Yeah, um, don’t expect Bob Knight to show up to the HOF ceremony

  • 10/27/2009 5:32 pm in

bobknightRemember Friday when I surmised that maybe, just maybe, this olive branch extended by the alumni might have healed the last wound standing between Bob Knight and IU? Yeah, about that.

“The Indiana University administration recently made a public announcement on a very private issue that I was being sent a check for $75,000 from alumni donations to cover expenses I incurred as an employee at Indiana University,” Knight said in a statement. “Indiana University has refused for nine years to take care of their obligation in this matter. I did not know until [Monday] that this check was sent to my attorney. Upon finding out about it, I immediately gave him instructions to send the check back.

“In all the years I coached at Indiana and elsewhere, I never accepted a thing from alumni and I don’t intend to start now,” Knight said in the statement. “This issue is with the university, not with the alumni.”

[ … ]

“It would be amazing what this university’s legal office has spent over the past nine years avoiding this obligation as well as paying off all the broken athletic contracts they have made,” Knight said in the statement.

Did anyone else envision steam coming out of his ears as you read that? This does not sound like a man that’s coming back to IU with open arms on Nov. 6 for his Hall of Fame induction.  As some of you rightly guessed, the money gesture seems to have backfired. (Even if the alumni claim it had nothing to do with the upcoming HOF ceremony.) You can’t buy Bob Knight; if the man ever steps foot inside Assembly Hall again, it’s going to be on his terms.

So yeah, as Alex said on Friday, if Knight doesn’t want to come back, then so be it. We can look back fondly on what he did for the Hoosiers, how during his tenure he made this program into one of the elite ones in all of college basketball. He’s arguably the best college hoops coach of all-time. But it’s time to move on for now, and maybe for good. There’s no reason to beg a guy back that has no interest in doing so; it only makes IU look weak at this point.

I commend Fred Glass for inviting Knight to the ceremony. I wish things would have turned out different. (How awesome would it have been for Knight to be back inside Assembly Hall?) But Knight continues to hold all the cards. And until he decides the time is right to return — which will likely never happen — don’t expect him anywhere near Bloomington, Indiana.

But Tom Crean is here. The freshman are here. The new practice facility is (almost) here. We have plenty to look forward to, and new moments and legacies to create. And Bob Knight will have no part of any of that.

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