Knight would rather talk to Hussein than hear ethics rhetoric

Updated: October 30, 2003, 8:20 PM ET

DALLAS -- Bob Knight would rather listen to Saddam Hussein talk about civil rights than some of the rhetoric about ethics in college basketball. Neither makes a lot of sense to him.

The Texas Tech coach wasn't among the about 300 coaches who attended a mandatory meeting in Chicago earlier this month to discuss an array of problems the sport has faced this year.

"If I say I'm going to listen to (Hussein) over a lot of the rhetoric that I'd have to hear going to the other thing, I don't think you have to be a mental giant to figure that one out," Knight said Thursday when asked to explain earlier comments referring to the former Iraqi leader.

"People I've talked to thought it was a waste of time," he said.

The meeting called by the National Association of Basketball Coaches came in the wake of several problems, including some at Big 12 schools.

Knight was asked about the meeting while talking to local reporters on the Lubbock campus Monday.

"On some people that have spoken on that, I would have rather listened to Saddam Hussein speak on civil rights than to some people speak about ethics," he said then.

When asked during the Big 12 media day about Knight's remarks, Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson, the NABC president, said he didn't comment on other people's comments.

At Baylor, a former player is accused of killing a teammate. Coach Dave Bliss, who formerly coached at OU, was fired after the investigation found potential NCAA rules violations, and secretly recorded tapes later revealed the coach trying to discredit dead player Patrick Dennehy.

Also this past year, Iowa State coach Larry Eustachy resigned, admitting that he was an alcoholic after it was revealed he partied with students in dormitories after road games.

Elsewhere, Fresno State and Georgia declared themselves ineligible for postseason play because of rules violations. St. Bonaventure players refused to finish the season after a teammate was found to have been admitted to the school under false pretenses.

"The fact that there were some maybe extraordinary circumstances and some situations this year does not set this past year apart from any others in my mind," Knight said Thursday. "A lot of attention has been placed on the Baylor situation because of the circumstances, but some of the those circumstances had nothing to do with basketball."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index