Bob Knight

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Former Indiana guard A.J. Guyton writes an open letter to Bob Knight

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A.J. Guyton scored 2,100 points in his four-year career at Indiana from 1997-2000. He was recruited by Bob Knight and was part of Knight’s last team at IU. On Sept. 10, it was announced that Guyton, the 2000 Big Ten Player of the Year, will be inducted into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame, part of a five-person class.

Guyton is loyal to his alma mater, but equally as loyal to his coach, and in a 1,100 word open letter to Knight, he requested that he be in attendance at his Hall of Fame ceremony on Nov. 7.

The entire letter can be read on Guyton’s Facebook page. But here’s a portion of it, calling it a time to forgive:

I’m saying this to say, without you Coach Knight, the relationships are strange at IU. We are accepted and appreciated but there’s a mission to “move on” from us. You’re the only person who can make everything right & bridge this gap. It’s not about the former administration, it’s about the players you created. Where are in limbo, stuck in between. We are all experiencing various successes but not knowing how to include IU basketball. Receiving this induction without being able to look you in the eye and thank you for creating me makes it “less authentic”. I remember you couldn’t attend the Wooden Awards because of all the things going on at IU during that time. I didn’t go without you. Coach Knight, you taught each and every one of us how to over achieve by being the best AT being prepared. To believe it’s not about talent, it’s about outsmarting talented players. To be there for one another on & off the basketball court, for life. To have a short memory when it comes to mistakes, but also train yourself to make as little mistakes as possible. To make up for those mistakes by making the right plays. I don’t know what happened during that time & I’m certainly not asking anyone to apologize for anything. I’m simply extending a public invitation for you to do ME a favor, attend the induction ceremony on November 7th, it would mean the world to me as a former player and supporter. For you to come see the young professional you’ve helped create. I believe it’s time, i believe the time is now. We think that forgiveness is weakness, but it’s absolutely not; it takes a very strong person to forgive. It’s a long shot, but if we share this letter enough, it might end up in the right hands. I’ll never speak of this again, I also believe in moving on.

Indiana University, what ever charity you have to donate to on Coach Knight’s behalf, lets get it done. Time’s ticking & we all deserve a homecoming. I’m asking you Coach Bob Knight, you said you’d do anything for me once I graduated, can you please attend my induction ceremony, which is coming back home to Indiana University?

Knight was dismissed in September 2000 after he grabbed freshman Kent Harvey by the arm. Indiana president Myles Brand had placed a zero tolerance policy on Knight after other alleged instances of abuse.

In 2009, Indiana inducted Knight, who guided the Hoosiers to three national championships, into its athletics hall of fame. He did not show up.

Lamar head coach Pat Knight fired after two-plus seasons

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After two-plus seasons at Lamar, head coach Pat Knight, son of the Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight, was fired by the university on Sunday morning, according to a report from ESPN’s Andy Katz.

The Cardinals are 2-11 in the Southland Conference and lost to Northwestern State, 87-67, on Saturday; the team’s fourth straight defeat.

“I was told last night to meet with the president and the AD this morning at 10 a.m.,” Knight told Katz on Sunday afternoon after confirming the news. “I knew it. There’s no talk. They said they want to go in a different direction. We struggled for two years. It’s all based on the record. It’s part of the business.”

Pat Knight took over the program in 2011, and led the Cardinals to the 2012 NCAA Tournament in that first season, before losing to Vermont in a play-in game in Dayton. Knight made news late in that campaign when he went on an epic post-game rant following a 62-52 loss to Stephen F. Austin on Feb. 22.

During that press conference, he stated, this was “worst group of seniors right now that I’ve ever been associated with”. Following that outburst, the then-17-11 Cards won six straight games, including the Southland Conference tournament.

However, it has been downhill since that late-season run into the NCAA tournament. Lamar went 3-28 last season, and 25 games into this season the team had matched that dismal win total from the previous season with a 3-22 record. Knight took over for his father for final 11 games of the 2007-2008 season at Texas Tech after Bob Knight suddenly resigned. In three-plus seasons with the Red Raiders, Knight went 50-61.

Lamar, currently half a game out of last place in the Southland Conference, has five games remaining in the regular season. The Cardinals begin the post-Pat Knight era on Saturday at home against Sam Houston State.

Bob Knight to auction off title rings, gold medal

Bob Knight, Archie Griffin
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In one of the more eye-raising events of the day, Bob Knight is selling all three of his national championships rings from his time at Indiana, as well as his gold medal from the 1984 Olympics, various trophies, jackets and other memorabilia.

It all started when Knight contacted Steiner Sports, a company that evaluates and auctions off sports items, and requested they visit his house in Lubbock, Texas home (he still lives there?) and inspect some items for auction.

Turns out Knight just had no use for the stuff anymore.

“I’ve got stuff I didn’t even know I had,” Knight said. “I don’t put anything up in the house. If you came into the house you would think I was a mailman. And I don’t even wear rings.”

Before everyone reaches for the “money problems” theory, it sounds like Knight’s financial situation isn’t a problem, as Stephen Costello, executive vice president of Steiner Sports, told the Indy Star.

Asked about Knight’s motives, Costello said, “I guarantee there are no financial problems.”

Steiner’s CEO, Brandon Steiner said Knight told the company he wanted to give some of the proceeds to his grandchildren and charities.

Sounds pretty cut and dry here. Knight — while he may go down as one of the greatest hypocrites in sports history, and definitely a Top 5 all-time coach — has never been in the news for any sort of money issue. He lives a private life, made his money and invests it, for all intents and purposes, honestly and well.

He may be controversial, but sounds like Knight just wants to clear some clutter. Even if that clutter happens to include three title rings and a gold medal that are worth more than my life.

When you reach a certain age, as Knight has at 71, material possessions mean less and less. He has the memories of the glory days of his great Hoosiers teams, his gold medal team in Los Angeles in ’84 and the memories of awards and accomplishments from his days at Army and Texas Tech before and after. He just has no need for them anymore.

If you want to own a piece of college basketball history, you can check out the auction on the Steiner Sports website. The auction ends Dec. 5.

That being said, what do you think the going rate would be for one of those title rings?

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

 

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_

The night when everyone made fun of Bob Knight

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Earlier this month, friends roasted Bob Huggins in the name of charity. Saturday, it was Bob Knight’s turn.

Wait. Make fun of Bob Knight? These must’ve been some really close friends.

The legendary college basketball coach returned to Indiana for an event to raise money for Westchester Saint Joseph, the private high school that produced Indiana players such as Isiah Thomas and Daryl Thomas. Plenty of zingers and one-liners were thrown Knight’s way by guys such as Thomas, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas (who emceed the event) , George Raveling, Jerry Colangelo and Jud Heathcote. There’s some video of the event, but much of it’s boring (the best one I’ve seen if Knight telling a joke). 

 

Thankfully, the Indianapolis Star’s Jeff Rabjohns was one hand for Heathcote’s turn. The former Michigan State coach turned in some stellar one-liners:

  • “Bob is a self-made man. This relieves God of a tremendous responsibility.”
  • “With his intelligence and charisma, he could have been anyone he wanted to be. Why he chose himself, that’s a great mystery.”
  • “Most people when the first meet him, don’t like Bob. After they get to know him, they hate him.”
  • “We used to go have a beer after Big Ten meetings. After a while, the bartender would ask Bob to leave so they could start happy hour.”

The best non-Heathcote lines came from Bilas: “Coach Knight has requested that none of the roasters bring up his past behavioral issues or his considerable use of profanity … so thank you everybody for coming and good night.” and Raveling: “I’ve known Bob for 35 years. If any of you need a friend, get a dog.”

Knight also received a warm reception in general from the Indiana crowd, some of whom undoubtedly wish he’d never been fired as coach.

Perhaps that warm reception was what allowed Knight to stay in a good mood for the event. He even made fun of himself.

“A guy and I bought a furniture store the next week,” Knight said. “We sold a hell of a lot of furniture because our motto was, ‘You buy a couch and I’ll throw in a chair.’ “

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

10 years ago, Indiana cut ties with Bob Knight

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Unless you live in Indiana or are a die-hard Hoosiers fan, you probably didn’t know Friday marked the 10th anniversary of Bob Knight’s firing from Indiana. Not to worry! The Indianapolis Star has you covered.

From Terry Hutchins’ lengthy feature story – a full recap, the latest on the Knight’s issues with the school and how people feel about the coach now – to Bob Kravitz’s column calling for Knight to help clean up college hoops and sidebars on Knight’s highs (national titles) and lows (choking accusations) while coaching IU, it’s a fairly impressive package. Some highlights:

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Kent Harvey, the Indiana student whose greeting – “Hey, Knight, what’s up?” – angered the coach and was the final straw for Indiana president Myles Brand, says he doesn’t harbor any animosity toward Knight. Frankly, he thinks the whole thing was overblown.

“Obviously, Bob Knight’s dismissal at IU was a huge story. But the encounter with Bob Knight and me was over-emotionalized. He did grab my arm, but some people said, ‘Oh, he threw him up against the wall and did all this.’

“He didn’t do that. I’m not condoning what happened, but the story wasn’t that big. There are two stories, one with me and Bob Knight, and another of Bob Knight’s dismissal. Bob Knight was on some ‘zero tolerance’ policy. He’s done other things that are bigger than grabbing my arm and telling me I need to call him coach Knight or Mr. Knight.”

Harvey, now 29, married and living in Carmel, Ind., says people still recognize him, though the reaction is mild. Ten years will do that.

When Knight held his final team meeting after the firing, things got emotional. Even for the famously bristly coach.

Players such as Jared Jeffries and Dane Fife thanked their coach and started to give him hugs when Knight turned to team doctor Larry Rink and said “I can’t do this.” Hey, no one said the guy didn’t have a heart. The temper was the problem.

“I think what he really meant was, ‘I can’t sit here and face these guys,’ ” Fife told the Star. “He saw the hurt in us. He saw (Jarrod) Odle and he saw (Kirk) Haston. Haston had been through hell the previous summer. I think he realized how much he meant to us, and that was special for us to know that.”

So will Knight and the school ever patch things up? That’s the big question. It probably won’t be resolved anytime soon. From Hutchins’ story:

Bob Hammel, former sports editor of the Herald-Times in Bloomington and one of Knight’s closest friends, said Knight, who turns 70 in October, is “rigid” about the idea of reconciliation and still harbors ill will.

“I just think he’s so locked into the fact that there are still so many people (at IU) that he can’t stand,” Hammel said. “There are still too many, and still too much of a negative feeling, at least in his mind anyway. Most of them are gone, but not all of them.

“Until they’re all gone, I don’t think it will happen.”

Fife is slightly more optimistic.

“I think it’s going to happen,” Fife told Hutchins. “He has to come back. He means way too much to too many people to stay away. And I think he knows that, but I also know that he wants to go under the right circumstances.”

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.