NEW YORK (AP) - Bob Knight has apologized to Kentucky and coach John Calipari after claiming that several of the Wildcats’ players did not attend spring semester classes last year.
The Hall of Fame coach and college basketball analyst for ESPN blasted Calipari’s habit of recruiting players who spend just a year on campus before bolting for the NBA during a speaking engagement in Indiana last weekend.
Knight said in a brief statement released by ESPN on Tuesday: “My overall point is that ‘one-and-dones’ are not healthy for college basketball. I should not have made it personal to Kentucky and its players and I apologize.”
The Wildcats went 35-3 during the 2009-10 season, after which freshmen John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton left school for the NBA.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ Bob Knight is taking aim at Kentucky coach John Calipari once again.
The Hall of Fame coach blasted Calipari’s habit of recruiting players who spend just a year on campus before bolting for the NBA during a speaking engagement in Indiana over the weekend.
During his remarks Knight claimed several players on Kentucky’s 2009-10 roster did not attend class during the spring semester.
“Kentucky the year before last started five players in the NCAA tournament games that had not been to class that semester,” Knight said. “That’s that one-and-done philosophy.”
The Wildcats went 35-3 that season, falling to West Virginia in the NCAA’s East Regional final. Kentucky started three freshmen _ John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe _ in the game as well as sophomore forward Darius Miller and junior forward Patrick Patterson.
Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart responded on Monday evening, saying the school took “great offense” to Knight’s “blatantly erroneous” accusations.
“Academic performance has always been a priority at UK,” Barnhart said in a statement. “It’s unfortunate that, although every starter from the 2010 season finished the spring semester in good academic standing, these myths exist.”
Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Patterson and freshman center Daniel Orton all left school after the season and became first-round NBA draft selections.
Patterson graduated last May while Miller returned for his junior season and was eligible to play all year.
Calipari had no comment, though several players defended themselves.
Patterson posted on his Twitter account that “Think me graduating & teammates GPA’s speak for themselves … don’t u?”
Cousins followed suit, saying via Twitter, “All respect Coach Knight but I went to my spring classes at UK and finished out strong good gpa even after declaring for draft.”
This isn’t the first time Knight has aired his distaste for Calipari, claiming in the fall of 2009 that Calipari was a sign of a lack of integrity in college athletics.
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