Bob Knight apologizes to Kentucky

Updated: April 20, 2011, 11:45 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

ESPN analyst Bob Knight apologized Tuesday after making erroneous statements over the weekend about the academic record of Kentucky's basketball team.

At a speaking engagement in Indiana on Saturday, Knight criticized the policy allowing players to go to the NBA after one season and incorrectly said that during the 2009-10 season, the starters on Kentucky's NCAA tournament team did not attend class during the spring semester.

Knight My overall point is that 'one and dones' are not healthy for college basketball. I should not have made it personal to Kentucky and its players and I apologize.

-- Bob Knight

"My overall point is that 'one and dones' are not healthy for college basketball," Knight said. "I should not have made it personal to Kentucky and its players and I apologize."

The Wildcats went 35-3 that season, falling to West Virginia in the NCAA's East Regional final. Kentucky started three freshmen -- John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe -- in the game as well as sophomore forward Darius Miller and junior forward Patrick Patterson.

Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Patterson and freshman center Daniel Orton all left school after the season and became first-round NBA draft selections.

"Kentucky the year before last started five players in the NCAA tournament games that had not been to class that semester," Knight said over the weekend. "That's that one-and-done philosophy."

Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart responded on Monday evening, saying the school took "great offense" to Knight's "blatantly erroneous" accusations. He said all five starters last year finished the season in good academic standing.

Patterson graduated last May while Miller returned for his junior season and was eligible to play all year.

Meanwhile, Kentucky freshman Doron Lamb announced Tuesday he will return for his sophomore season.

Calipari had no comment, though several players defended themselves.

Patterson posted on his Twitter account that "Think me graduating & teammates GPA's speak for themselves ... don't u?"

Cousins followed suit, saying via Twitter, "All respect Coach Knight but I went to my spring classes at UK and finished out strong good gpa even after declaring for draft."

This isn't the first time Knight has aired his distaste for Calipari, claiming in the fall of 2009 that Calipari was a sign of a lack of integrity in college athletics.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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