Bobby Knight is a pretty controversial figure in the world of collegiate sports. He was known for being as fiery as they come, a coach not below vulgar tirades and endless condescension, even toward his own players, if that got the job done. And while the debate about the effectiveness and appropriateness of his methodology will continue into perpetuity, I’d like to highlight some of the financial acumen he’s demonstrated recently.
Knight recently chose to auction a lifetime’s worth of sports memorabilia that had collected throughout his illustrious career—including his championship basketball rings and Olympic gold medal—not because he’s been added to the list of sports figures to have gone bankrupt, but because he values the education of his grandchildren above his stuff.
His rationale was simple—he doesn’t use the stuff. He doesn’t wear the championship rings, the Olympic warm-up jacket or medal. But he figured his grandkids, nieces and nephews could benefit from the education supplement supported by the memorabilia liquidation.
Now, if I used Knight’s example as an opportunity to probe the depths of the warm and fuzzy or make an attempt at profundity, I’d surely only incite his wrath, so I’ll err on the side of brevity and directness and communicate just as the sports world’s most legendary curmudgeon might:
“You only have so many @#$%ing dollars and can only accumulate so much @#$%ing stuff, so stop acting like a dip-@#$% and put your money and stuff where your heart is.”
You know what? Knight’s unintended financial planning lesson might just be the core lesson we all need to learn about money, albeit with a few less expletives.
So where’s your heart? And where’s your money?