Assembly Hall

Indiana

Postponed Iowa-Indiana game rescheduled for February 27

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The matchup between No. 15 Iowa and Indiana, originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday night but postponed due to a piece of metal falling from the Assembly Hall ceiling, has been rescheduled for February 27. The news was first reported by Andy Katz of ESPN.com.

The news comes one day after engineers gave the Big Ten and administrators at both schools assurances that the building was safe and ready for use. The schools mutually agreed upon the new date, and in Iowa’s case the rescheduled game has resulted in another schedule change.

Iowa’s home game against Purdue, originally scheduled to be played on Saturday, March 1, has been moved to Sunday, March 2. That means Iowa will play three games in six days beginning with a game at Minnesota on Tuesday, an important stretch for a team that still has hopes of winning the Big Ten regular season title. Iowa (8-4 Big Ten) trails both Michigan State (11-3) and Michigan (10-3) by a game in the loss column, with those two teams meeting on Sunday afternoon.

As for Assembly Hall a women’s basketball game between Indiana and Michigan was played there on Wednesday night, with the school blocking off the section affected by the falling piece of metal.

Indiana’s Assembly Hall gets a new name

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Assembly Hall has a new name.

Thanks to a $40 million donation from Cindy Simon Skjodt, the place where the Indiana Hoosiers play their home games will now be called … Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Cindy has donated millions to Indiana over the years, and the money will be used to refurbish and improve Indiana’s athletic facilities, including the now-named Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

With all apologies to Indiana and their wealthy donors, I’m going to go ahead and continue to simply refer to it as Assembly Hall.

Report: Proposed renovations to Indiana’s Assembly Hall

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Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. opened in 1971 and holds five national championship banners as well as serving as a winter home for 17,472 Hoosier fans each season.

It’s one of the most iconic venues in all of college basketball, but the university is looking to improve the condition of its longtime arena, according to an extensive report from Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star.

On Sunday morning, Osterman posted proposed plans to renovate Assembly Hall, which could cost up to $30-$40 million.

“Our planning … is looking at preserving Assembly Hall, breathing life into that building,” IU athletic director Fred Glass told the Star. “I think Hoosier fans will be really excited about our plans. They’re ambitious.”

According to Osterman changes to Assembly Hall would include:

• Luxury seating above the bleachers behind the south basket.

• A “modern jumbotron” that would “dramatically (improve) the fan experience for our balcony ticketholders.”

• The south lobby becoming “a grand new entryway.”

• Escalators replacing some ramps.

• Remodeled restrooms and concession stands, and additional restrooms.

Besides the tradition of IU basketball, part of what makes Assembly Hall unique is the arena’s seating. There isn’t circular bowl seating, and the documents Osterman and the Star obtained referenced the competitive advantages the building has over opponents.

Osterman reported that in 2007, though there were no specific plans for a replacement, the board of trustees discussed ideas for more athletic offices, a practice facility, suites and better views for spectators. Since then, IU has added the Cook Hall practice facility, and some athletic offices have been moved to the football stadium. Under Glass, the focus has been more on upgrading Assembly Hall, and less on constructing a new home.

Glass said the cost of a new arena would be $200 to $300 million. Even with fatter TV revenues footing the bill for many new investments, Indiana remains one of the Big Ten’s most moderately funded athletic departments.

The University’s Policy on Institutional Naming forbids any sort of corporate naming, so financing a new stadium that way would require the board reversing the policy.

To read the full plans, which also covers the history of the revered arena, here is the link once again.

Indiana’s Assembly Hall to get quickie renovation before season

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With many predicting a Final Four-type season for the Indiana Hoosiers in 2012-13, Assembly Hall might have lacked one very important feature for anyone coming along for the ride: handrails.

Count me among those who have not yet had the pleasure of attending an Indiana game in person. As such, I had no idea that Hoosier fans were freehanding it hither and yon up to this point. Given some of the wild rides the crimson and cream doled out last season, it’s no wonder the university is adding the long-overdue safety feature as soon as possible, thanks to a donation from Bloomington lawyer Ken Nunn.

According to a university press release, 350 hand rails will be installed between sections. The University’s Vice President for Financial Planning and Facilities Tom Morrison explained that the new addition would make the steep stairs safer, without fouling any sight lines: “We want everyone who comes into Assembly Hall to have a safe and enjoyable experience,” Morrison state in the release. “The addition of these handrails fulfill that mission, and we are pleased that the design will ensure IU guests can see all of the action on the floor.” The handrails are expected to be fully installed before next season begins.

Want to know what they’ll look like? The release was very specific on that point, as well:

The aluminum handrails will be mounted to the vertical face of the concrete risers/steps and will have rounded corners to maximize the line of sight. With a powder-coat finish, the railings will match the prominent IU red color throughout the stadium. The railings are being fabricated by Bloomington’s local fabricator, Jerico Metals.

Safety, entertainment, education, and local jobs. Tell your local politician that’s how it’s done, my friends.

Should Indiana name Assembly Hall after Bob Knight?

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Bob Knight may take criticism, at times, in his role as a television analyst, but one thing is undeniable: the man could coach at basketball team.

In his 29 seasons as the face of the Indiana program, he won 661 games and three national championships, on his way to becoming a standard-bearer when it comes to personality on the sidelines.

So how should the university honor him? One of his former players, an outspoken critic of the way in which Knight was forced to leave Indiana, spoke at a gathering Friday night.

The event was held to honor the hiring of Steve Downing, a friend of Knight’s, who is to become the athletic director at Marian University in Indianapolis.

‘I hope someday he (Knight) will be honored at Indiana. That needs to happen. Somebody needs to make that happen,’ Scott May, a starter on Knight’s 1976 unbeaten championship team, told the AP.

”I think they should name Assembly Hall after him, the Bob Knight Center,” he added.

It’s often standard practice for teams to christen an arena with the name of an influential coach, which makes it interesting to note that, despite Knight’s efforts to build the Indiana program, no huge step has been taken to cement his name into the physical history of the university.

According to the Associated Press, it’s a process and a process that needs to mend a few fences to move forward.

The school inducted Knight into its Hall of Fame in 2009, but he declined to attend the induction ceremony, saying he would take away from other inductees, were he to accept the invitation.

Perhaps Indiana just needs to find the right time.

“He’s a great coach and a great friend and he did a lot for Bloomington and Indiana University. I don’t know what it will take,” former player Bobby Wilkerson told the AP. I think it depends on who approaches him and how he feels about it. Maybe it could be something to help kids – that’s always a good cause. You don’t know, but that’s how I would angle it.”

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_