Related Bob Knight And Indiana Stories
- MONDAY UPDATE: Former players can come and go now without upsetting their former coach
- SUNDAY UPDATE: What the day meant for his former players.
- PATRICK KNIGHT TALKS ABOUT HIS DAD: He loved returning to Assembly Hall with his father, Bob Knight, on Saturday.
- THE FORGOTTEN GREAT TEAM: Indiana’s 1980 team that was honored Saturday “was better than the 1981 team that won the national championship.”
- LIVE FROM ASSEMBLY HALL: Many of Indiana’s most famous alums were back for Bob Knight’s return on Saturday.
Dick Vitale Comments On Bobby Knight’s Return To Indiana
Bobby Knight returned to Assembly Hall on the campus of Indiana University over the weekend. That appearance was many years in the making and also one that many thought would never occur since the former head coach departed.
Knight, 79, served as Indiana’s head coach from 1971-2000. The Hoosiers captured 11 Big Ten championships, five Final Fours and three national titles during Knight’s run with the program before his September 2000 dismissal following allegations of physical and verbal abuse against one of his players.
Former coach and current ESPN analyst Dick Vitale went on ESPNU Radio on Sirius XM with Mark Packer to discuss Knights long awaited return to the arena.
The emotion in the place was unbelievable, VItale said. I think the feeling the fans showed was phenomenal. And its more than just what he achieved in basketball. Did he make mistakes along the way? Obviously. But we all make mistakes.
Vitale went on to compliment Knights work off the court, despite his controversial methods of coaching with the Hoosiers and his reason for dismissal.
Knight and Vitale became close when raising money to support former Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summit, who passed away due to Alzheimers.
After his dismissal from Indiana, Knight coached at Texas Tech from 2001 up until his retirement in 2008. Knight is a member of both the Basketball Hall of Fame and College Basketball Hall of Fame, boasting an all-time 902-371 record as head coach.
Bobby Knight Guides Indiana To The Top Of College Basketball
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Bobby Knight didnt take long to make his mark on the Indiana basketball program after he arrived. In 1972-73, Knights second year with the Hoosiers, he guided the team to a Big 10 title and an appearance in the Final Four before losing to UCLA and legendary coach John Wooden.
The next three seasons, the Hoosiers won the Big 10 title, and in both 197475 and 197576, Indiana played undefeated basketball in the regular season, winning 37 consecutive games. In the 1975-76 season, Knights team breezed through the NCAA Tournament, including revenge in the Final Four, defeating the UCLA Bruins in the semifinals. The Hoosiers capped off the perfect season with an 86-68 win over Michigan to become the first and only team to complete an entire seasons schedule unblemished.
Knight directed the Hoosiers to two more national titles in 1980-81 and 1986-87 before departing the program after the 2000 season. He finished his coaching career with Texas Tech in 2007-08, after leading the Red Raiders to four NCAA Tourney appearances in seven seasons.
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Bobby Knight In Very Poor Health
Bob Knight jersey stolen from high school fundraiserBob Knight and Indiana might never happenan interview on The Drive with Jack & Tom,when reached by the Indianapolis Staraccused the legendary coach of grabbing players by the groinbacked up by another of Knights former playersMatthew Glenesk and Jim AyelloKnight’s recent public appearanceswhere he interrupted Trump twicein Southport in Nov. 2018
Bob Knight’s Return A Lovefest 20 Years In The Making
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. Halftime at a college basketball game usually involves a hot dog and a pit stop, but Saturday afternoon at Simon Skojdt Assembly Hall, none of the 17,000 Indiana fans left their seats.
They were waiting for The General.
It only took 20 years for legendary basketball coach Bob Knight to make his way back to the iconic arena where he spent 29 years coaching the Hoosiers, winning three national championships along the way. But he was fired in 2000 for what was deemed boorish behavior, and Knight’s hatred for the university ran deep for years because of the dismissal.
It wasn’t until Knight, who will turn 80 years old in October, decided to move back to Bloomington last year that the idea of returning to Assembly Hall even became something on a dream. After all, he had ignored being a part of celebrations for all three of his championship teams over the years, and openly ignored being on hand when his players were inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.
But last fall, when a celebration for Indiana’s 1980 team that included Isiah Thomas, Mike Woodson, Randy Wittman was being set up for Saturday, Wittman reached out to his former coach. After several conversations, Knight finally said yes.
Bob Knight and dozens of his players, including Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, cheer at center court at Assembly Hall on Saturday.
Knight didn’t speak at all at halftime, nor did any of the players. They simply worked the room, and everyone loved it.
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Turning 80 Today With A Smile
There was a time back in early February where a lot of us thought that 2020 was going to be the greatest year ever. We saw Bob Knight back in Assembly Hall, surrounded by dozens of his favorite players, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Bob Knight was back after a 20-year absence since his firing from Indiana.
Tears flowed that day because the love for Bob Knight among the Indiana fan base is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Even 20 years later, you can’t write a story about the current Indiana basketball team or its coaches and not have fans weigh in “how Bobby would have done it.”
Legend barely defines him. It’s beyond that. So far beyond that. And just having him living back in Bloomington now sort of gives everyone that warm feeling, that he’s back where he belongs, back among his friends, back among his people. He’s still ours, in one way or another.
He’s 80 years old today, and that’s a wonderful thing. He’s got some health issues, and he’s not the intimidating personality that he used to be. That February weekend was wonderful, and just seeing him around town has been nice. Because of COVID, we haven’t seen him out and about lately, and that’s kind of sad.
I know in my case, it’s nice that he’s back in Bloomington, with his wife Karen there with him every day and his closest friends nearby. It’s as it should be, it seems. Life, going full circle.
Happy 80th, coach.
I should go out and buy a card.
Billy Reed: Knight Walking Slowly Needing Help With His Balance Was Back At Ius Assembly Hall
So here came Bob Knight, making the journey he had made hundreds of times. Except this time, it was different. His nose as red as his Indiana sweater, Knight now is an old man who walks slowly and needs help with his balance. He now is controlled instead of always being in control. He looked a bit uncertain about what he was walking into.
This was at halftime of Purdues visit to IUs Assembly Hall on Feb. 8. After boycotting the university for 20 years to protest his firing in 2000, the prodigal son had at last decided to come home to honor his 1979-80 Big Ten championship team that was built around precocious freshman guard Isiah Thomas and ranked No. 1 in the nation much of the season.
When the news leaked out late in the week, the market for tickets went into the stratosphere. It seemed every Hoosier fan, including those who had yet to be born when Knight was fired, wanted to be able to say he or she was there when their own version of Gen. Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines or, in this case, Assembly Hall in triumph.
The folks who ran the show didnt allow him to speak, which was good for both Bob and the university. That way, he didnt get the chance to trash the administration that fired him. For 20 years, he has been consumed by bitterness and vindictiveness. As recently as 2017, he told a national radio talk-show host that he hoped everyone who had anything to do with his dismissal was dead.
Bob Knight was back in the house
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Bob Knight Gets Hero’s Welcome In Emotional Indiana Return
A reunion between Bob Knight and Indiana might never happen because the legendary coach is struggling with health issues, according to longtime Hoosiers radio voice Don Fischer.
When doing an interview on The Drive with Jack & Tom, a radio show based out of Lansing, Mich., Fischer was asked if he could foresee a scenario in which the former coach would mend fences with Indiana.
This was his response:
I hesitate to say anything about that right now because coach Knight is not well, Fischer said in the Wednesday interview . Hes going through some major issues and it hurts me to even talk about it just because a man with that kind of a mind, who was so tremendous at coaching the game of basketball, and you know, at the age that we get to at this point in our lives, you want to keep thinking that that brain is never going to go away, and it appears thats a real problem for him right now and what hes dealing with.
However, when reached by the Indianapolis Star on Friday, Fischer backtracked, saying he didnt have first-hand knowledge of the 78-year-old Knights condition and that he was not a doctor.
Fischer, who originally did not want the paper to publish the story when he was contacted, later gave a statement in which he reiterated that Knights health has declined.
He also regretted talking about Knights health during the interview.
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He looked tired, and not because of a lack of sleep. His 79-year-old legs didnt work so well for his journey from a back room of the arena to the court where he spent three decades through 2000 making Hoosiers basketball famous to many and infamous to others.
Without Knight, Forbes doesnt report before this season that Indiana had the third-most-valuable team in college hoops with a thee-year average revenue of $35.5 million.
Without Knight, the Hoosiers dont finish his era grabbing three national championships, five trips to the Final Four and 11 Big Ten titles.
Without Knight, well, I know.
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – FEBRUARY 08: Former Indiana Hoosiers head coach Bob Knight and former Indiana … Hoosiers player Isaiah Thomas on the court at half time during the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Assembly Hall on February 08, 2020 in Bloomington, Indiana.
There wouldnt have been that other stuff, ranging from his throwing a chair across the Hoosiers home floor to his choking former Indiana player Neil Reed during a practice to his stranding star player Steve Alford at the Bloomington airport.
University officials soon invented The Bobby Knight Rule disguised as a zero tolerance policy. After an Indiana student accused Knight in the fall of 2000 of grabbing his arm during a confrontation at Assembly Hall, those same university officials fired their basketball messiah.
Then Knight moved back to Bloomington last July.
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Bobby Knights Failing Health
After retiring from coaching in 2008, Knight transitioned into broadcasting as a studio analyst and color commentator at ESPN. In November 2012, he called his first Indiana game, something he had previously refused to do. He left ESPN after the 2015 season.
In February 2019, it was reported Knights health was failing. A couple of months later, the coach appeared at a function and struggled with his memory. He introduced his wife twice to the audience. He also mistakenly identified a former IU basketball player as dying, and told a story about Michael Jordan, then repeated the same story substituting a former IU player for Jordan.
Later in 2019 Knight and his wife purchased a home in Bloomington, indicating the long-time coach had buried the hatchet and was ready to settle at the place where he made his legendary name. In February 2020, Knight made an emotional return to an Indiana basketball game where he was honored. It was his first time in Assembly Hall since his dismissal by the school two decades earlier.
More than 50 former players attended the game, including Isiah Thomas, who, along with several other players, cried when Knight made his way on to the court. It was a night everyone in attendance would never forget.
Knight and his failing memory might not remember the evening, but his presence provided closure of sorts for many in attendance as the greatest coach in Indiana basketball and one of the greatest college coaches in history returned home one last time.
Knight’s Recent Public Appearances
Knight, who coached the Hoosiers from 1971 to 2000 and led IU to three national championships, has made a number of public appearances in the state and the region recently.
In 2016, he stumped for then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. That same year, Knight appeared with Trump at a rally in Michigan, where he interrupted Trump twice.
Knight has had a tumultuous relationship with IU since the school fired him in 2000 following a violation of a zero-tolerance policy, He grabbed IU student Kent Harvey by the arm.
Knight has skipped numerous opportunities to return to campus, including a 40th anniversary celebration of the 1976 undefeated national championship team in 2016.
He is scheduled to appear at Center Grove High School on April 4 with longtime friend and former Bloomington Herald-Times editor/writer Bob Hammel for “An Evening with Bob Knight.”
Hammel did not respond to an email seeking comment Friday.
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In A Bizarre Live Tv Moment Bob Knight Couldnt Decipher Between The Shot Clock And Game Clock
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There’s no doubt referees missed a blatant shot clock violation that should have nullified Kentucky’s final basket in its 60-58 victory over Vanderbilt on Thursday night.
The more pressing question is why ESPN analyst Bob Knight had such a difficult time deciphering what happened on the play and explaining it to a TV audience.
When TV replays showed Nerlens Noel’s basket with 17.3 seconds left in the game didn’t leave his hands before the shot clock expired, play-by-play announcer Rece Davis gave Knight the chance to explain what the referees missed. Oddly enough, Knight, 72, was unable to do so until Davis talked him through the difference between the shot clock and game clock.
Knight: “That 17.3 was up there and the zero was on the bottom. I don’t know what that meant.”
Davis: “The zero was the shot clock.
Knight: “What was the 17.3?”
Davis: “Game clock. What was remaining in the half.”
Anyone who has done live radio or TV has a story about forgetting a person’s name or the pronunciation of a name, but this was well beyond the norm. Hopefully it was merely temporary brain lock and nothing more medically serious that made a man who has won three national championships and over 900 college basketball games forget how to tell the shot clock and game clock apart.
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Personal Life And Charitable Donations
Knight married the former Nancy Falk on April 17, 1963. They had two sons, Tim and Pat, but the couple divorced in 1985. Pat played at Indiana from 1991 to 1995 and served as head coach at Lamar from the time of his father’s retirement until he was dismissed in 2014. Pat Knight coached Texas Tech after his father’s retirement before he moved to Lamar. In 1988, Knight married his second wife, Karen Vieth Edgar, a former Oklahoma high school basketball coach.
Knight has a high regard for education and has made generous donations to the schools he has been a part of, particularly libraries. At Indiana University Knight endowed two chairs, one in history and one in law. He also raised nearly $5 million for the Indiana University library system by championing a library fund to support the library’s activities. The fund was ultimately named in his honor.
When Knight came to Texas Tech in 2001, he gave $10,000 to the library, the first gift to the Coach Knight Library Fund which has now collected over $300,000. On November 29, 2007, the Texas Tech library honored this with A Legacy of Giving: The Bob Knight Exhibit.
Knight supported Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and later made an appearance at his rally in Indianapolis for the 2018 midterms. At the rally, Knight called Trump “a great defender of the United States of America”.
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Bob Knights Return To Indiana Basketball Was Both Sad And Great
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – FEBRUARY 08: Former Indiana Hoosiers head coach Bob Knight walks onto the … court during the halftime of the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Assembly Hall on February 08, 2020 in Bloomington, Indiana.
Spoiler alert: As somebody who dealt with Bob Knight up close and personal, youll get no Bobby Bashing here.
- My brother, Darrell, becomes teary eyed remembering how Knight spoke to him forever during the late 1970s as a student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin about life even though they hadnt met before with the bus running nearby for Knights Indiana basketball team.
- There was that call I got in Atlanta out of nowhere from Knight. He thanked me from his office in Bloomington, Indiana for a column I wrote defending him against claims that he was a racist for an incident involving one of his African American players and a bullwhip. He said, You were the only one who got it right.
I mean, seriously.
More than a few folks can tell you Knight wasnt just the master at bursting into an inferno of screams toward his own players, media folks and referees along the way to his record 902 victories at the time of his retirement in 2008 as a head coach after 29 years at Indiana and seven more at Texas Tech.
Hell always be Indiana, though, despite that pit stop in his native Ohio, where he was born, raised and played hoops at Ohio State in the early 1960s.
He was Robert Montgomery Knight, but he wasnt.