It’s official: no Knight

Indiana sent out a press release today confirming that former basketball coach Bob Knight will not attend his Hall of Fame Induction ceremony next week.

The reason?

He didn’t want to detract from media coverage of the other inductees.

Many of you predicted months ago that Knight would say this. Kudos to you.

Here’s the full press release:

CAPACITY CROWD EXPECTED FOR HALL OF FAME CEREMONY

October 29, 2009

Bloomington, Indiana–With nearly 600 confirmed guests, the IU Varsity Club announced today that a capacity crowd is expected for the 2009 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The event will take place on the floor of Assembly Hall on Friday, November 6. Guests include former student-athletes, coaches, staff and others to celebrate seven IU greats to be formally inducted, including legendary IU coaches Bob Knight and Jerry Yeagley.

Coaches Knight and Yeagley are both the winningest NCAA coaches in their respective sports. Knight (men’s basketball, 1972-2000), won three national championships, and Yeagley (men’s soccer, 1973-2004), captured six NCAA titles. Knight and Yeagley join former Hoosier standouts Steve Downing (men’s basketball, 1971-73), Katrin Koch (women’s track and field, 1989-92), Joe Norman (football, 1975-78), the late Mike Rabold (football, 1956-58), and Alan Somers (swimming, 1961-63) as honorees. In addition to the Hall of Fame Ceremony, each inductee will be recognized at halftime of the football game against Wisconsin at Memorial Stadium on November 7.

Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass confirmed that all living inductees, other than Coach Knight, will be attending the Hall of Fame activities. “Coach Knight contacted me directly yesterday to let me know that he would not be attending the Hall of Fame ceremonies, primarily because of his concern that the media interest in his attendance would take away from the other people being inducted,” Glass said. “I absolutely respect his feelings on that and very much appreciate his response, which in no way suggested he opposed being inducted.

“Coach Knight expressed his tremendous appreciation for the support his teams were given by the IU student body and fans all over the state of Indiana and the contribution that support made to the success of his teams. Coach Knight also noted that there is no one he appreciates more than his players who he said were the most responsible for the success the program had during his tenure.”

At the induction ceremony, the late Mike Rabold will be represented by his brother John and Coach Knight will be represented by legendary sports writer Bob Hammel, a 2008 Hall of Fame inductee.

The Hall of Fame was established in 1982 by the Indiana University Varsity Club National Board of Directors in cooperation with Indiana University, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, the I Association, and the Indiana University Alumni Association. Its purpose is to recognize and honor individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the achievements and prestige of Indiana University in the field of athletics and who have continued to demonstrate the values imparted by intercollegiate athletics. Each year, a subcommittee of the Indiana University Varsity Club National Board of Directors selects inductees for the Hall of Fame. This year’s class brings the current roster of IU Hall of Fame inductees to 164.

For more information on the IU Athletics Hall of Fame, please contact the IU Varsity Club at (812) 855-0866.

Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame

2009 Inductee Class

Steve Downing, Men’s Basketball

Won three basketball letters from 1971-73. Named Indiana and Big Ten Most Valuable Player in 1973 after leading the Hoosiers to the Final Four of the NCAA championship. First team All-Big Ten in 1973 after averaging 20.1 points and 10.6 rebounds. Averaged 15.1 rebounds in 1972, second best mark in IU history for season; ranks fifth in career rebounds with 889. Played professional basketball for two years with the Boston Celtics. Served as IU Associate Athletic Director for 20 years.

Bob Knight, Men’s Basketball

Indiana basketball coach from 1971-2000 with a career record of 661-240 at IU. Coached teams that won 11 Big Ten Championships, a Big Ten record, and NCAA championships in 1976, 1981, and 1987. Only coach in history to lead teams to NCAA (1976, 1981, and 1987), NIT (1979), Pan American (1979) and Olympic (1984) championships. Last coach to have perfect winning season (32-0 in 1976). Coached 16 All-Americans; had nine players win Big Ten MVP honors; and had 29 players who played in the NBA. Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year six times and National Coach-of-the-Year in 1975, 1976, 1987, and 1989. Inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991. He is the all-time winningest coach in college basketball history with a 902-371 record (70.8), which was compiled at Army, IU and Texas Tech. After playing at Orrville (Ohio) High School, he played at Ohio State under Hall of Fame Coach Fred Taylor and was a member of the Buckeyes 1960 national championship team.

Katrin Koch, Women’s Track and Field

Won track letters in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992. Won Big Ten Medal in 1992; Big Ten indoor shot put title in 1992; Big Ten outdoor shot put titles in 1991 and 1992; and Big Ten discus titles in 1991 and 1992. NCAA champion in the shot put outdoors in 1992; three-time All-American indoors in the shot put; four-time All-American outdoors in the shot put and once in the discus. Still owns the IU discus record. Set Big Ten shot put records both indoors and outdoors and in the discus. Served as Indiana’s Assistant Director of Strength and Training (1993-98) and Head Strength Coordinator (1998-04).

Joe Norman, Football

Won football letters in 1975-78 and was co-captain in both 1977 and 1978. Linebacker who was IU Most Valuable Player in 1977 and 1978. All-Big Ten in 1978. Second team All-American by NEA in 1978. Played in 1978 Hula Bowl and the 1978 Japan Bowl where he was named Defensive MVP. Later went on to play professionally with the Seattle Seahawks.

Mike Rabold, Football

Won football letters in 1956, 1957, and 1958 and was captain in 1958. Was IU’s Most Valuable Player as a guard in ’58, and the runner-up for the Chicago Tribune Big Ten Most Valuable Player award. Won IU’s Balfour Award in 1958. Third team All-American by Central Press in ’58. Played in 1958 Blue-Gray game, the Senior Bowl and the College All-Star game. Played in the NFL for 9 years and was a member of the 1963 Chicago Bears’ championship team.  Inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1977, and was one of the founders of the Indiana Football High School All-Star game.

Alan Somers, Men’s Swimming

Won swimming letters in 1961-1963 and was captain in 1963. Won five Big Ten championships in the 440-yard, 1500-meter, and 1650-yard freestyles. Competed in 1960 Olympics in the 400-meter freestyle (placing 5th) and 1500-meter freestyle (placing 7th). Won 4 AAU championships in freestyle events. Owned American record in 400-meter freestyle for three years.

Jerry Yeagley, Men’s Soccer

Soccer coach from 1973-2004. Won 6 national championships and led teams to the College Cup 16 times, 12 times advancing to championship game. Won 10 regular season Big Ten championships and 10 Big Ten tournament championships. Had overall record of 544-101-45 to become all-time NCAA leader in victories. Big Ten Coach of the Year 8 times, NSCAA National Coach of the Year 6 times. 1989 Inductee into the United States Soccer Federation Hall of Fame. The playing surface at Armstrong Stadium was named for him in 2004. In 2008, voted the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Soccer 50th Anniversary team coach.

23 comments

  1. cappy, as much as I have disliked Knight for the return payment hoopla, and sending messages through people like Vitale, I respect his decision to not come. It simply didnt need the extra drama of the last few days to get everyone riled up.

  2. I think we should take Coach Knight at his word and accept his thanks for the support and honors that the fans and university have given him. Now, can we stop obsessing on his every utterance and get on with supporting the team on the floor THIS year?

  3. I forgot to add my personal congratulations and thanks to all the other inductees – particularly Coach Yeagly who made IU THE college soccer program during his tenure. And you gotta love the passion that Joe Norman and Steve Downing showed wearing the Cream and Crimson.

  4. I agree that this is a great group. Obviously the achievements of Knight and Yeagley stand out.

    I became emotionally invested in the Hoosiers in ’73 while I was still in HS. That Downing group with Crews, Buckner, Abernathy, Laz and Green scared John Wooden into early retirement. All Hoosiers remain convinced that it was Walton who should’ve fouled out, not Downing.

    I was at IU during Joe Norman’s years. He was a tackling machine. Corso had some good players back then, just not enough of them.

    Congrats to all the inductees.

  5. and fond remembrance to the family of Mike Rabold. I was too young to recall watching him play but remember the sadness when he lost his life in an automobile accident.

  6. Maybe Jerry Yeagly shouldn’t come because he may detract from the others.

    Just cancel the whole thing, they detract from the rest of us.

    Glad to see that everyone is happy now!

  7. and GFDave…..that 73 call on Downing (and non call on Walton) is the worst travesty in IU history. I was 14 rows up and screamed for 4 days. To this day I cannot watch Bill Walton on TV without sneering at him. I will have to say that final four is THE best I have ever seen (we had some extra-curricular fun after the games) Back in the day when they had a consolation game and we kicked Ernie DeGregorio and Providence.

  8. “‘Coach Knight expressed his tremendous appreciation for the support his teams were given by the IU student body and fans all over the state …'”

    As reported in the above quotation of AD Fred Glass, Knight did NOT thank the university. (The student body–or many among them–might THINK they are the university.)

  9. I respect Coach Knight for his decision for not coming back to a place that fired him. If you don’t understand his decision, then you haven’t been fired from a job that you had a passion for.

  10. Bruce,

    You’d be right if Knight hadn’t put himself in a position to be fired.

    You don’t put your hands on colleagues, students and players, and expect to get away with it.

    You’d think after 10 years he’d at least be able to see why he might have been at fault. But of course, he doesn’t, because that is the enigma that is Bob Knight.

  11. C’mon coach knight……You were out of control “choking neil reed” howcould you not just admit it and drop the feud your an old man. Its time to let it go and find peace w/your maker and forgiveness.

  12. Hmm…Is Colorado must be on other side of the world, ’cause they sure seem to get their news late.

  13. I’m sorry Knight didn’t take the high road, but I don’t blame him. Hey, breakups of all kinds are rough, I think Knight might have had a hard time staying civil, and he probably knows it.

    I’m very happy to see Coach Yeagley get inducted. Not only for his achievements listed above, but also the fact that the personnel he left defended the championship the very next year stands out to me. He created a program, from scratch, that dominated not only the conference but also, quite simply, the national college game. He deserves to be in the hall with the other amazingly dominant IU coaches like Bell, Billingsley, and Counsilman.

  14. You know I have been a Knight fan all of my life. I didnt think he would come but Im very disappointed not suprised. It amazes me that after many years Bob still harbors hate and disappointment whatever you want to call it. Bob should schrug this off and go, bite the bullet but evidently he isnt man enough to do this. I can honestly say now go your way Bob, IU forget about this man! He may have been a great coach in the past but everyone has to admit that this isnt anyway to act. This is more like a mad little boy. In lifes lessons one has to learn to forgive and forget. Can you imagine if we all took Bobby attitude! Bye Bob and by the way you act like a little babby! Sorry an Ex Knight fan and a true IU fan –Go Coach Crean!

  15. Coach Knight was an exemplary coach with a lot of pride. He will be recognized by the University, but the painful separation will take time to heal and will need to be sorted out first in private. His achievements far exceeded any shortcomings. I knew some of the players back in the mid 70’s when I played baseball at IU. Scot May and Bobby Wilkerson attended every anthropology class at 8 am, and they were humble. The players knew they had responsibilities that extended beyond the basketball court. Other coaches at IU had the view most coaches have today and they let academics slide. Coach Knight was subsequently ridiculed for some of his actions. These actions although condemnable represent only a tiny fraction of who he was. The press and previous administration’s “zero tolerance policy” was both unfair and stupid. Everyone has a weakness and this was simply a trap. Anyone who has read about coach Knight or knew him understands this. The University now understands the mistake it made and I praise the work that Coach Crean has done to restore the program – which in large part was built by Coach Knight. There is no need to pressure Coach Knight to attend this Hall of Fame induction. I know he has let the others, and especially Steve Downing know that he supports what IU is doing for them. The University has a ways to go to remedy what they have done to RMK – and I would encourage them to continue down that path. The reason is not Bob Knight. The reason is what Knight really stood for. The goal for any coach should be to win without sacrificing Integrity; and also instill compassion, honesty, and humility so that a student athlete can become more than just an athlete when they leave. That is RMK’s legacy and that should serve as a beacon for all Universities.

  16. MD,
    I would agree with everything said if Coach would have conducted himself in a more civil manner. I was a BK fan, but it decreases every day. He was at least partially at fault for his unpleasant release–he was treated badly.

    The University reached out, and he did not respond. I’m not surprised, but the university should not grovel to BK. Yes it should value the things you list, and impress that on the present administration, but I’m afraid that now I think its his turn to move and won’t so let it go.

    And it’s too bad, it could have been a great day.

  17. All wonderfully said, Doctor Nunnink.

    “Everyone has a weakness and this was simply a trap.”

    Why would IU/Brand want to trap him? That’s what you didn’t address.

    Do you think Brand(through the powers of the NCAA)also wanted to trap/destroy Sampson?

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