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Archive for Sunday, August 7, 2005

Bedore: Knight on TV? Get real

August 7, 2005

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ESPN execs believe they have a hit reality-TV show in the making starring Texas Tech basketball coach Bob Knight.

ESPN in actuality has a yawner of a reality-TV series in the works starring Bob's son - Red Raider associate head coach Pat Knight, the man who someday likely will succeed his dad in Lubbock, Texas.

There is absolutely no way sometimes-charming, but mostly crabby, coaching legend Bob Knight will be willing to let reality-TV producers, directors and cameras invade his space long enough to make "Knight School" - at least "Bob Knight School" - a reality.

It'll be up to sidekick, Pat, a future coaching star himself, to bail out papa.

You just wait.

Pat will be the one to put 16 Tech students through what the Associated Press described as "long hours of drills, conditioning and instruction," the ultimate survivor earning a spot on the 2006-07 Red Raiders' team.

Six one-hour episodes are scheduled to be filmed in late September - when Bob usually can be found hunting and fishing before the start of the long hoops season - and aired in February.

You know how long it will take to gather enough material for six interesting one-hour episodes?

Way too long to test Bob's patience, that is for sure.

You mean to tell me a man who barely can make it through his 10-minute Big 12 Conference media briefing on Mondays during the season is going to open himself up enough to create a watchable reality-TV series about prospective basketball walk-ons?

Bill Self, friend of all media, might be able to pull it off.

But Bob Knight, sparring partner with most media members whose names are not Bob Hammel and Chet Coppock?

No way.

The ultimate test of a coach's charm is how he treats the non-national media outlets in the press. And so I've learned to give thumbs-up to gracious guys like Eddie Sutton, Kelvin Sampson, Rick Barnes, Gene Keady and so many others for treating Kansas media-types as they would the New York Times.

Knight - the man who sometimes does not talk even after games - gets a thumbs-down, especially after snubbing me before a KU-Indiana game in the 1990s.

Realizing through past experiences it's easier to win the lottery than be granted an interview with Knight via conventional means, I sent him a letter requesting a one-on-one audience.

My sales pitch? The historical significance of the KU-Indiana series, some perspective on the two heavyweights doing battle during the regular season.

Of course, my correspondence went ignored, and Knight's only published comments came after that game - if indeed he spoke after that game. As I recall, he sent an assistant to his postgame media session after a easy, yet electric, 80-61 home victory over the Jayhawks in December, 1994, at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind.

Knight simply doesn't crave the spotlight like Donald Trump, star of "The Apprentice" or "Flavor Flav," camera hog of the "Surreal Life."

Count on Raphael Palmeiro being elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot before Bob Knight's reality-TV show makes it on air.

Now Pat Knight reality TV?

That's still a possibility. A real possibility.

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