Bob Knight

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Bob Knight requests to not be included in Assembly Hall sculptures

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On Tuesday it was announced by Indiana University that five sculptures will be placed throughout Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall to pay tribute to the teams that have won national championships. With former head coach Bob Knight, who has not been on good terms with the school since his dismissal in 2000, being the head coach of three of those teams it’s fair to wonder if he would be a part of any of those sculptures.

Unfortunately Knight will not be in the sculptures for the 1976, 1981 or 1987 national championship teams, as it was noted in the release that the former coach requested to not be included. According to the Indianapolis Star, Indiana athletics director Fred Glass said that it is school policy to request permission to depict someone on this kind of project. The school reached out to Knight, who declined the request.

The sculpture honoring the 1976 team was the reason for the school reaching out to Knight, as it honors the team that is the most Division I team to go through an entire season without a loss. That teams was led by the likes of Kent Benson, Scott May and Bobby Wilkerson, and won the first of Knight’s three national titles at Indiana.

After being fired prior to the start of the 2000-01 season, Knight spent a year away from coaching before accepting the head coaching job at Texas Tech. Despite Indiana having honored former players and teams of Knight’s in recent years, the relationship between the former coach and the school he led to three national titles remains strained to this day.

As for the sculptures, fans will be able to see them for the first time at Hoosier Hysteria on October 21.

Book from former Indiana player alleges Knight abuse

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Former Indiana coach Bob Knight is accused of punching a player with a closed fist, breaking a clipboard over a player’s head and grabbing players by the testicles and squeezing in a book authored by former Hoosier Todd Jadlow, according to a report from WTHR-TV in Indianapolis

“If (Knight) did those things today,” Jadlow told WTHR, “he would be in jail.”

The book, titled ‘Jadlow: On The Rebound,’ chronicles Jadlow’s time with the Hoosiers in the mid-to-late-1980s, including the program’s 1987 national championship, as well as his battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

What is likely to garner the most attention, though, is the alleged abuses from the Hall of Fame coach, who was accused of mistreating and berating players throughout his career.

Knight won three national championships and the 1984 Olympic gold medal but was dismissed from Indiana in 2000 after school president Myles Brand determined he had violated a “zero tolerance policy.” Knight went on to coach for seven years at Texas Tech before retiring.

“I’m a Knight guy,” Jadlow said. “I’m proud to have played for him and love him like a father; let’s not mistake that. But this was the life we led when we were playing for him.”

Jadlow’s claims aren’t exactly surprising given the history of allegations against Knight, but seeing them laid out is still rather disturbing. Among them in the book, according to WTHR, are as follows:

  • Jadlow was punched in the back of the head by Knight during a walkthrough for an NCAA tournament game against Seton Hall.
  • Knight broke a clipboard over Jadlow’s head in 1989 in a game against Louisville.
  • Jadlow’s sides were left with bruises after Knight dug his hands into him.
  • Knight “made a habit” of “grabbing players by the testicles and squeezing.”
  • Knight grabbed Daryl Thomas by the neck and shook him after the 1986 NCAA tournament.

Certainly ugly stuff.

Knight to speak at RNC for Trump

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Just over two months ago, former Indiana coach Bob Knight delivered a stump speech for Donald Trump, a candidate for the presidential nomination of the Republican party. The Hall of Famer called Trump “the most prepared man in history to step in as the President of the United States.”

Trump, of course, went on to win not only the Hoosier State primary, but also has become the party’s presumptive nominee. He’s now asking Knight to make his case not just to the state in which he won national titles, but to the entire country as a speaker at the Republican National Convention later this month in Cleveland.

The announcement came during a Trump speech Wednesday night in Cincinnati.

Knight won 902 games in his career at West Point, Indiana and Texas Tech. His time with Indiana famously ended after he violated a “no-tolerance” policy placed on him after a string of controversies that are as much a part of his legacy as any achievement on the floor. He retired in 2008 after seven seasons with the Red Raiders.

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

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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.