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Gottfried found a backdoor, Knight found a conscience

By Staff
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
Commentary
Perhaps Mark Gottfried needs to take lessons from Bob Knight.
Knight, former Indiana now Texas Tech head coach, told the university to keep his $250,000 salary for this year, claiming, more or less, he did not earn it.
Maybe giving up his salary is going a bit overboard for Gottfried, but his team did not earn a No. 10 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Following Alabama's loss to lowly Vanderbilt in the first round of the SEC Tournament, perhaps Gottfried should have told the country his team didn't earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament, so no matter what, they were not going.
Instead, Gottfried did his best impression of a little school boy whining because a bully had stolen his lunch.
Two different schools of thought are prevalent in the two cases.
If you're from the school of Bob Knight…
1. Work your tail off and succeed – get rewarded.
2. Fail and don't.
Sure, Knight has had his problems in the past, but this time he's right.
I get the feeling he looked at himself in the mirror one morning a couple of weeks ago and said to himself "I am not going to take this institution's money. Why pay me for a job poorly done?"
He did not have to tell Texas Tech to keep his salary, but being the man he is – realizing he did not earn it – he told the president to do something else with it.
When a person holds themselves accountable for his responsibility as a coach to teach players, the way Knight did by docking his own salary, that is true leadership.
"I just feel like I had a product and it broke," Knight told the Dallas Morning News. "You shouldn't have to pay for it. That's all I think."
Some coaches just blame the players, the facilities, or, in Gottfried's case, tough competition.
If you're from the school of Mark Gottfried…
1. Work your tail off and succeed – get rewarded.
2. Fail, and think up reasons why you should still get rewarded.
Sure, Gottfried has a point.
His Alabama team beat Oklahoma, a No. 1 seed in the tournament, and Xavier, a No. 3 seed.
He was quick to point that out to the NCAA committee.
He was not quick to point out a 7-10 SEC record, including the loss to Vanderbilt in the conference tournament.
Alabama could not have won the Morgan County Tournament by season's end.
There's no doubt Gottfried has good athletes at The Capstone, but obviously, something is wrong.
Alabama found the backdoor into the "Big Dance" and Gottfried should be ashamed.
Before the SEC Tournament, when Alabama was firmly on the "bubble," Gottfried said "You look at Oklahoma and they might be a No. 1 seed. You look at Xavier and they're probably a No. 3. I don't know why we are having this conversation."
Silly media, right?
Food for thought…
Wouldn't it be nice to be in a position to give up $250,000?

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