The Big 12 Conference suspended Texas Tech coach Pat Knight for one game on Monday for complaining about the officials after a loss to Texas A&M.
Knight received a technical foul in the second half of the 79-73 loss on Saturday for arguing a foul call and complained about the officials after the game to reporters, saying he didn’t care what the Big 12 thought.
The son of Bob Knight, Pat Knight also was publicly reprimanded by the Big 12 earlier this month for being ejected after running onto the court twice to argue a foul call in a game against Nebraska.
Assistant coach Stew Robinson will replace Knight for Wednesday’s game against Texas.
“I wasn’t surprised because I broke a rule,” Knight said during the Big 12 coaches teleconference on Monday. “I know the rules, but sometimes you have to lay on a grenade to get your point across.”
In 6 1/2 seasons at Texas Tech, Bob Knight received two public reprimands from the Big 12 in 2007 for his actions following losses.
Pat Knight didn’t show any of his father’s fiery demeanor after taking over the team halfway through last season, choosing to remain calm in tight situations.
That has changed over the past few weeks. With his team struggling—12-15 overall, 2-10 in conference—Knight has become frustrated with the officiating, leading to two outbursts in the past three weeks.
The first time came following a loss to Nebraska on Jan. 31. Unhappy with a foul called on Alan Voskuil, Knight was ejected for running onto the court to argue with the officials. A few moments later, he returned to the floor to continue arguing, leading to a public reprimand from the conference two days later.
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe didn’t give Knight a harsh penalty after that outburst because of his “past exemplary behavior.” This time, Beebe said he was disappointed that Knight had committed a violation so soon after the first one.
“I was extremely lenient in that case and chose not to suspend Coach Knight,” Beebe said in a written statement. “The nature and extent of his comments after the Texas A&M game, and his callous attitude in light of his commitment to me to abide by the rules, require a serious penalty.”
Knight became increasingly frustrated with the officiating during Saturday’s home loss to the rival Aggies, a physical game that featured 56 combined fouls. He was hit with a technical foul in the second half for arguing a call against John Roberson and considered getting thrown out of the game to prove a point.
Knight thought better of it and instead decided to complain to the media after a game in which four of his players fouled out and his team was outshot 51-22 at the free-throw line.
“I was sitting there with my staff and the way things were going, I asked them if I needed to get thrown out of this game. We decided it was best not to do that twice,” he said. “I already made my point once doing it that way, so the only way to make a point and get it out there was to bring it up in the press conference knowing that I was probably going to get fined or suspended.”