They finally did it. Indiana University has fired Bobby Knight, their infamous basketball coach known as much for his tirades both on and off the court as for the fact that he's won more college basketball games than any other active basketball coach. Knight has run a clean program under NCAA rules, and he has had one of the highest graduation rates of his players at the Division I level.

But Knight was also out of control, and not even a zero-tolerance agreement he made last spring with the president of the university could keep either his hair-trigger temper or his razor-sharp tongue in check. After it came to light that he had allegedly roughed up and cursed a university student for having simply called him "Knight" (instead of Mr. or Coach Knight), University President Miles Brand announced that that was merely one in a string of violations since the zero-tolerance agreement, so he had no choice but to fire Knight.

Some pundits have argued that Knight's problem is that he's from the old school, that he hasn't adjusted to the politically correct standards of today, nor has he adjusted to the reality that top-level athletes today expect to be pampered and stroked and treated like the near-gods they have come to believe they are. Knight, it has been said, honed his coaching style in an era when men were men and boys were boys and it was permissible for authority figures like coaches to bully their subjects into submission and use vocabulary that would make any sailor feel at home.

Well, Knight will never be accused of being politically correct—not the Knight who once advised women who were raped that they should just relax and enjoy it. (That comment alone would have probably gotten a tenured professor fired.) Certainly, Knight ...

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