Bob Knight His Own

Joan Mellen, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (286p) ISBN 978-1-55611-100-6

Written, by admission of the author, in part to rebut John Feinstein's A Season on the Brink , the bestselling attack on Indiana basketball coach Knight, this no-warts biography is an encomium to the man and his philosophy. Temple University English professor Mellen deals with seemingly all the causes celebres in Knight's career, including his chair-tossing and his run-in with a policeman in Puerto Rico, and presents the view that he is more sinned against than sinning. She argues that Knight is not sexist, that he is a generous and open human being and that his practice of yelling at his players is rooted in his desire to see each individual achieve his maximum potential. She contends that he is primarily a teacher and not an exploiter of atheletes, from whom he demands academic-like dedication. The Knight that emerges here is a ``verray parfit gentil knight.'' (October)