The 1976 national championship team met with the media on Friday afternoon in Atlanta after being named the all-time March Madness team by the NCAA.
Here’s the complete transcript of today’s press conference, which included Quinn Buckner, Kent Benson, Scott May, Bobby Wilkerson, Tom Abernethy, Jim Crews and Bob Knight.
JIM NANTZ: 1976 Indiana Hoosiers, the all-time team. My pleasure to introduce the Hoosiers who have made their way to Atlanta. Let’s bring out first Quinn Buckner, Kent Benson, Scott May, Bobby Wilkerson, Tom Abernethy, Jim Crews, and Coach Bob Knight.
First off, I know it’s got to be, for you, a wonderful thrill to see your players here and to get this recognition, coach. Tell everyone what you just told me a little bit about this.
BOBBY KNIGHT: Well, Bobby Hammel called me on Tuesday and he says, I think we’re going to win. And I said, What the hell are we playing? How are we going to win? Then he went into some detail about all that you guys have done for basketball and college and everything.
Then he called me on Saturday and said, We won. My first thought was, and I would feel very strongly about this, never did a group of kids represent college basketball any better than these guys did. I thought what a way to honor these kids and what an accomplishment they had in terms of I think they are an ideal example to me of what college basketball should be about.
JIM NANTZ: Well, you look at them. You’re talking about 37 years ago, coach, more than half a lifetime ago. To see the bond that is obviously still there with the Hoosiers.
BOBBY KNIGHT: They’re still scared, that’s one thing. They never got over that one (smiling).
JIM NANTZ: I want to hear from all of you guys. Quinn, when the word got out to you that you would be reunited down here in Atlanta, be recognized with this great honor.
QUINN BUCKNER: I’m excited about it. He doesn’t like this, but the reality is we’re not here without Coach Knight. At the end of the day, that’s really what that is about. More than anything, it’s a real statement about what he has meant to us personally, I think to the university, and I think to college basketball.