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.