OK, now that we've got the obligatory anger-management joke out of the way, let's talk how intriguing a story this is. Knight has never seemed to be a man of much prejudice when it comes to education — only that he insisted all young men and women get one.
First, Trine University is located in Angola. Angola, Indiana, that is. It came into existence in 1884, so we're not dealing with no University of Phoenix here, folks.
It shares its nickname with the most recent NBA franchise. One of the worst nicknames in all of sports: the Thunder. It's a Division III school.
If you hit up the school's Web site, you'll see the men's team is no joke.
In the official statement on Knight's agreement to speak, here's what the school president said.
“Coach Knight’s respect for learning and his ability to instill character in his players make him an inspiring speaker for Trine University’s 125th commencement,” said Trine President Dr. Earl D. Brooks II. “He has not only lived an exemplary life, but has played a pivotal role in the development of many outstanding young people. His reflections on leading a life of impact and meaning will be well received by our degree candidates, their families, and our community, and we are pleased to host him on our campus.”
Some more editorial from yours truly: I'm not so sure Knight's the greatest leader, per se, but he creates headlines and buzz for the school. He's also become more docile and showed some more of that wit he was known for behind the scenes for so many years. I've no doubt he can give the students a speech filled with levity and perspective. Hey, at least they won't forget it by the time they hit up the grad parties later that night.
Kudos to Trine for working the phones (because there is zero chance Knight was reached by e-mail) in getting this to happen.
- Trine University