his induction into the university's athletics Hall of Fame on Nov. 6. He hasn't returned to the school since his firing.
Knight, who lives in Lubbock, sounded Tuesday like he plans to be in Duncanville frequently after the facility opens. He talked of setting up separate clinics for boys and girls, even parents.
Before that first question about the NCAA, the coach who famously threw a chair across the court to protest a referee's call at Indiana grabbed the microphone and chuckled.
"One of the things I'm looking forward to is when our leagues get started and we bring in the coaches before league play, and I talk to the coaches about how they should handle the officials," he said. "I'm going to really enjoy that."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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