If Fran Fraschilla and Digger Phelps want to continue to insist there’s no being deal about Bobby Knight slapping one of his players, that’s no shocker. The pair are completely immersed in the collegiate coaching scene and it would probably take Knight strangling a student to death before either called for Knight’s dismissal. Sadly, there’s no such excuse for the Nuggets’ George Karl or Miami’s Pat Riley, recently pestered by the Denver Post’s Marc J. Spears.

How would the father of Boise State guard Coby Karl feel if his son’s coach hit his face as a motivational tactic? Nuggets coach George Karl said he would have no problem at all.Despite having several physical incidents with players, George Karl and Miami Heat coach Pat Riley said Tuesday they were not disappointed.

“In today’s world, we can’t go away from tough love and tough coaching,” Karl said. “All (Knight) was trying to do was get eye contact, which I think is important for young people and young players. I wish more NBA players would make eye contact with the coaches.

“Most of the things we’re seeing on video is slowed down. All it was is something to get his attention and look him in the eye.”

Said Riley: “I like Bob Knight, but I don’t really want to get into it. Besides, I like the ‘tough love’ thing.

And with that in mind, I cannot wait to see Riles administer some tough love to Gary Payton. That should work out really well for both parties.