I don’t really take Knight’s record personally. I just think it’s interesting that his behavior gets a pass because he wins. It’s not about yelling at players. Every coach does that, and rightly so. The point is that the man is entirely incapable of controlling his temper, and that ought to be unacceptable public behavior for a college coach.
I also couldn’t care less what his politics are. So he’s conservative and Dean Smith’s liberal. So what? I don’t turn to a college coach for political advice, but I would like my son to watch some hoops on TV and not get the idea that it’s acceptable behavior to go berserk on the refs, the players, the fans and the press. Knight and Smith are both among the greatest coaches who’ve ever taught the game of basketball. But one’s a gentleman and one’s a jerk, and to me that counts for more than which party’s box they check in the voting booth.