1983, 2013 Big Ten championship banners will not be part of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall

The renovation process at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall allowed Fred Glass to review his department’s priorities, and closer inspection led the Indiana athletic director to make a uniform decision.

Individual banners representing the 1983 and 2013 Big Ten men’s basketball championships no longer hang alongside the rest of IU’s conference title banners on the south end of the arena. Glass told The Herald-Times on Thursday that it was his call to remove the two banners, and instead honor all 22 Big Ten championships in an identical manner.

“To me, that’s really the Indiana basketball way,” Glass said.

The ’83 banner was affectionately known as “The Peoples’ Banner” as a goodwill gesture to the fans’ late-season support that carried the Hoosiers to that year’s title. The ’13 banner was hung as a nod to IU’s return to prominence after sanctions incurred by former coach Kelvin Sampson gutted the program.

There are now seven banners strung along the wall above the new suites on the south side. Five of those are dedicated to the men’s program, including two that list each Big Ten title, one for Final Four appearances, another to recognize the undefeated season and UPI National Championship in 1975, and one more for NIT titles. Two more boast achievements by the women’s program, including Big Ten titles and the program’s 1973 AIAW Women’s Final Four appearance.

The five national championships won by the men’s program are prominently displayed opposite these on the north end of the arena.

“I think reasonable people can disagree with this,” Glass said. “My strong view is we should recognize all 22 champions in the same way.”

So that’s what fans will see when Indiana unofficially tips off its season with the annual Hoosier Hysteria event on Saturday evening.

Former Indiana coach Bob Knight dedicated the 1983 banner to fans after the Hoosiers claimed the conference title without injured All-American Ted Kitchel down the stretch. With three games remaining in the regular season, and IU locked into a three-way tie for first place, Knight asked the fans to help push the team through the finish line. The Hoosiers won each of their final three games against Purdue, Illinois and Ohio State to earn the title.

IU coach Tom Crean raised the 2013 banner at Hoosier Hysteria three years ago, celebrating both the 2012-13 conference champions and the fans who remained loyal to the program through the mess left by Sampson’s staff.

“I get that, but I always felt that those banners inherently diminished the other 20 IU Big Ten champions,” Glass said. “So I was trying to decide between should we have individual banners for all 22 of the teams, or leave it the way it is, or just go with the year-by-year listing that we had when I got here.

“My view is that individual banners strung throughout the rafters just wasn’t the Indiana way. It’s not in the nature of Assembly Hall. I felt like it was best to go back to just the single-year listings on those two banners that identify the Big Ten champions. To me, that’s really the Indiana basketball way.”

Space was at least a partial factor in the decision. The seven banners currently on display fit snugly in the space above the new suites. Glass estimates that it would have cost between $50,000 to $100,000 to put in the necessary infrastructure to allow the pole on which they hang to accommodate two more banners.

But Glass said that cost had little impact on his final decision.

“If I thought it was the right thing to do, I would’ve made those investments to be able to hang those two banners,” he said. “I don’t want to hide behind that, although it was a real situation. When it’s all said and done, I think it’s preferable this way.”

6 comments

  1. Are the Final Four and Championship banners now registered with the Indiana Historical Society?

  2. Who cares about those banners the focus needs to be hanging another banner that actually matters…1987…30 long seasons without one.
    Since 1987:
    Kansas: 2
    Duke: 5
    UNC: 3
    Kentucky: 3
    UCLA: 1

    Time to step up to the plate and do what it takes to get the job done.

  3. Looks like Louisville is gonna walk. Probably Pitino, too. Get recruits some hookers? No problem. Make a three way phone call? Bring the hammer down.

    Has anyone watched this 6’7″ receiver for Virgina Tech? Hodges. He’s putting on a Heisman performance against Miami. They’re playing him at a wideout but bringing him inside for blocking. He’s got NFL written all over him.

  4. Hang em, don’t hang em, I’m fine either way.

    Yes the AD’s “self imposed” sanctions preemptively launched, most likely gave L’ville cover. Pitino and Petrino are hard men to kill. Or as I really believe Jurich is simply the best AD in America. Patino and Patrino as far as career longevity have the best odds to become aged coaches in high profile jobs in their present location. Also this investigation will cause Jurich to tighten down the screws even more and he will give all the credit to his coaches. He is a top notch manager.

    VT’s Bucky Hodges for sure displays the right stuff. His future is illuminating quickly and brightly.

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