Monday, February 18, 2008

Time for Dicky V to Get Off His Soapbox

I'll be honest; I've never been a big fan of Dick Vitale. I do respect his love and passion for the college game, because people like us it seems like are a dying breed; pure, unadulterated lovers of all things College Basketball. It has not been a great week for him. First we see doing yet another Duke game at Cameron Wednesday and spotted in the crowd are his grandchildren wearing Duke jerseys. He doesn't even hide it. This picture is his from his website! So much for being impartial right? But during Saturday night's telecast of the Michigan State/Indiana game, the last straw arrived for us with regards to Mr. Vitale.

We are absolutely sickened by the way Vitale is handling the Indiana coaching situation and his continued stroking of his friend and ex-IU coach Bob Knight. Its one thing to have a strong opinion on the matter - Vitale is right that Sampson is dumb to continue to cheat when you have already been busted cheating - but it's another to call for his removal because of your friendship with the coach who you believe was done wrong by the University.

First off, it took Vitale a whole three minutes before he went into his decades old "it's such a travesty that the court at Assembly Hall hasn't been re-named Robert Montgomery Knight Court" routine. Seriously, that bit is as old as Chris Berman's nicknames. Then he launched into a rant about how the Indiana administration is hypocritical because it had Knight on a zero tolerance policy on Knight, yet went out and hired a known cheater, who has been busted cheating again, and didn't fire him right away. Does he not remember why Knight was on zero tolerance policy? He choked one of his players in practice. He constantly bullied University administrators and workers and was a terror to work with and work for.

But none of that matters to Vitale we guess. All he sees are the good things. Yes, Knight graduated his players and his heard of blind loyalists. He donated money to the University to build libraries and was a philanthropist the right way; when he gave money to a cause, he wanted it done quietly. We respect that. But those are the things Vitale only talks about. But seriously, does Vitale not see that Knight received more rope than anyone else? Nah, you don't talk about that because you are one of his flock of loyalists. When his boy quit on his Texas Tech team out of nowhere - that's right, he quit on the kids - Vitale bought into Knight's "I did it all for Pat" explanation, which rings hollow because Knight refuses to say he is retired from coaching. The reason he quit is because he was burned out in Lubbock where he knows there is a ceiling and it isn't close to being a Final Four caliber program, regardless of who is the coach there.

Why did Vitale think it was important to mention during the game "I spoke to Kent Benson and he told me that if Sampson isn't fired, he is giving back his season tickets." Oh really. First off, who the fuck cares about Kent Benson anyways? Secondly, why is that relevant? The guy played for Knight and thinks the University did him wrong. What else is he going to say. What about Vitale mentioning that "Mike Davis ran and clean program and is doing a great job at UAB?" Is that a joke? Mike Davis was a clown who everyone wanted run out of town. No Vitale defends him too?
Did he not know there was a big game going on? Instead of talking basketball, he literally spent two hours opining on his soapbox about how Kelvin Sampson disrespected the University and should be fired while subconsciously lobbying for his friend to somehow, some way, get back to Bloomington and be the coach again.

The whole thing was sickening and he should be ashamed of himself. You have an opinion on the subject; fine, give it and move forward. There was a game between two top 12 teams going on where Indiana's star big man D.J. White left with a knee injury, but they rallied to beat Michigan State 80-61. Did we hear Vitale give props to the coaching staff for being able to get his kids past all of the distractions and win a big game? Of course not. It was a weak and lame telecast both by Vitale and by Dan Shulman for sitting there and not perhaps making an attempt to see the other side of the argument.

Shame on you Dicky V.

p.s. Erin Andrews looked phenomenal on the sidelines yet again.


MarkJacksonShimmey said...

What Vitale still doesn't realize about naming the court after Knight is that IT'S ALREADY NAMED BRANCH MCCRACKEN COURT. The court was named after a famous IU coach. Someone really to get Vitale to shutup.

Big Shirtless Rob said...

If you really were a college basketball fan, you would know that anytime Dicky V's grandkids attend a game, they always wear the home team's jersey...not just at Duke.


MTAC said...

Rob - buy that act when Vitale says that?? I heard him say that during the game and if you believe that, then you are not as smart as I thought you were.

Jerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iamhoosier said...

I agree with your comments about how DV just went on and on and on ....

As for as Knight goes, DV is probably correct that IU should name something Knight--perhaps a wing of the library? If this were to happen, can DV guarantee that Knight will NOT thumb his nose at IU?