01 December 2007

Centenary's big W

Proud to be a Gent.  And/or whatever we will be.  Because tonight, the Centenary Gents defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a great game at CenturyTel.  

The crowd looked small to start, no doubt owing to the competing SEC championship game.  Regardless, we grew to a relatively large crowd soon and would have seemed rather impressive in the Gold Dome.  Alas, we were home away from home.  

But we had to dress pretty because Bobby Knight was there.  At least until half-time.
At the end of the first half, Kelly and Kakie and I retreated to the C Club area for free munchies and apparently missed the show.  When we returned to our seats, Kelly's husband (who had stayed in his seat during half time) said that just as Texas Tech was returning to the locker room, Knight stopped at the Centenary student section and was gesturing passionately to them.  He couldn't tell what had happened or who started it. 

Then a fellow faculty member joined us and said that Centenary radio had reported "an altercation" between the students and Knight.  But that was all he knew for sure.

By this point, it was quite clear that Knight would not be returning to the game.  The official line later was that he was ill and has been since Texas Tech played in Alaska last week.

Finally, we heard the story from a student, an advisee of mine, who had been standing there and experienced the situation first-hand.  He first told the story to a group two rows in front of us; then he told us, and then he repeated it again to the mother of a basketball player directly in front of us (she had apparently not overheard either of the previous tellings).  So if he was making any of this up, he was doing it well and repeating the same details three times in a row.

The advisee said that just as Knight passed them, one of the students said, "Watch out: he's got a gun!" alluding to a recently reported incident and a bunch of students responded by hiding their heads in mock fear.  Clearly a planned bit of trash talk, and clearly in poor taste, but clever nonetheless.

The advisee then tells us that Knight paused to yell at the students, saying that he didn't have to be here, that the only reason Texas Tech would bother playing a team like Centenary was as a favor to Rob Flaska (our coach, who has some former connection with Knight).  
This is where local news stories stop . . . well, what local stations even covered the game.  KTBS spent their entire sports section via satellite to their main sports guy who reported on virtually nothing, spending the entire segment on his personal commentary about LSU's possibilities for the National Championship.  

So if you want news on this game, you should check out this story on usually crummy KTAL (an entertaining piece, what with the reporter's singing and all) or check out virtually any Lubbock news outlet, like this one.

Anyway, the point is that advisee did not stop there.  He said that Knight proceeded to curse the students and yell angrily.  When one of his assistant coaches approached and tried to help him leave the court, he began yelling at the assistant and cursing him.  Then he returned to the students and took up his rant again, so fiercely that the advisee found himself feeling rather frightened and had to turn away.
The Shreveport Times' photo gallery (from which the photos in this post come) seem to support this story, especially the one above showing Knight interacting with an assistant coach in front of the Centenary student section.  If Knight merely "stopped, walked to the students and calmly explained" his position, why would his assistant need to intervene?

Regardless, Bobby Knight left, not to return.  And Centenary prevailed, defeating Texas Tech definitively only in the last two seconds.  An intense second half, and rewarding.

Knight's son and heir responded defensively to the media, but it hardly matters.  Whether or not he has his father's talent for coaching, he clearly shares his temper.  (Anyway, does the fact that Texas Tech couldn't maintain their lead in the second half at all indicate that Knight's son can't coach?)

We shall see how the story shakes down.  Since the game happened on Championship Saturday in college football, hardly anyone will take the time to report on this game or its shenanigans.  Some of our local sports could hardly bring themselves to do it, but shame on them for that.  

After all, the Knight business is really no surprise.  But the varying stories are.  Which will prevail, the provocative one from my trustworthy advisee who claims to have seen it, or the tamer official line from the SID to the AP and beyond?


lady_catherine said...

I can confirm your advisee's story! I was there right behind the bench and saw the whole thing. Honestly...it was a rewarding experience to me because I went with some anticipation of an "altercation". I did feel sorry for the old man, but also thought the students were pretty funny. If he can't handle that...well, we won't be seeing much of him on the court this season.

Arthur Jackson said...


Congrats to the Centenary Hazel Beards.

Jen said...

The Lady Satyrs thank you.

Micah said...

Lady Goatmen