Calbert Cheaney named director of basketball operations

From Indiana media relations:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – One of the most decorated players to ever wear the Cream and Crimson, is returning to Bloomington to rejoin the Hoosiers men’s basketball program.  Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean announced at his Father/Son camp that former IU All-American and National Player of the Year Calbert Cheaney has been named Director of Basketball Operations

Coach Crean and Cheaney will be available to meet with the media at noon, Monday, in the press room in Assembly Hall.

“Calbert will have an impact on our program in a major way,” said Crean.  “He wants to get into coaching full time and he knows the path it takes, the work ethic and the sacrifice.  Every kid who plays college basketball at this level aspires to achieve what Calbert did on and off the court, both collegiately and as a professional. Having him here as a mentor on a day-to-day basis will be invaluable to our players.”

Cheaney, an Evansville native who played 13 seasons in the NBA following his career at Indiana, returns to Bloomington after spending the last two years working for the Golden State Warriors.

“My family and I believe that this was the right time to begin a career in college basketball and I am especially looking forward to playing a role in the growth of the players at Indiana,” said Cheaney.  “I’m very grateful to Coach Crean for this opportunity to return to IU and I look forward to contributing immediately in any way possible.”

Cheaney was a three time All-American (1991,92, 93) for the Hoosiers who was named College Player of the Year and winning both the Wooden and Naismith Awards  and Big Ten Player of the Year following his senior year.  He is the all-time leading scorer in Big Ten history with 2,613 points and led Indiana to a 105-27 record a Final Four appearance in 1992 and a #1 ranking for most of the 1993 season. He averaged 22.4 points and 6.2 rebounds as a senior.

“Calbert knows the standard that it takes to be successful academically as a high-level student athlete and he knows what is expected to play at the NBA  level.,” added Crean.  “He is excited to learn the business of college basketball and we are thrilled to have Calbert, Yvette, Julian and Sydney returning to Bloomington to be a part of the IU basketball family on a full time basis.”

For his career at Indiana, he averaged 19.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and made 55.9 percent of his field goal attempts, 43.8 percent of his three-point field attempts and 79.0 percent of his free throws. He also holds the school record for field goals made with 1,018.  Three times he was named first team All-Big Ten and four times he played in the NCAA Tournament. For his accomplishments, he was inducted into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.

He was the sixth player chosen in the 1993 NBA Draft and the Harrison High School product played 13 seasons in the NBA, amassing career averages of 9.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 26.7 minutes in 825 regular-season games with Washington, Boston, Denver, Utah and Golden State. Cheaney averaged double figures in scoring in each of his first five NBA seasons, including a career-high 16.6 points per game during his sophomore NBA campaign with the Bullets in 1994-95.

He began his post-playing career at Golden State where he worked in the team’s front office as a special assistant in 2009-10. In his front office role, Cheaney worked closely with the team’s players to assist with their overall personal and professional development, while also assisting the entire basketball operations staff with various functions, including pro player evaluation.  Last year, he moved to the bench to serve as an assistant to former IU great Keith Smart.

He also has made quite an impact in the Evansville community off the court, having built the Greater St. James Community Recreation and Education Center in 1998.

27 comments

  1. This is such great news. I have to think it helps encourage coach Knight to re-connect with the entire IU community. Please come home coach Knight, we all miss you, and you know the current coaches must be okay if Calbert’s willing to be part of their team.

  2. No, we don’t “ALL” miss Knight.

    Screw him.

    He should have quit years before instead of mailing it in.

    And then after he rightfully got fired, tried to destroy the program I love.

    You people more loyal to Knight than IU make me sick.

  3. Knight is IU basketball. What makes me sick is that he was unjustly fired by a tool with an agenda.

  4. @Robert, but surely you agree that the new AD, athletic staff, school administration, and most importantly, basketball staff have done more than enough over the past few years in an effort to get him to return to the program…I mean, would it have been cool if he’d come back to the HOF induction? Absolutely.

    But I don’t think Crean/Glass and everyone else should waste any more time groveling. They didn’t do anything wrong to Coach Knight. If he wants to hold his own grudge, that’s fine, but it’s to the point where you can’t expect me to keep seeing his side. If he doesn’t want to come back, fine. Who cares. That’s him being the type of petty, small person that a lot of his detractors accused him of being. It’s obviously not representative of who he is and what he did for basketball and IU, but nevertheless.

  5. CLASS!!!!!!! at IU. You will become that of whom you surround yourself. This is the best move at IU in years.
    CLASS!!!!!!!!!! @ IU….got it!!

  6. jr5, you are absolutely correct. CTC extended the open hand. If Coach Knight chooses to be an adult and return to Indiana he will be received with open arms and treated as a returning hero. If he chooses not to, the hell with him. IU is bigger than RMK. He won one more championship than Branch McCracken. He also embarrassed us more times than I care to remember. I quit caring about that self indulgent media wh*** years ago.

  7. My all time favorite Indiana player ever. I can’t believe he’s back. I am so excited. I must attend more games this year.

  8. It sounds like Chet harbors the same contempt an ESPN reporter digging for dirt. This is why the national media can’t get enough of attacking IU. Thank goodness Calbert Cheaney was strong enough to never absorb any the selfish and self-indulgent qualities his main mentor during his exemplary hoops career at IU. He finally returns to IU under a kinder genius. Calbert will flourish as he learns the sound of a goofy clap, and the vigor a preachy tongue a ‘good Christian’ at his podium thrown, is the the rationale our redemption, the sins our victories, won under a tyrant.

  9. Not contempt. I used to interact with him from time to time and I liked him. I just don’t revere him. He was a basketball coach. I find IU fans who worship at his feet sad. I feel the same way about KY fans and Adolph Rupp. RMK has made his disdain for the Cream and Crimson quite clear. If you feel the need to grovel for his approval, go for it. I’ll pass. He can come back or he can stay away. Doesn’t matter to me.

  10. I’m not groveling or attempting to justify or rationalize Knight’s many misdeeds, many of which did embarrass the school. But I do think that he can be an asset if his animosity can be overcome. Hiring Calbert Cheaney could be a step toward overcoming it.

    Underlying all this is my wish to see IU return to the elite level of college basketball and, ultimately, hang another banner. As such I reject the comments, particularly those from Laffy, that I am more loyal to Knight than to Indiana University. If I was, I wouldn’t care if he re-connected with IU; I’d only care about his personal advancement.

    What I care about is marshalling all actual and potential resources (within the rules of course)to get the Hoosiers back on the mountaintop, and Bob Knight, and for that matter the legacy of Branch McCracken, are relevant and valuable.

    Go Hoosiers!!! (notice I didn’t say ‘Bob’ or ‘Red Raiders’ or anything other than ‘Hoosiers’)

  11. Chet- you are right, there is definitely a dangerous cult of personality that still surrounds ex-coach Knight. As you pointed out, he’s just a basketball coach and a human being, not a god, a king, or a messiah. As humans we have the habit of immortalizing things once we’ve lost them, creating mythical portraits of the mundane where not always accurate.
    The danger here is that we overlook the glaring imperfections of our past idols, while holding our current leaders to unrealistic and misrepresented standards forged from selective memory.

  12. RMK as a basketball teacher/coach was a genius. As a man, as all of us, imperfect.

    Through the argument, we should not lose the important thing for this space at this time. Calvin Cheaney represents an excellent Hoosier player who learned much under RMK and is now making his own career. We are fortunate to have him for he has done well wherever he has been. He also has a great future. His playing style, consistence, dependability and aggressiveness give us the qualities that define that great period of Hoosier basketball.

    We are lucky to get Cheaney to IU in his new position on his own achievements and merits. Let’s not confuse issues.
    Welcome home Calbert!

  13. Knight fired himself. I too would like to see him make peace with IU but Indiana basketball existed before him and exists today. IU had 2 NCAA championships before he showed up and he added 3 (I was there in 1976 for the 1st one). INDIANA will be back and it won’t make any difference if Bobby likes us or not. It would just be nice if he did.

  14. I was one of the few idiots that believed some of the ex-Hoosiers that played for Sampson were not so evil and despicable to be undeserving forgiveness and another chance.

    There are some very sick people in this world seemingly rotten to the core. Those in the public arena are often subjected to far higher standards of ethics than the those doing the judging could ever consider when looking in the mirror. Is there any of us that can claim a life so wholesome we have no regrettable acts committed that depart from the true character of the better human beings we strive to be.

    It easy to claim today that Knight was a complete jerk and any sense of banishment or shame now hampering his return to Indiana is of his own making. Was it of his own making when most were willing to turn the other cheek when the basketball program was winning and dominating the conference? It’s naive to think we have not conveniently changed our perceptions to fit the political correctness this day. With great honor we now sit on the jury and convict Knight of his embarrassing behavior we failed to acknowledge on days victory tasted far sweeter than our current truthful eye more just in nothing to lose.

    Maybe Chet stood tall twenty years ago and saw more clearly than I. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t admit a pair of blinders I wore to many a Hoosier game two decades past. We interacted with the man as fans…we cheered for his bad boy routine…we couldn’t get enough of his wit and brash behavior with reporters…we loved his speeches and lecturing to the crowd when fans misbehaved and didn’t represent Indiana with dignity…Knight’s message was always “don’t do as I do, but do as I say”. Many a Hoosier fan understood the message perfectly when the team was putting up twenty-five victories every season. We only became ultimate judges the ugly side a man’s character when unforgivable losing came to town.

    I was part of the madness. I don’t look at Knight as a man so godlike to not be shaped by other men. Our “20/20” intolerance a has-been today is nothing more the buried hypocrisy our tolerance when unable to look through the fog of popularity.

    To forgive a person makes them much more human than mythical.

    I digress…Welcome back to Indiana, Calbert.

  15. Let’s not twist and turn what I wrote or assume what I meant. All I said was, I interacted with him when he was still “Bobby” and I liked him. I just don’t want to be part of the media vaudeville act he has created in the past few years with his disdain for IU. Whether he comes back to the fold or not is his issue. I simply don’t care.

  16. Assuming? Twisting? I thought that was the whole intent of internet blogging. Chubby Checker twists less than Chet. Chet twists less than HT. Who is HT? Is that short for Humpty Tom? Let’s get one thing straight..I’m perfectly content with the divorce from Knight. I believe it’s best for the children, and the overall health the home,. Though I have complete forgiveness his horrible humiliation our college during the days candy-stripes were given a small perception of competitive respect on a basketball court, he remains without visitation rights. I want more Tom Crean quotes on the walls of Cook Hall.

    I’m blowing you a kiss right now(don’t go twisting that statement). You’re a good man, Chet.

  17. Turtlesoup. Much of what you said is very true (when I began reading your first blog, I first rolled my eyes and thought ‘oh lord…”. When I finished, I thought your observations on all points were reasonable (including the fact that, indeed, I too think that Chet is a good man) and your conclusions logical and consistent within your stated view.

    Bobby was an orphan (Orrville, Ohio). He grew up with much older grandparents, both of whom were pretty much near-totally or, in fact were, totally deaf.

    I remember wondering then what it would be like for a 12-13-14 year-old kid growing in an environment where every need, every request had to be acted out, exaggerated (since they could not hear)and voice commands loud enough to vibrate through the grandparents screen of silence (one way to communicate with the deaf necessitates calling attention by banging on the floor, the table, a wall…). Day after day…without the soothing redemption of a mother or even a father to calm things down.

    There for the Grace of God….

    Bob Knight, as I knew him was likeable, intelligent, learned (very, very well read, particularly in history where he approached near-genius). He had a great sense of humor. He was characterized by great integrity, great respect and personal deference for those he considered his wiser elders and teachers (Claire Bee, Hank Iba, Tex Winters, Pete Newell); and those colleagues (Jud Heathcote, Coach John Cheaney at Temple). Most important, he truly admired discipline as a virtue.

    Knight also moved heaven and earth to help Landon Turner after his tragic accident (he personally probably contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars). He stood behind his players and intervened to support their careers…always! He gave a lot of money to the IU library, I would guess more than any coach before or since) and for other academic pursuits. And, he helped many students who had nothing to do with basketball or athletics.

    Most important…he set a standard of honesty and integrity in athletics that made and continues to define the Hoosiers as the standard for an ‘honest program’; even Sampson and Greenspan tried to flush the toilet. It is also impossible to ignore the way he passed on those same attributes to nearly all those players who played for Knight (At Army, Indiana and Texas Tech) and the respect and admiration nearly all of them still have for him.

    I know Chet, like many others, does not admire the mercurial explosiveness that also came with RMK (Chet has always been clear on this point). And, he has also expressed his admiration for Knight as a coach and for many other facets of his personality.

    I do believe Turtlesoup that your admiration for Knight is well reasoned and founded. I admire that. And, I can also admire Chet’s view of RMK and his reservation for issues that were a part of his brilliance as well.

    I just can’t help the fact that everytimme I read or hear of the controversy over him, my mind goes back to the little kid in Orrville, Ohio trying to make himself heard by the adults in his life.

  18. Tsao- Fabulous post on the football thread regarding coach Wilson. I ashamedly admit, that was the first time I’ve ever read one of your long posts all the way through (didn’t read the one above, though).

    Turtle soup- I like your posts, but its strange how you always forget your prepositions.
    Though I have complete forgiveness (?) his horrible humiliation (?) our college during the days candy-stripes

    I think you write in a flurry of passion that is unrivaled, especially next to the measured, careful, polished arguments of Tsao. It’s really a dead giveaway of your true identity.

  19. Attribute the omission of prepositions to complete idiocy. I believe I just left out a personal pronoun. If you grade me on grammar, I’m doomed. If you grade me on content, I’m doubly-doomed. If you grade me on heart, I’m a tiny bit smart.

    I learn a lot from Tsao. He’s a very intelligent dude. Thought I do believe HT still sets the standard for verbal art in motion….a standard I shall forever fall miserably short.

  20. Turtlesoup- we all do the same thing. I murdered one of the paragraphs on the posting re RMK and had toi submit a second take.

    HT, Chet and Turtlesoup (and others I enjoy)-Anyway, while it bothers some, I think in an age where 141 characters near a ‘relationship’, I prefer to continue with whole thoughts and sharing deeper ideas, even on issues like Hoosier football, basketball, soccer…
    Glad to read all of you.

  21. If not for the Knight era accomplishments how many would be posting here? Probably only us from the McCracken era. Certainly RMK may be polarizing to some but I assure you McCracken was also just as tough minded. As are all winners.

    Chet’s posts are twisting? Hardly.

  22. You may be right on your first claim. The banners may be a bit dusty our outdated Assembly Hall, but they sure look a hell of a lot better than what hangs in most other Big 10 arenas. Am I embarrassed by some of Knight’s antics? Yes. Should I focus on the negative that endlessly detracts from the accomplishments many in Cream and Crimson with fine character and work ethic that played their guts out for those banners?

    Is Knight alone in being a “self-indulgent media who**”? How long is that list?

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