Contact Between Bob Knight & Player Makes National Headlines - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/14/06

Contact Between Bob Knight & Player Makes National Headlines

Source: AP Source: AP

Texas Tech Basketball Coach Bob Knight is in the national spotlight Tuesday after an incident with one of his players Monday night. Some are outraged, while others are wonder what the fuss is all about.

Monday, the talk is about the questionable contact Coach Knight had with one of his players. Some are calling it a slap, some a tap. After Michael Prince committed a foul during the immediate timeout. Coach Knight addressed him and Prince dips his head down. Knight quickly lifts his chin up with his hand and says look at me. Prince was seen on the bench wincing a bit immediately afterwards. The coach says he was trying to get his message across to the Sophomore forward and Prince's parents both say it wasn't a big deal to them.

Meanwhile, Knight himself gave espn.com the following statements. "I'm sure there were some cases where I have been wrong, but [Monday night] wasn't one of them. I was trying to help a kid and I think I did. If I was confronted with the same set of circumstances I would do the exact same thing. Mike has a confidence problem. He wants to play so badly that it hurts him. I told him, 'Mike we've got to have you playing in these circumstances.' I said, 'Are you ok playing in these circumstances?' He had his head down. I flipped his chin up and told him to look me right in the eye so he could do the job we want. I said, 'Can you?' and he said 'Yes,' and I said, 'Ok, sit down and let's go.' If that's an issue then I'm living in the wrong country."

"If Mike had his head hanging over a mistake again I'd flip his chin up tomorrow. I'm trying to get him to be the best player he can be and his parents' answer was that they didn't expect anything else. You'd have to be an idiot to slap a kid under any circumstances. I've been called a lot of things and idiot isn't one of them. I'm proud of the fact that his parents are in total agreement with what I did," Knight added. 

Athletic Director Gerald Myers released this statement "I have discussed this with Michael Prince, his parents and Coach Knight. Coach Knight did not slap Michael. Here is what happened: Michael came off the court with his head down and Coach Knight quickly lifted Michael's chin up and said, 'Hold your head up and don't worry about your mistakes. Just play the game.' In my opinion, Coach Knight did not do anything wrong."

Texas Tech will not comment further on the matter.

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