Highlights from the Hall induction

Indiana athletics director Fred Glass said prior to tonight’s festivities that he wouldn’t put it past Bob Knight to charge on stage and hip-check Bob Hammel, just to shock the crowd.

Well, Knight didn’t show and Hammel stayed standing.

Here’s what stuck out most to me from his speech. He rattled off all of Knight’s impressive numbers, then said:

“What those numbers don’t say is what made Indiana so special, ’cause everyone knew that what Bob Knight was doing at Indiana was kicking the slats out of that perennial excuse that you have to cut a few corners, that you have to cheat a little bit Everybody would have loved to catch Bob Knight cheating on something and they never could. The never did and they never would. That alone, coming at a time when they graduated kids and were bringing in great kids and putting together the model program in college basketball, is why this night had to happen.
“Tonight is recognition that those really were priceless days. The time of distancing a great university from a coach and players who contributed richly to that greatness is over.”

Hammel then read the letter Knight sent to Glass turning down his invitation to the event. It is worth the read:

Dear Mr. Glass,

The attention and speculation relative to my attending your Hall of Fame induction would be greatly increased if I were to do so. I think this approach from the media would take a great deal away from the other people being inducted, and I don’t think it would be right for this to happen.
In addition to this, I just have too much negative feeling toward some people and the things they did or did not do during my last few years and who had no understanding of either athletics or honesty.
I have now and always will have a tremendous appreciation for the support our teams were given by the student body and fans all over the state of Indiana. When I left Indiana I did my best to let them know how much I appreciated their contribution to the success of our team. I still feel that way about them. However, there is no one I could appreciate more than the players who played during my tenure and were most responsible for the success that we had during those years.
I would like to especially congratulate Steve Downing and Joe Norman. I had an opportunity to coach one and watch the other play. They both are tremendous examples of what a student athlete is and should be.
I will always be indebted to John Ryan and Bill Orwig for giving me the opportunity to coach at Indiana. No coach has ever worked for a better president than John Ryan or better athletic directors than Bill Orwig and Ralph Floyd, who both had a great understanding of athletics and what it took to win.
There were other people during those years who were very helpful to our program and athletics in general, such as Dick Stoner, Ed Cady, Bill Armstrong, Paul Dietzel, George Pinnell, Curt Simic, Buzz Kurpius and her staff, Anita Aldrich, Ken Gros Louis and Ed Williams, who were very much involved and helpful to our basketball program.
Another great asset was the medical care provided our players by Brad Bomba, Jim Strickland, Larry Rink and Dick Shelly. The popularity of our basketball program was greatly enhanced with the media work of Bob Hammel, Chuck Marlowe and Bob Collins.
You are the only person in the administrative capacity at Indiana in the last ten years to say thank you for what we did, and I appreciate your doing so. You mentioned in your letter to me that you would like to sit down and talk with me any place or at any time. I would be willing to do this and would suggest that you bring Bob Hammel with you as he would be a great help in your understanding why I feel as I do.
It is obvious that the people who replaced the aforementioned people over the years have not nearly maintained the standards with Indiana’s athletic program that those people established. I would hope that during your tenure you would be able to get Indiana athletics back where it once was and want to wish you the very best in that regard.

Sincerely,

Bob Knight

8 comments

  1. That’s one helluva letter by Coach Knight. It makes me wonder about the mix of pleasure and pain that he must’ve experienced over the last few years seeing the mess we got ourselves into. At once experiencing a bit of vengeance while also, no doubt, feeling the pain of seeing his great program reduced to rubble.

  2. IU can move on for now, but work on getting Knight back into the fold over the next few years. he aint gettin yonger, but would still like to see him back at some point

  3. Wow. The old adage is somewhat true. Time does heal wounds. What we can surmise from this is that it is not often that Bob Knight gives an administrator a compliment. Especially to IU in the last 10 years….well probably more like 15. His last 5-8 years at IU were in his opinion a mistake. Furthermore, I feel that if Glass and IU are consistent in their positive message to Knight, he will in time return. As it has already been forecasted by some media outlets, it most likely would take a Bob Knight “Night” and ceremony at Assembly Hall. Safe to say that will be the toughest ticket in Bloomy.

  4. knight will come back at some point for the fans and current administration who are trying to do the right thing.. i dont think he will give notice for his arrival however.. i would totally be coach knight to show up when we are playing purdue, and give one hell of a speech before tip off.. i think that would put the whole thing to bed for both the school and coach knight.. he still has a soft spot for IU. i remember last year when college gameday was at Texas Tech and he was the guest picking football games, he had to pick between Purdue and Michigan and he said there was no way in hell he would pick Purdue!

  5. I can only hope Glass chartered a plane, with a reserved seat for Hammel, the moment he opened that letter. I trust the Scoop will stay on top of that one in the future.

  6. Was the ceremony by invitation only? The way some people post on here they are very into the workings of the athletic department, wonder if they were in attendance.

  7. I think this further emboldens the selection of Fred Glass as AD for his masterful interpersonal skills and his experience in human relations. He gets it about the character of RMK.

    Coach knight still holds for me that vision I have had of him over the past four decades. He is indeed a BB coach, teacher and taskmaster; but his #1 talent lies in his ability to communicate in both verbal and written expression. He articulates precisely what he wants known and that was paramount in the letter we have read.

    RMK and AD Glass will figure out a way to build a bridge of relationship back to Bloomington.

    Happy Days are ahead!

  8. I wish BK could just let the negativity go. It just doesn’t serve any purpose at this point.

    How great would it be if he could just come to a game and talk to the players for 15 minutes to give some perspective on what the program is about, and some of the players who cam e before them? I suppose having him around in a John Wooden/Dean Smith kind ofr role is too much to ask for, but one game?

    Sure, BK (re)made IU basketball, but it made him too.

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