Wall Street Journal: ‘Hoosiers are back, but missing Bob Knight’

Rachel Bachman of the Wall Street Journal was at the Penn State game last Sunday to see if the Hoosiers were “back”. She’s deemed that Indiana misses its former coach more than the Hoosiers let on. She writes:

But even as the Hoosiers are taking down powers like Ohio State and Kentucky, there’s a lingering sense on campus that something is missing: Robert Montgomery Knight.

The story lives here.

47 comments

  1. I’ve never thought much of the Wall Street Journal sports section. It’s OK, but there are tons of better sources for sports

  2. I liked this article. I did not know that Coach Knight had responded in a letter why he wasnt attending the Hall of Fame induction and that he met with Fred Glass. This to me is encouraging. I would love to be at a game and see Coach come out of the tunnel one more time. The place would go crazy.

  3. I don’t miss him and don’t care if he ever comes back. We fired him. It’s been over 10 years since he left. Time for all to let it go including the national media. We are IU with a whole new look and personnel.

  4. This article is a complete waste of time. It contains absolutely nothing that hasn’t already been reported. The whole premise of this article is ridiculous. I can promise you that the last thing on Indiana fans’ minds when Watford hit the shot to beat Kentucky was, “I wish Bob Knight was here to see this.” When articles like this are written it is an insult to Tom Crean and all of the hard work he has put in. Indiana fans are finally excited again, and he is the one they have to thank for that.

  5. Laffy and Bone Fu wiould make some money for selling tickets to see a man they do not miss. Capitalism at its best.

  6. Purdue spent $100 million dollars on their basketball arena
    The Haymarket in Nebraska is $344 million of development and has a state of the art basketball arena on the way.

    After IU builds the baseball and softball stadiums, I think Assembly Hall is up next. Don’t know of any discussion about
    redesign, Assembly Hall does not lend itself to alot of retrofit. New arena? Whenever. Bobby Knight will be part of a revamp or new construction in some capacity.. Fred Glass has the ability to pull the strings so far and then obvious personality considerations. Then there is small matter of Dollars. The Wall Street article is a filler, but Bobby should be a part of whatever fiber in the weave for a future facility at IU. If you weren’t at IU in the 70’s you may not grasp this reach for a full circle approach. I am just thinking instead of “just saying”, don’t beat on me to hard.

  7. By the way . I would not know what the Wall Street Journal Pays their sports staff, but Dustin,Ryan make the application, This lady needs to resign her position.
    Also, Geoff, Harvard and HC, if I’m not duplicating bloggers
    you guys could home school this so called sports beat writer.

  8. I heard Rachel Bachman from the Wall Street has a scoop on the hiring of the remainder of the Colts Staff. They have to either have a FU MAN or GOATEE. Groundbreaking.

  9. “A feeling on campus?” Seriously? So she thinks the current student body followed Bobby Knight and the Hoosiers when they were in day care?

  10. I showed up on campus the year after Knight did. He recruited and coached Great kids for years. He made IU extremely important on the College Basketball stage and was a huge deal at IU. This shouldn’t be forgotten and his basketball achievements should be honored.

    He also fired himself. He thought he was IU basketball and that it hadn’t existed before he got there and would die when he left. Thus he knew he could do anything. He also found out he was wrong. I was an IU fan before Knight arrived and I continue to be to this day. It’s not “Bobby Knight” University. It’s Indiana University.

  11. IULONGAGO–#12
    Very good snapshot of Bobby Knight’s philosophy and history. Around 1995, I opened(don’t ask) the trunk of Knight’s car. Inside were over 300 golf balls, two sets of clubs, and numerous other clubs. In hindsight it makes me wonder if he was thinking of changing sports.

  12. What seems to be lost in all this Bob Nostalgia is that his last few years were marked by teams that just weren’t very good. We put up with his Obnoxious Personality Disorder as long as he was putting up banners, but after 12 years of mediocrity (the same length of National Title drought that ended McCracken’s tenure), enough was enough. We finally have a good, young coach with good players again – let’s move on.

  13. Bob Knight is the biggest part, but only one part, of the rich Indiana Basketball tradition and history. He was a great coach. He also was a bully who chose not to control his abusive personality. He let himself get away with behavior that he would never let his players get away with because it is so self-destructive. Coach K at Duke is the “revised and improved” version of Coach Knight, and is rightfully considered the best basketball coach since John Wooden. It would be great if Coach Knight would come back to Indiana and let us recognize his many accomplishments and thank him for his many gifts to the University (the library donations are only one of many). But Indiana has asked/begged and Bobby has said no. So it is over and we all move on!

  14. Fred Glass knows that when trying to raise money for a new basketball arena Bobby Knight is in the equation. We are all dealing with the fact Crean is present day IU Basketball.
    That’s great and I agree that we live in the current condition. It’s enjoyable, Crean knows Bobby has been important. Now Crean is important and IU Basketball found it’s way back. Consider {you may not agree and that’s ok} Do you think Mellencamp would have donated to the Football Program, if it was not for the success of the 70’s, 80’s basketball teams. Do you think COOK CENTER for Women’s and Men’s Basketball would exist, if not for those successful years? Asking to discount Bobby Knight is just not real, even the shadow of Knight today is real. “We’re Back” T-Shirts need to be returned and refunded. Make T-Shirt’s that say “We’re on our Way” or
    “Hey, We’re Here Too”. Take down the Banner’s to get better circulation in Assembly Hall. I got disappointed in some of the antics from Bobby in the years mentioned in another post.

    I was at a fundraiser , in which Bobby was the speaker in downtown Indianapolis. I got in the elevator with Bobby and 2 other fundraising hosts for that function. Bobby was handed a note. One of the hosts said to him, ” I know you must be tired after this long evening”. Bobby said
    ” what hospital and room number?” He was on his way to see a young patient at the Children’s Hospital in downtown Indianapolis. I recognize Bobby slipped leading up to and towards the end. But I felt like I could look past that after that experience, along with a few other times where Bobby got over himself and did some great things off the court.

    If a new arena takes place in the future ,then History will blend the past with Bobby and the Crean years.

  15. HOOSIERPLUS, Again I am on board with you. I too personally know of an occasion where RMK on a trip between Fort Wayne and Indianapolis with a travel companion made a detour to honor a request for him to visit a sick community leader suffering though a tough stretch of illness. That took place during the last couple of years before his separation from IU. I truly would have enjoyed the opportunity to spend 4-5 hours in a boat fishing or an afternoon in a cornfield hunting pheasants with him. I still am optimistic one day there will be a new facility covering the BM floor and the name outside saying RMK HOOSIER FIELDHOUSE.

  16. Opinion on RMK and IU’s current relationship notwithstanding, it’s not fair or accurate to claim his tenure ended with “12 years of mediocrity.”

    We still had a lot of success in the late ’80s/early ’90s. I’m pretty sure we had the most consecutive Sweet 16 appearances at the time, from ’87-’94, or something like that. A Final Four in ’92, and a Big Ten title for the ’93 team that was ranked #1 for most of the season and then got beat in the Elite Eight without an injured Alan Henderson. That was really the end of being elite, but it’s all perspective, we didn’t really know that at the time.

    The next two years were decent, I think we made the Sweet 16 in ’94. And then, yes, from ’95-’96-ish through 2000, we had disappointing finishes to the season and were not elite. Still, all of those years included some great players, some great wins, appearances in the Top 25 every year, the tournament and 20+ wins. Those things all went without saying. It’s kinda like the old argument with Bill Mallory, IU fans got greedy or whatever and wanted more. With IU hoops in that era, a top ranking, tournament appearance and 20+ wins were taken for granted, we had to win the Big Ten or get really deep in the tournament to really accomplish something. Which is how it should be, but is still a high bar. I’ve always thought the touted Patterson/Miller/et al class just never lived up to potential, and I’ve thought that had they just advanced to the Sweet 16 once or twice during those last 6 years, the clamoring of ‘Bob didn’t win in the end’, etc., would be a lot quieter. Fact is, it seemed that the media loved to seem him struggle in those years and overplayed that a bit….and that was his own doing. And of course he had Coverdale, Jeffries, Newton, Fife, etc. coming in.

    Facts are facts, we didn’t advance past the second round from 1995-2000, I believe, and definitely weren’t elite. And the arguments that our players were worn out by the end of the year with him or he was less engaged or whatever all may be fair cases. And, of course, if we were still elite through the late ’90s, things may have ended differently with him. But, to say it was 10+ years or that it was absolutely terrible is just inaccurate.

  17. Wisco- Few things are more annoying than when a proven coach sets the bar high by succeeding and then gets dogged on or fired for “underachieving” – i.e., “only” making the post season or “only” finishing 3rd in the conference in subsequent years. The NFL gives us great examples all the time; look at the treatment of Andy Reid this year, or look at Tom Coughlin most years – always on the verge of being fired by the fanbase, yet here he is, back in the Big Game. Basketball provides some examples, too; I remember George Karl being fired by the Sonics in 1998 after a 61 win season and a trip to the Semis because he “couldn’t get them over the hump.”

    I actually think Knight has it pretty good in this department. I rarely hear anyone complaining about the later Knight years; it’s as if those years were touched up by a revisionist brush so that they would blend in seamlessly to the long, glorious reign of the great monarch.

    Were you around B-Town when the Knight teams were losing in the 1st round to the Pepperdines and SW Missouri States of the world? I’m curious to hear from someone who was hear just how people reacted back then – whether there was outcry, scrutiny and doom-and-gloom, or whether RMK had an endless stack of get-out-of-jail-free cards in public eye.

  18. Well, it’s all perspective, I suppose. It’s always stood out to me that fans and others have basically (over)stated that ‘Bob Knight didn’t win at the end’, etc. I rarely get the feeling of the revisionist brush as you do, although like I said, it’s all perspective, and a lot of it is who is doing the talking. Listen to Dickie V and you’re right, you’d think IU was still dominating in 1999, and listen to someone else and they might say Knight didn’t do anything the last decade.

    I think it was something that was just cumulative over time. Knight had an endless stack of get-out-of-jail-free cards as far as the team’s performance for the most part, but I think the last 2-4 years or so, people were getting restless, but even those teams had promise.

    But, back to the perspective, if you’re looking at it at the time or now. Going into the tournament in ’95, we were only a 9 seed, but we finished 3rd in the league, had the longest Sweet 16 streak in the country, had All-American Alan Henderson, were still considered an elite program, etc. Lost in the first round to Mizzou by 5, disappointing, but not earth-shattering. The next year we’re a 6 seed, Brian Evans is B1G Player of the Year, and we’ve got some promising young players. But, we get upset in the first round by Boston College. Again, disappointing, especially two in a row, but not like things were necessarily going down the tubes or we were awful.

    But, yes, by the end of the ’99-’00 season we had completed a six-year stretch of no B1G titles, a 2-6 NCAA record without moving beyond the first weekend, and people were beginning to say he had lost it, was too old, didn’t care, etc. Personally, I think he would’ve rebounded, similar to JoePa having some really bad seasons several years ago.

    Anyway, who knows, I just don’t think the program was going down the tubes as some seem to claim, but certainly the last 6 seasons were not exceptional. The Class of ’98 (I believe) was Knight’s first to never win the B1G or get to a Final Four at least once in their four years. Personally, and this is probably an unfair comment, but I think Patterson and Charlie Miller just never really lived up to potential. But, anyway, the last 6 seasons that are often pointed to as “Knight didn’t do anything”, we were still 123-67, 63-14 at home, won the Preseason NIT once, I think maybe won Maui, had 2 B1G Players of the Year and 3 All-Americans. And, thus, like I said, I think if one of those teams around ’97-’99 wins a couple more games, 1-2 more in the tourney, etc…then the talk of RMK not winning in the last few years would be a lot less. If’s and but’s though…

  19. Haha, I think we would have had some good teams who were successful at a high level. Other than that, nothing like JoePa.

  20. And, even if we didn’t, we would’ve been a respectable tournament team every year, and we could’ve had a good transition to a new coach. Instead, we had ten years of mistakes followed by three years of misery. But, things are looking up now, so it’s all moot.

  21. You know, we all hated how it ended but I’m not sure that Bobby was going to let it end any other way. I just don’t see how it wasn’t going to be an ugly divorce. It certainly looks as though the only person he’d step aside for was going to be Pat and nobody else wanted that.

    We’ll never know.

  22. I think Pat Knight taking over as head coach at Indiana
    had as much of a chance as Madonna singing “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” at the half -time of the upcoming Super Bowl.

  23. I should of said , as much of a chance as Rachel Bachman of the WALLSTREET JOURNAL singing
    “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”. at half time of this years Super Bowl.

  24. I wonder if people were this disrespectful to RMK in his early years by constantly whining about how much they missed Branch McCracken.

  25. Even if Pat did take over, how would Bobby have handled the inevitable firing…? Probably same estranged relationship in the end.

  26. Who’s whining?

    You’re probably right, Chet. In the end, the biggest mistake was to retain Davis. If that situation would have been handled properly, we hopefully wouldn’t have been in the position to have to deal with the other guy and his aftermath. But, anywho, it’s all history now. Hopefully we can get one tonight!

  27. I won’t whine if they put Branch McCracken in the scheme of things, when it comes time to build a new arena.

    Whomever deserves the accolades when all are reminded of how the program has evolved. I don’t think you know much about Branch McCracken, unless you research his bio.

    I think most of the bloggers here are people who have been exposed to the last 35-40 years. The touch and feel of those memories and following the current IU basketball roster and staff, is really all we got.

    It’s all discussion for fun with some thoughtful input.
    I don’t see any disrespect. By the way, I don’t think Verdell would dribble into a double or triple team, if Bobby Knight was his head coach.

    Always reserve the right to be bipolar.
    Wisler I think your comment was tongue and cheek, as well.

  28. It’s funny how the media had quite the repulsion for Knight while he was coach, and now embrace him as commentator.

    Dare I mention a handsome comb-over coach that spent quite a chunk of time at Purdue?..a Heathcote at MSU?…a ‘Fab 5’ coach that was the Calipari of the mid-1990s now at San Diego St?

    A lot of very fine coaches, combining decades of coaching experience, styles of play, unscrupulous fly-by-night recruiting practices, that kicked around a non-elite bucket around in the Big 10(just as now), building acclaimed careers and admiration from peers, with far less hanging from the rafters their prime years than what IU fans can gaze upon dangling in Assembly Hall the man that left in mediocrity. Due to his incredible success as a young coach that far exceeded any other in putting Big 10 basketball on the national basketball stage, it was inevitable brainy spin artists entrenched in journalism and the media born of East Coast and West Coast elitists schools would despise the genius of a man that took kids of humble basketball origins and Midwestern values to prove Indiana had much more to offer than Bobby Plump fairytale movies when it came to storied hoops.

    Inevitable everything he would do magnified into great controversy. And with his “take no $hit” personality, inevitable he would be judged with a different measuring stick than other premier coaches that now find their butt’s in ESPN chairs. Knight disrupted the LA and New York basketball establishment waters and captained his ship into seas the hicks did not belong…And now the “what have you done for me lately” generation built from his cargo of riches have gained their brilliance and perspective by making a god out of any replacement pirate that comes into Bloomington’s ‘Port of Hoops’ in empty candy stripe rowboats singing jolly songs beginning with “Because.”

  29. I predict Harvard and his illegitimate son, 4guards, will be singing this tune when Knight returns to Bloomington.

  30. Five Keys to Victory Against the Badgers:

    1) VJ does not start
    2) No touches for Valvoline Jones.
    3) Crean discovers the nuances of not playing VJ
    4) Pregame strategy involves an anonymous e-mail with a Maine IP address headlined by: “VJ SUCKS!..Why Does the Obvious Skill of Remy Offend You? Play Another Slow White Guy!”
    5) Bo Ryan stomach flu

    Go Hoosiers!

  31. Coach Knight was an awesome coach until about 1994…when he admitted he should have retired.When the shot clock and the 3 point line came into play he never adjusted to the type of player’s needed.All other power team’s did…and IU got left behind.From 1994-2000 IU was not a very good basketball school.Rumor has it Knight had not gone into a high school player’s home himself to recruit for his last 6 year’s.He would turn practice over to other coach’s and he would go hunting.In no way should a new areana be built and his name on it anywhere.He hate’s IU and hope’s it fail’s forever.He would not return for the HOF or for the ’87 reunioun…but showed up at the Ohio State HOF.He demanded respect but had no respect himself and he quit on young men in the middle of a season just so Pat would get the job because he knew if he retired Pat was gone.At any other school besides IU he would have been fired after the 1981 team.He did alot of great thing’s for people off the court…but he also destroyed alot of people also..including young men.He still to this day think’s he is king of college basketball…most people after 2007 don’t even remember him.I wish him good health and a long life…but his time at Indiana has come and gone and I respect his first 15 years at IU…but the last 15 were a disgrace.

  32. Rumor has it he gave Jay Edwards another chance instead of sending him to the streets as a pothead flunky.

  33. Rumor? Really, you’re gonna go there?

    OldSchoolHoosier, did he really admit he should have retired in 1994? I’m very curious, when did he do that? Fifteen years after the fact?

  34. He has said several times he should have retired after the ’94 season.I heard him say it live when he spoke in Nasville a few year’s ago.Ask Todd Jadlow how nice a man he was…ask Sherron Wilkerson..Jay Edwards are you serious……

  35. Wisco, I believe that Dean Smith had 16 or 17 straight Sweet Sixteen appearances when he retired. So 7 is really nice but not amazing.

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