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Morning Briefing

Knight Couldn't Play for Knight

June 23, 1987

Hustle and teamwork. Bobby Knight preaches both, but he didn't always practice both. At least that's the way his high school coach tells it.

Bob Gobin, a teaching coordinator at the University of Vermont, coached Knight as a senior at Orrville (Ohio) High School in 1957-58. He told the Burlington (Vt.) Free Press that Knight, a star as a junior under the former coach, immediately caused problems.

"Bobby did not take kindly to a new coach and the changes I wanted," he said. "He subsequently did not hustle on the floor and was causing dissension on the team. It came down to players having to pick between me and Knight. I wasn't going to allow that.

"Finally, I didn't start him in one game, which didn't sit too well. When I called on him to go in, he refused, saying if he wasn't good enough to start, he wasn't good enough to play. He went and sat by himself on the end of the bench for the rest of the half."

Gobin suspended him for a week.

Of Knight as a player, Gobin said: "Not only was he the team's superstar, he was a self-proclaimed superstar. Knight was volatile and egocentric and not a team player."

Add Knight: He heads the selection committee for the Pan American Games, and Florida Coach Norm Sloan claims Knight used his influence to get tryouts for an Indiana redshirt and two potential recruits for the World University Games. Meanwhile, Florida guard Vernon Maxwell, leading scorer among Southeastern Conference returnees, was overlooked.

Sloan told The Sporting News: "Bobby Knight is always thumping his chest, talking about his honesty. But let me tell you, there are a lot of different ways to cheat.

"One way is to use the Olympic Games, the Pan Am Games and the World University Games as recruiting tools. People like Bobby Knight are supposedly important to college basketball, but the way they are conducting themselves is a disgrace to college basketball. He's a hypocrite."

Trivia Time: When Scott Simpson won the U.S. Open, he became the fourth USC product to win one of the four major tournaments in men's golf. Name the other three. (Answer below.)

Would-you-believe-it dept.: Nobody in the U.S. Open was able to reach Olympic Club's 609-yard 16th hole in two shots, including Greg Norman. He even came up short in a practice round after teeing the ball up on the fairway to hit his second shot with a driver.

According to golf historian Charles Price, the hole was reached in two when it measured 604 yards.

"With a driver and a spoon," he said.

The year was 1929. The golfer was Bobby Jones.

14 Years Ago Today: On June 23, 1973, Ken Brett of the Philadelphia Phillies set a major league record for pitchers when he hit a home run in the fourth consecutive game he had pitched. He beat the Montreal Expos, 7-2.

Gene Mauch will remember. He was the Montreal manager.

From Richard Justice of the Washington Post: "Former Angel Darryl Sconiers is playing a second straight year at San Jose and leading the Class-A California League in hitting. The money apparently isn't too good, because he recently had his car repossessed."

Trivia Time: Al Geiberger (PGA) 1966; Dave Stockton (PGA) 1970 and 1976; Craig Stadler (Masters) 1982.

Quotebook

Alvin Dark, former big league manager and born-again Christian: "The Lord taught me to love everybody, but the last ones I learned to love were the sportswriters."

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