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November 15, 2006



I played high school soccer and was good enough to be recruited. Anson Dorrance had affairs with his players and has been charged with sexual harrassment. Bad role model for you, Hugo.


"intellectual development" of his students? Really? Is he known for working to create a culture of student-athletics with an emphasis on the former at IU and TT? Maybe memory isn't serving me well, but I seem to remember a great deal of criticism of him at IU for doing exactly the opposite of that.

Speaking as a sports fan, I don't imagine I'll ever be able to root for a coach who says "rape is inevitable, women should just relax and let it happen" to a reporter, for public consumption. The stated view is appalling enough, the fact that he serves as a mentor for young college men makes it all the worse. I certainly admire things about Knight, his talent and passion, and I'll even buy that cares deeply for those under his instruction beyond their contributions on the basketball court, his contempt for so much of the rest of humanity renders him ineligible for generalized admiration in my book.

(the "chin-tapping incident" strikes me as much ado about absolutely nothing, and I suspect it would have gone unnoticed had the coach not been Bobby Knight)

Col Steve

And would you want your daughter to have Dorrance as a coach?

Your listing of Dorrance strikes me as curious given your recent comment that "As older men, our obligation to be safe, loving, and utterly non-sexual in our relationships with younger women doesn't change when or if a young woman is attracted to us."

From the UNC AD:
"While Coach Dorrance strongly denies that he has ever discussed
an individual team member’s sexual activity in a one-on-one
discussion, Coach Dorrance has acknowledged that he participated
in group discussions of a jesting or teasing nature with soccer team members. This is altogether inappropriate."

From one Appeals Court Judge in an appeal of a sexual harrassment suit brought by one of his former players:

"Dorrance was not simply one man outnumbered by twenty-six women. He was a forty-five year-old man probing into the sexual activities of young women, some of whom, like Jennings, were as young as seventeen. As the coach, he controlled everything: team membership, scholarship eligibility, playing position, and playing time. He was in fact more than a regular college coach; he was and still is the most successful women’s soccer coach in U.S. history and a former national team coach.

As such, he exercised tremendous power over his players’ soccer careers at UNC and beyond. The players were acutely aware of Dorrance’s power and feared his punishment should they complain. Even though some players felt discomfort, humiliation, or disgust because of Dorrance’s conduct, they were afraid to object. As Jennings put it, "[H]ow do you say anything [to stop him]." J.A. 1290. "If you are submissive, you are fine," J.A.1227, but if you are not, "[y]our career goes — you . . . lose your playing time. You are stuck between a rock and a hard place." J.A. 1290. According to Keller, Dorrance’s affectionate touching and
questioning about sex "made [her] skin crawl" and made her "fe[el]
dirty," J.A. 1145, yet she "didn’t want to tick him off to a point . . .
where he would take it out on [her] by not playing [her]." J.A. 1120.
Keller thus "felt the pressure" to give in to some degree and answer
some of Dorrance’s vulgar questions. J.A. 1120"


Okay, I withdraw Anson Dorrance as a role model. No other man has done as much for women's soccer in this country; his success at North Carolina has been remarkable (though parity is rapidly taking its toll on his number of championships). I had read a few rumors about AD, but accept that he does not deserve to be on the short list of my coaching heroes.


I had a coach who I very much admired in high school who attended a coaching clinic run by Knight. It was a very big deal for him, and he left at lunchtime because he found the entire thing so offensive. He also said that all of the women in attendance left by 10:00 am because Knight started the presentation by talking about how women didn't know shit about sports and used profanity and vulgarities about women until they all left. You're not a master teacher when you can't pass on your skills to other coaches because they find the rest of what you have to say so repugnant. He might have considerable success coaching basketball, but that's a pretty limited accomplishment in my mind.


Well, maybe there's the "real" Bobby Knight, and my "fantasy" Bob Knight. I'm a notoriously bad judge of character.

Oh, and I forgot to include Pat Summitt and John Gagliardi on my list of coaching heroes; I'm hoping no one sends me lists of their shortcomings!


Hi Hugo,

Two questions: What, apart from your sex and your qualified admiration for some controversial sports coaches, puts you outside the mainstream of feminism?

"I push men hard. I push them harder than I push women not because I think women are weak, but because I am a man who knows first-hand that transformation is possible."

Why that is a reason for pushing men harder than women?



It's not other people that you should be trying to push... only yourself. Influence yourself, and let others do the same. I can't think of a worse role model than Bobby Knight... abusive, egotistical, and it appears, misogynist to boot. Nice call.

Sociopathic Revelation

"Why that is a reason for pushing men harder than women?" - Daran

Western culture has always "pushed" men to perform, to sacrifice at the expense of themselves, for benefits to women, and to be responsible even for things they aren't personally involved in 24/7.

I would love to see how women would do with the same pressure, and the heavy stigma as the result of not conforming with it. It's always been my belief they are given more choices, while men have been dumped with more responsibilities. Just look around you, not merely in textbooks. It's another double standard which is hiding in plain sight.

I know someone will try to protest my assertion, but I don't care (obviously)---since I won't indulge in a flawewar to eschew a thread drift, I'll cut this post short.


I don't know about everyone else here, but I'm anxiously awaiting photos of the baby chins... you'll post a link to Flickr when you're organized?


Yes, I will have a link up to Flickr when organized.





Antigone, I give up. Spell it out for the non-net literate?


I was nervous to read this. I don't want there to be a defense for a man who represents to me the embodiment of raging, uncontrolled, masculinity (whether or not he actually is). I was content just being disgusted by him and hoping I would never meet him.

But you defended his behavior, or at least tried reveal that he has a soul, and I appreciate that. It makes us all better individuals if we can neutralize (or at least realize) our own hateful prejudices (especially if we claim to be the ones without prejudices). I'll try to judge Knight less.

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