Sources: ESPN Not Likely To Retain Bob Knight As Analyst After Contract Expires
ESPN college basketball analyst Bob Knight “most likely will not be retained by the network when his contract is up at the end of the season,” according to sources cited by Jason McIntyre of THE BIG LEAD. An ESPN spokesperson said “no decisions have been made” about Knight’s future. The spokesperson added that Knight has “a few games left in the regular season, perhaps an opening round NIT game, and the former coach will contribute to ESPN’s postseason coverage from the studio or perhaps on-site.” McIntyre noted Knight since joining ESPN in ’08 has “had an up-and-down tenure at the Worldwide Leader, and bottomed out this season with an embarrassing moment at Vanderbilt when he struggled to decipher the shot clock from the game clock, and announcer Rece Davis had to explain it to him.” Sources said that Knight “was a favorite” of Exec VP/Programming & Acquisitions Norby Williamson. After Williamson last year switched to a role more focused on handling relationships with leagues and negotiating media rights deals, many at the net “felt it was clear the mercurial Knight would slowly be phased out” (THEBIGLEAD.com, 2/18). The ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION wrote Knight “provided some genuinely useful insight from a coach's perspective,” and his “straight Xs-and-Os approach was a welcome change from the slobbering sycophants who dominate the hoops analyst lineup at ESPN.” But, “more and more, Knight has been having some cringe-worthy Senior Moments on air.” Listen to Knight call a game and “chances are there will be a few instances where it all seems to be moving too fast for him” (AJC.com, 2/18).