Tolbert, Green, Doninger among IU Hall of Fame Inductees

Former Indiana forward Ray Tolbert, quarterback Trent Green and athletic director Clarence Doninger are among the 2011 inductees to the Indiana University Hall of Fame. From sports info:


Indiana University will welcome six “contemporary” and 12  “pioneer” members to its Athletic Hall of Fame IU Vice-President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass announced today. Celebrating it’s 30th induction ceremony, this year’s class brings the current roster of Hall of Fame inductees to 188.

Clarence Doninger (athletic director, 1991-2001), Trent Green (football, 1990-92), Kristen Kane (diving, 1991-94), Don Ritter (basketball and baseball (1947-49),  James Sniadecki (football, 1966-68) and Ray Tolbert (men’s basketball, 1978-81) are among contemporary former  Hoosiers officially inducted at the annual Hall of Fame dinner on September 30, and will be recognized at halftime of the football game against Penn State at Memorial Stadium, the following day.  

“These individuals embody the spirit for which administrators, coaches and student-athletes are best known at Indiana University.   IU athletics have long been a benchmark of excellence — both in the classroom and in competition—and these Hoosier greats certainly are responsible for helping establish that,” said Glass.  “We have great strengths and traditions because of their efforts, and it is with much gratitude that we recognize them for their service to IU.”

The IU Athletics Hall of Fame, established in 1982 by the Department of Athletics in conjunction with the Varsity Club and I-Men’s Association, recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the prestige of IU both on and off the field of competition.

They have brought much distinction and honor to IU and have established a tradition of excellence which is incomparable. Their achievements have touched everyone associated with IU. From the inception of intercollegiate athletics at Indiana to the present, none have better exemplified the true spirit of athletic competition at Indiana than those honored players, coaches and administrators.


Clarence Doninger: The Evansville native served as athletic director from 1991-2001.  During his tenure, IU athletic teams won 27 Big Ten regular season or tournament championships and participated in 52 NCAA team championships, and won two NCAA team titles.  IU added 4 women’s varsity sports during his tenure as one of the leading institutions in gender equity compliance.  Won a basketball letter in 1957, member of a Big Ten championship team. Won the Clevenger Award in 1990.  Also served on IU’s Athletics Committee, former member of the IU Foundation Board and served as Alumni Association President.

Trent Green: A native of St. Louis who won football letters in 1990, 1991 and 1992, and was co-captain in 1992.  IU’s Most Valuable Player in 1992.  Was a member of three bowl teams while at IU, the Liberty Bowl, Peach Bowl, and Copper Bowl. Holds IU record with 2,627 passing yards in 1991 and ranks 4th on career list with 5,400 yards. Set total offense record in 1991 with 2,829 yards and is 4th on career list with 5,916 yards.  Played quarterback in the NFL for 15 years.

Kristen Kane: A native of Kingston, Washington, she won diving letters in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994.  Won Big Ten championships in the 3-meter in 1992 and 1994 and in the 10-meter in 1992.  Big Ten Diver of the Year in 1992, and 1994. Placed 2nd in the NCAA in the 1-meter and 3rd on the 3-meter in 1992 and 2nd on the 3-meter in 1994.  Earned All-American status four straight years.  US outdoor champion on 1-meter in 1992. Two-time IU Female Athlete of the Year (1992 and 1994).  Member of Pan American team in 1994.

Don Ritter: Won basketball letters in 1947, 1948 and 1949 and was captain in 1949. Won baseball letters in 1947, 1948 and 1949. First team All-Big Ten selection in baseball in 1949. First team All-American in baseball in 1949, one of only two IU players to be named first team. Recipient of the L.G. Balfour Award and the IU Gimbel Award in 1949.  Ranked eighth on IU list with .382 career batting percentage. Two-year starter in basketball who led 1948 team in scoring.

James Sniadecki: Won football letters in 1966-68 and the South Bend native was co-captain in 1968.  All-Big Ten in 1967 on Big Ten championship team.  2nd team All-American by UPI and Sporting News in 1968. Played in East-West and Hula Bowl games in 1968.  Drafted by San Francisco 49er’s in 1969. Played five years.

Ray Tolbert: A native of Anderson, Indiana. Won basketball letters in 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981 and was co-captain in 1981. Starter on two Big Ten championship teams and the 1981 NCAA championship team. Indiana and Big Ten MVP in 1981. Averaged 12.2 points and 6.4 rebounds.  Shot a league best 62.6% from the field.  Had a team-high 11 rebounds in the NCAA Championship against North Carolina. Team leader in rebounds four straight seasons.  Ranks 18th on career scoring list with 1,427 points  and 6th on career rebound list with 874 points.

Dean Barnhart: Won basketball letters in 1909, 1910 and 1911, captain in 1910.  Top player on team that won IU’s first varsity “I” in basketball in 1909. Tied IU scoring record with 21 points against DePauw in 1909 and broke the IU record with 25 points against DePauw in 1911.  Six times in his career scored more points than IU’s opponent.

Fred “Fritz” Bastian: Won tennis letters in 1919, 1920 and 1921. Won Indiana’s first Big Ten singles title in 1921. Beat his brother for the state collegiate title and was also national champion, beating out a 68-man field to win the National Intercollegiate Championships.

Bryce Beecher: Won track letters in 1929, 1931 and 1932. Won Big Ten pole vault title indoors with 13-8 in 1932 and 13-10 in the NCAA outdoor championships to win 1932 title. Also won 1932 indoor title in Big Ten for sweep of conference and nationals.

Eddie Belshaw: Won wrestling letters in 1930, 1931 and 1932 and was captain in 1931.  Was on Big Ten championship teams in 1930 and 1931 and was member of the NCAA championship team in 1932. Big Ten champion in 1932. IU’s first NCAA wrestling champion at 135 pounds in 1932, and first winner of the “Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA Championships.”

George Belshaw: Won wrestling letters in 1930, 1931 and 1932 and was co-captain in 1932. Was on the Big Ten championship teams in 1930 and 1931 and was co-captain of the NCAA championship team in 1932. Big Ten champion at 155 pounds in 1932. His 24-4 career record is the 10th best at IU with a .857 winning percentage.

Bob Jones: Won football letters in 1931, 1932 and 1933, honorary captain in 1933, and wrestling letters in 1932 and 1933. All-Big Ten in football as a guard in 1933.  Member of the first College All-Star team to play against NFL champion in 1933.  Was on Big Ten championship wrestling teams in 1930 and 1931 and NCAA championship team in 1932.  Won Big Ten heavyweight wrestling championships in 1932 and 1933. Won AAU heavyweight championship as a freshman.  2nd place in NCAA championships in 1933.

Rodney Leas: Won cross country letters in 1928, 1929 and 1930 and was captain in 1929 and 1930. Won track letters in 1929, 1930 and 1931. Won Big Ten indoor two-mile championship in 1930 and Big Ten indoor mile title in 1931. Was IU’s first Big Ten individual champion in cross country in1930.

Harlan Logan: Won basketball letters in 1924 and 1925, track in 1925, and tennis in 1924.  Became IU’s first tennis coach in 1930.  All-Big Ten and the Big Ten’s No. 2 scorer in 1925. Earned a Rhodes Scholarship and missed his senior year in basketball.  Went on to become editor of Look Magazine and speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

Bill Menke: Won basketball letters in 1939, 1940 and 1941. Member of NCAA championship team in 1940.  Played on teams that had combined record of 54-9.

Gene Thomas: Only four-sport letterman in IU history.  Won three letters in football, three letters in basketball, two letters in baseball and two letters in track, all from 1920 to 1923. Won the Gimbel Award in 1923. Coached Marion High to their first state basketball championship in 1926 and later coached two Michigan high school teams to state championships.

Chris Traicoff: Won wrestling letters in 1937, 1938 and 1939 and was honorary captain in 1939. Big Ten Champion in 1939 at 177 pounds. Had perfect 10-0 record in that ‘39 season. Member of 1939 Big Ten championship team.

Joe Zeller: Won football letters in 1929, 1930 and 1931 and basketball letters in 1930, 1931 and 1932, co-captain in ’32. Won Balfour Awards in both football and basketball in 1931-32, when he was also senior class president. Most Valuable Player in football as a guard in 1930 and 1931. All-Big Ten in 1931.  Played professional football with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.


  1. Doninger?!? You gotta be kidding! He presided over the worst two decisions IU ever made, alongside Myles Brand; firing the winningest football coach in IU history, Bill Mallory, and the firing of Bob Knight.
    I told my boss at IU when they fired Coach Mallory, that IU would not have another winning season before I retired (2005). I was right…

  2. Doninger? Really???

    The guy who was AD when both Mallory and Knight were fired?

    He must’ve done some really good things I’m not aware of…

  3. Doninger????…where????….oohhhh Lord!!!…Doninger let IU athletics wallow in mediocrity(if that), was the natural fertilizer that allowed growing complacency, brazen cronyism and embarrassing incompetence creep through our athletic program. Clarence had no sense of shame while he and his buddies spread his virus through the University. The infestation of his administration infected our athletic environment for years.

    A.D. Glass, you can not make decisions like this one without some form of consultation with other members of the IU family who are forced to bear the dishonor of seeing Clarence Doninger as part of the Hoosier Athletic Hall of Fame.

    Did you mean ‘Shame’?

  4. It’s funny how you removed fourguards and some other bloggers from this site, but you give Tsao a daily free pass for character assassinations. I guess all his knowledge of Hoosier sports gives him the right to be offensive. Tell him to give up his real identity and let some that may know the truth every moment his life lived in perfection judge him on equal terms. It’s very cowardly to constantly assault others their shortcomings(including a Scoop journalist, or two,..or three,..or four) and be shielded in secrecy fair examination his own history. Certainly nothing honorable about it for someone always preaching about glory to their school, country, grandchildren…etc. Their is no glory in shooting a man’s reputation while wearing a hoodlum’s mask over your face.

  5. “Doninger? Really???

    The guy who was AD when both Mallory and Knight were fired?

    He must’ve done some really good things I’m not aware of…”

    AMEN!!!! That’s a joke to let him in

  6. So many of these HOFs are a load of crap. Not exactly Canton or Cooperstown. It’s just payback to your friends or a favor to a buddy. Both my boys, and a number of other young men and women, were fortunate enough to do their club wrestling under an outstanding coach who sent a few on to the Olympics, including Sara McMann, the first American women to win an Olympic medal in wrestling. The beneficiary was the jerk wad high school coach, who ran the program into the ground. Several kids in the club won hs AA honors. A year after my youngest graduated, and the club pipeline went dry, the team went winless. Both boys won between 40 and 60 matches a year over 4 years. Last year the school’s MOW (Most Outstanding Wrestler) won 13 matches. They have the skill level of a bad middle school team. None of those kids that won AA honors are in the school’s HOF…but that jerk wad of a coach is. His claim to fame? Coaching 4 All Americans.

  7. How are the inductees appointed? It is my understanding that they are elected. If that is the case, how can we chastise Mr. Glass?

    Bob Knight was fired by Myles Brand, not Clarence Doninger. Bill Mallory was fired true, but so many alumni and donors decided that he had to go.

    I know Clarence Doninger, not well but I know him. Did he make mistakes, sure. I believe that it is very important to keep in mind the presidents that have been involved at IU since John Ryan retired. Is it possible that had an impact on Clarence Doningers performance. In 11 years the IU teams won 54 Big Ten titles and 2 NCAAs. In two years under Mr. Glass IU has only won 6 Big Tens and no NCAAs. Emotions get in the way of common sense sometimes. The body of work by Mr. Doninger has earned his election into the IU HOF.

    Sorry but that’s my opinion.

  8. I do believe he is the AD who in recent history made the most bad decisions in regards to hiring and firing, status quo for the FB program and lack of upgrading facilities. Just a bobber bobbing. Looking through the rear view mirror and remembering Coach Mallory’s firing and who aligned himself with Brand to create the fiasco against RMK really reveals that sometimes buffoons do end up in positions they should never attain. One constant remains true, their actions always reveal what they are. As RMK stated, they do not know their ass from 3rd base.

  9. For what it’s worth,
    I’ve only been fully in charge of the Scoop since Hugh left, and he and Korman typically handled poster conduct. I’ve never personally banned anyone, and I’m still developing an idea of what should be on here and what shouldn’t. I’m trying to censor as little as possible, and let you guys have your arguments. If I banned everyone on here who was ever insulting, well, there wouldn’t be a lot of people on the blog. Is there a lot of rhetoric on here that subjectively concerns and even bothers me? Yes. But does it cross an objective line that I could point to as reason for an all-out ban? Not yet. And let’s be serious, there are a handful of people on here who post with their first names or at least initials that denote who they are. I think I’m the only one using both his first and last name. Tsao is far from the only one talking behind a mask.
    As for Tsao and his rhetoric, nope. Not going there. Want to be productive today.

  10. I’m probably one of the top offenders for hiding my insults behind a mask. Maybe we all just need to take a step back a bit and quit pretending we know every aspect a person’s life. Even men and women that fail miserably in their professional lives may have other honorable qualities many of us would struggle to attain. I don’t think the true character of a person is ever known by examination of successes, or failures, within the narrow scope of what we have chance to witness. If that be the case then spit on every homeless man on the street.

  11. Personally, I think the overall decorum of the posters has improved significantly over the past year or so. More posts about IU athletics and less about whose panties might be in a wad. I also prefer Dustin’s style over Hugh’s, not that Dustin hasn’t been writing before or that he is the only writer. Dustin’s articles are impressively informative and he doesn’t seem to feel the need to include unsolicited criticism about every individual he writes about. Hugh just came across with an air of negative condescension toward IU athletics, and Indiana in general, that I found a bit grating. I wish him the best but I believe The Scoop (and the HT) is a better site now.

  12. Chet, I agree 100%. I do miss Korman but Dustin is great and I like that he chimes in and does not take any crap off the mean people!

  13. Chet, after reading over I am not sure I agree about the posters improving. I actually feel the other way on that. Now if you post something a little bit different than one or two people in the least bit negative light even if for good reason…you get torn up on here! I do agree about Dustin though!

  14. Doninger built his own reputation. The problem it creates for him is not from someone shooting at it. He played a large roll in 2 controversial firings and the subsequent hiring of severely regressive replacements. We are still living through those results. He was a man of little action but when he did engage in some action its outcome was wrong more than right. No way he should enter the HOF without wearing the tomato of blame.

  15. Doninger was part of a group of Varsity Club members who tried to ‘own’ the IU sports programs, particularly the football program, rather than pony-up and buy an NFL franchise. The Colts in Indy was basically the making of the Baltimore ownerships “midnight getaway” from that city and Indy’s(I believe Sen. Richard Lugar then mayor) decision to build an indoor stadium. The ‘inside group’ I’m talking about had neither the money nor the imagination necessary for such a coup.

    So, they put Doninger is as ‘their boy’ in the AD and used their clout in the Board of Trustees for a number of inspired decisions including Mallory’s firing, their complicity with Brand during RMK’s firing and, eventually, Sampson’s hiring (controlled by one of the trustees).

    Someone else said it…’no wonder RMK refuses to return’.

    The damage this group to IU sports is immeasurable and continued until the embarrassment and shame caused by the Sampson NCAA sanctions were too much to continue to leave IU athletics in their grip.

    While Glass came from Indianapolis as well, he came with a reputation for strategically developing Indianapolis as a “sports” city, giving him an independence and a reputation as a marketing development pro. The fact that the ‘usual suspects’ on the Board of Trustees had lost their choke hold following the Sampson scandal was a blessing in disguise. These are my observations and interpretations of events. If someone has different, please present them.

    But have it clear; as a Hoosier fan the embarrassment our University suffered at the hands of this group is both shameful and deeply disturbing. It isn’t capriciousness that drives my comments, it is zealousness in the belief of what Hoosier greatness ought to be, academically, athletically and institutionally.

    As for “For What It Is Worth” and “Jay”;… though Jay differs, he is totally entitled to his opinion and has nothing to apologize for. “For What It’s Worth”, on the other hand, would like for my opinion, controversial as it is, to be banned from posting. But, I choose to disregard his opinion, not that he is afraid of mine but because he already knows the absence of value in his.

    But…’For What It’s Worth’, you have a right to opinion and I have mine, and that includes your inviolable right to say whatever silly thing you want to state, without regard to what I think.

    That’s the whole point of blogs and freedom of expression.

  16. Trent Green is surely a deserving candidate, it brings back fond memories of a bowl win over a very decent Baylor team led by Santana Dotson. Being at that game, I could not have been prouder of the trouncing the Red put on them. Surely another forgotten game in Hoosier lore was the Peach Bowl vs a very strong Auburn team, it still pains me to think that really the Hoosiers should have won that game. Back and forth “lockjaw smashmouth football” as coach would say. Trent led a team that would not give up and truly made it probably the most exciting bowl game of the Mallory era to watch (minus the final losing outcome of course). Congrats Trent Green, you truly were an amazing quarterback and were due this honor for how you represented this university.

  17. After being signed as the hot free agent qb by the Rams, Trent Green was on fire in the preseason. After going 13 for 13 in the first half he got creamed and suffered a broken leg. The Rams, without much depth, put in a guy no one had ever heard of, Kurt Warner. The Rams went on to win the Super Bowl and Trent got traded. The winds of fate…

  18. Tsao-

    You might reread my comment. I didn’t say that you should be banned. I merely stated that it’s easy to come on here with masked identity and shoot off accusations, insinuations, and personal attacks with zero repercussions any fair retaliation against your own supremely righteous existence.

    We all have that benefit. We all remain anonymous..But must we always abuse it simply because we have anonymity? Where did I say you should be banned? I also never thought fourguards should have been banned. Though he was very concise in his tongue-lashings (mainly of Tom Crean), I certainly can’t see it as any valid argument that could give your long dissertations deserving any more protection from censorship than someone that drops a few harsh words. Fourguards criticisms cut like a razor-sharp sword..You use a careful shotgun approach that blasts a thousand words onto a page with blasphemous pellets scattered all about the mess. I also think that most of your efforts fail to accentuate any positive feelings about the subject matter you are so thoroughly engrossed(e.g. Even when you are talking complimentary of Wilson, your tone is so thick with a know-it-all predisposition, the gag reflex it causes in the average fan that just wishes to go their own pace as they become familiar with the man probably works against Wilson). It’s as if all are forbidden at any attempt to see a human side beyond the blinding heavenly light you are trying to achieve. Yet, not long ago on this blog, you conveniently dodged questions Dustin posed to you about Tom Crean. Is he not deserving the Tsao light?

    Doninger? I know zero of the man. I don’t know all the details of Knight’s firing. Something about “zero tolerance”….again. I don’t care how it went down. I do remember there was near rioting outside the home of Myles Brand after it occurred. I can also tell you that I’m not heartbroken if Bob Knight never steps foot on the IU campus again. He had his day and he let his success go to his head. It’s rather sad the obvious bitterness he now lives with.

    Knight had the benefit some damn good players too..One of them was Ray Tolbert…tremendous kid that never seemed to have a mean bone in his body. All the chest-thumping and garbage on here debating the men at the helm and the decision makers on top, but little mention of the humble kids that can make or break a season doesn’t really impress me. The athlete is subjected to an unhidden instantaneous scrutinizing without the benefit of thumb-suckers turning them into gods on blogs twenty years from now. They contribute without any veil that can disguise true performance. Knight had the benefit of some very fine basketball players that were already excellent kids when they arrived in Bloomington.

    Finally, catchy slogans like “It’s Indiana” and “Win Today” may tend to overshadow the fact it’s not always about ADs and coaches that make Indiana the institution that we can all be proud of. Just listen to Chet…What a great father he is. Pretty hard for any coach to screw up the decent values and unselfish goals his kids would bring to a sports program. Let’s quit acting like the coaches and ADs are gods and give some credit back to the parents and the players. For every decorated general, there are a thousand unknown brave soldiers that deserve some praise and recognition. That’s all I’m asking. Sorry if I can’t be as eloquent and hold bountiful knowledge every person that has been involved with sports at IU since 1950.

  19. We agree on some (slogans, the fact that I don’t discuss Crean- I have no idea what I think about him yet, so I don’t discuss him.- We also disagree on several issues, some we’re at opposite ends, i.e. the contribution by Bob Knight). I did reread your statement (to see if I had misread your intent. I still pretty much feel that way, given your call for ‘censoring’; but maybe you didn’t intend it that way.

    I also thoroughly dislike the “Grunt on Twitter” communication mode. I enjoy writing whole thoughts, without apology, and do try to support my statements with historical facts. We simply disagree as to whether I should or not. Some feel the way you do, others don’t. If it bothers you, simply pass it by. Good luck.

  20. Tsao-

    You have no idea what to think of Crean yet? I find that quite amazing. He doesn’t seem like that complicated a guy for someone as intelligent yourself to not have some sort of idea about the truth his character. We do know he likes to tweet about the Lord…Do you have an opinion about a basketball coach for a state institution using his Twitter page as Sunday school lessons reserved for 140 characters or less of preachy “grunting?” Oh, now I remember Dustin’s point…It was about coaches that seek greener pastures and more green(as in dollars) when they are a hot commodity. Dustin was commenting on how Crean left Marquette for the same reasons Wilson may decide to go after a job at an elite, or histrionically elite, football school(a hypothetical based on his making a big name for himself when he resurrects IU football from the decades of failing to be competitive with any consistency). Something about folk heroes and honor…or some malarkey. It was just a bit surprising that someone that can cover any topic with the breadth of understanding you have demonstrated stayed away from either defending or chastising our basketball coach for a decision to abandon loyalty at a program he had some pretty solid success for a move to a castle of basketball tradition(much of that tradition built by the man you have great admiration). From most your posts that I have read, it sounds like you believe Wilson would never be interested in leaving IU if he suddenly gets offers from a school with historical success in football.

    Many loyal fans of IU still have unwavering admiration for Bob Knight. You surely must be able to understand the challenges Tom Crean must be facing when he has to live in that shadow and turn a program around from a recent NCAA scandal. In many ways isn’t that a more difficult job than what Wilson is facing? What are the expectations? If Crean succeeds he was supposed to..If he doesn’t put some wins together this year, I think you’ll here the fans voice just how much they believe basketball victories should be as automatic that used to seem during Mr. Knight’s prime years. If Wilson succeeds he is a folk hero that brought a tiny bit of winning football to a basketball school in a basketball state.

    Anyway, I apologize for making an unfair insinuation that you are only interested in criticism. It does seem to be the popular thing to do on blogs. There is no middle ground. Men are either winners or losers…jerks or gods. I had no right to make it appear you any different the rest of us. We are all judges and our ammunition is are so-called facts. Facts sure seem to be a blurry thing these days when bring a man down..Where is the jury? Where is the defendant? Where is the chance a man gets to answer his accusers?

  21. For What It’s Worth- “unwavering admiration for Knight.” Well before he was fired, Bob Knight was a circus that had passed itself by. His crap was tolerated as long as he was winning, but once he lost “the touch” he had to play by normal rules, and once those were applied he was doomed. And speaking of losing “the touch,” that’s what happened to Bill Mallory (at least that what it looked like to me over his last several seasons) and the normal rules of professional coaching kicked in and he was let go. It was really sad after all those great seasons, and if he were here in my basement now I’d give him a great big hug, but that’s life. Greatness is hard to sustain over a lifetime- think Napoleon, Pompey, and many others.

  22. I’m not sure if Knight lost “the touch.” I think his knowledge of the game is still unsurpassed. College basketball has become a kiss-a$$ contest between coaches that must drool and beg for the recruits that get their names plastered all over the rankings websites. The lure of the megabucks in the NBA…the one-and-dones…the importance of TV contracts..etc, etc..The game has moved toward a selfish existence that was just beginning to manifest itself when Knight was experiencing the loss of touch you describe. I’m not defending his ridiculousness that contributed to his demise..But what coach is perfect? I just believe the values have changed…People like to talk about restoring the “culture” at IU..But what of the culture in college sports as a whole? Look at what happens at Kentucky…OSU football…Miami football. Where does an honest coach that wants unselfish kids dedicated to a few years at college fit within the system we are all buying into? How do you build anything long term when the individual enticements to leave college look far better than staying and achieving something as a unit? And do you really think it’s the top coaches that only capture the best talent? There is a ton of selling going on and a very substantial share of it involves behind the scenes activities that give little dignity to amateur sports. Maybe that’s the circus Knight couldn’t prosper in. The young talent can market themselves so efficiently they really have no need for father figures, disciplinarians, or coaches that want to give them more than a few simple X’s and O’s. But how do you explain Butler? Maybe there is hope for playing for something beyond individual greed…or maybe that was the last song heard in the distance a departing day.

  23. Maybe the individual selfishness that permeates college athletics today was the beginning of the true circus Knight could not prosper in(at least in terms of consistently building teams with tournament success). Why does any one-and-done need a father figure, a disciplinarian, someone to teach them the meaning of long term dedication, team accomplishment, or anything that includes lessons beyond simple X’s and O’s. Amateur athletics is not looking very dignified as of late. Rankings have turned recruiting into a meat market and egos go overboard as every Rivals prospect is marketed like the next Magic Johnson on YouTube. The boosters want the prime beef and will abandoned all scruples to land the best for their favored program. Knight was far from perfect, but let’s not be hypocrites and think the “culture” of college sports is moving in a positive direction that values team and education before dollars. We talk of fixing the culture at IU….What will that achieve? The talent comes…the talent goes… and the money trail is more than often the motivating factor. Once a program loses a bit of ground in being part of the small group that grabs the cream of the talent crop, it’s very trying to build momentum back(whether by honest means or all-out cheating). The criminals in the system sure seem to be getting away with winning and the NCAA spends the majority its time taking down the jaywalkers instead of the major offenders that feed megabucks into their corrupted system. It’s all about big TV contracts and marketing. Knight has taken full advantage the hot trend and is now on TV, and thus, I guess he joined the circus. Is it because he didn’t know how to relate to one-and-done teenage millionaires-to-be in the hip pocket of corrupt boosters that could give a hoot about team accomplishments or a quality education..? Or, did he just forget how to coach?

  24. FWIW- I think it was some of both. I agree that it’s ridiculous that the careers of grown men ride on the decisions of eighteen year olds, many of whom consider college ball just something they’ve got to get through to get to the pros. But BK, who did have a lot to offer as a mentor, had stopped trying to reach and understand kids; from what I’ve read he basically quit recruiting personally and left it to the assistants. From what I have read (unlike it would appear from some of the posts by others on this site, I don’t claim to know anymore than what I read in the papers), when BK paid a home visit to Isaih Thomas’ family, all hell broke loose and there was a screaming match in the front yard- but the kid signed. Playing for BK wasn’t for everbody, but how would anyone know unless he met the man? And as ridiculous as the sytem that I’ve just described is, it’s about communicating with teenagers. When knee-length “shorts” came into b-ball fashion, every other middle-aged coach probably muttered to himself, “What’s next with these kids?” rolled his eyes, and went with the fashion times. But not BK and IU, they insisted on being the dorky-looking (to teenagers) team.

    Forgot how to coach? Of course not, but it is not unusual, in any field, for the master to eventually be bested by his students. Knight groomed a lot of good coaches, and my two-cents-worth is that they (collectively, whether by sharing tips or by osmosis)started to figure out how to beat him. Happens in academics where the great chemistry professor is one-upped by his protege, and in sports, where the single-wing gives it up to the T-formation, which is topped by the spread offense, etc. It’s no knock on the man that it took thirty-some years to figure out how to beat him.

  25. For What It’s Worth…again we agree on quite a bit. I’m not bothered by Coach Crean’s messages, I admire strength of conviction and willingness to be open about it; whether Christian beliefs, or his admiration for the Judaic teachings of his rabbi. What a great country we live in!

    I have not been able to define an opinion of Crean as a coach. No doubt he’s a great recruiter. But.for many of the same reasons you cite I share your distaste for the the meat-market aspects of recruiting and the corrupt state of ‘money-ball’. In particular, because it feeds the selfishness and entitlement environment that surrounds the participants and everyone else involved.

    As far as other facets of the game, I am not a fan of an offense based on dribbling to create 1 v 1. I enjoy good defense (in part because effort, intelligence and hard work are more important than athletic talent). I did not think we were a team that was hard to score on last year. So far, I do not see the ‘team’ game I strongly prefer. But I want to be fair (in my own mind) before I close on it.

    I have many of the same concerns that you have about the ‘state’ of sports in general and college sports in particular. As you point out, the atmosphere surrounding athletes, the dominance of egos today, etc. all contribute to cynicism, even when it involves the ‘games’ we learned when we were children and believed in fairness.

    Hope you continue to write your thoughts.

  26. Davis, For What It’s Worth, Chet…I really think that losing the Indiana job really broke his heart (believe it or not). And, seeing the cheaters break rules and the NCAA (under Brand) trade in integrity for money, just plain broke his spirit. In the end, worn down, he just chose to walk away.

  27. davis-

    I liked your analysis..Everything else remaining relatively equal, I still believe Knight could give anyone in the game all they could handle in a coaching duel. Texas Tech was never going to be a destination for top b-ball players. Indiana, Chicago area, and much of the Midwest still seems to supply a great amount of top prospects in hoops. A big part of the equation is talent…When NCAA tournament time comes it’s also about match-ups….And if you can get an opponent that allows you to capitalize on your style of play, or if you can catch a very talented team off their game, it sure doesn’t hurt in your chances to advance(no matter the genius on the bench). A few good bounces off a kind rim can make or break many a tournament run too. It is tough to stay on top and there are countless variables separate and beyond control of any coach. And even though there may be some truth in claims Knight may have lost a bit of his coaching edge/touch in his latter years at IU, I think his complete resume, the success of dominant teams his prime years, contributed to many Big 10 schools defining their progress in terms of how they stacked up against Indiana. The basketball notoriety and the many controversies constantly surrounding Knight(love him or hate him it was always there) made us the team every opponent relished in defeating. I think it still hangs with us today. When our fiercest rivals see the candy-stripes come onto their court, I think they still see “The General.” Our image was attached to the dominating personality of the man in charge. It became very difficult for Indiana to ever sneak up on a team and catch them on their heels..Though Knight was sometimes not landing the best talent(as recruiting moved into a realm of less-than- honorable techniques to lure players into programs), Indiana never shed the perception we had much more on the floor in terms of raw talent than was often the truth…The banners obviously contributed to that perception. For many years after the last championship we carried ourselves with a swagger that maybe wasn’t as justified as we would like to believe. Teams got up for Indiana like no other… And though the championship banners under Knight are becoming more distant in the rear-view mirror, I think they still do. I also believe what Knight helped achieve at Indiana is still a motivating factor for a few select kids the desire to feel a undeniable sense of pride at a chance to wear the candy-stripes. I think much of our current team is comprised of those types of kids…kids not as easily lured by a corrupted system or motivated as much by selfish pursuits, greed, and entitlement. Knight was far from perfect, but it makes me proud to know that part of his legacy lives on at Indiana in the type of young men that want to represent the Hoosiers.

    Tsao- Thanks for your support and taking my unfair comments with far more dignity than I displayed.

  28. Some good post in this thread. I would like to comment that, while opponents certainly got ‘up’ for playing the Hoosiers under RMK, they were getting ‘up’ for playing the Hoosiers long before he arrived. We had two national championships a collection of basketball immortals to talk about long before we had heard of Bobby Knight. For those of you old enough to remember, most fans were horrified that such an unproven coach would be given the reins of one of the premier programs in the game. Obviously, it was a pretty darn good hire. But RMK coached exactly one more championship team than Branch McCracken and was here for 29 years. Basketball was huge in Bloomington before he arrived and will continue to be. He was just another contributor. A big one for sure, but it’s not like he brought basketball to IU. It would be nice if everyone could put on their big boy pants and he would walk back into Assembly Hall to a standing ovation. CTC has done everything but pick him up and drive him to Bloomington. Maybe this year.

  29. Even today if putting together a top notch college coaching staff to win the Olympics the many candidates would certainly include Boeheim, Self, Williams, Krzyzewski, Calhoun, Ryan, Donovan and 6 or 8 others as choices but there would only be 1 choice for HC. The GOLD would be brought home by this team with RMK leading it.

  30. Chet-

    The ’73 team with Downing in the middle was one crappy whistle from a 50/50 shot at a championship. And do you remember Scott May having his hand smashed against a Purdue backboard in ’75? There is always the “what ifs,” but with a bit of better fortune in those two seasons, IU could have easily hoisted three banners in four years.

    Were college sports dominating the TV stations during the McCracken years? Were any of the IU games ever televised outside of Channel 4? I haven’t researched it, but I have a feeling that the early 70s may have been when the first Final Fours hit the major networks..March Madness went national. I still occasionally enjoy listening to a game on the radio…a bit of nostalgia feel along with something you hold onto longer when painting your own images of the game onto the brain. I’m also curious….With black and white TV did the candy-stripes look like chopped-off prison uniforms? I’m not even sure if we had the famous warm-up pants back then… McCracken was surely a great coach that put together some wonderfully skilled “Hurryin’ Hoosier” teams…I do think Knight had the fortune to parallel his career at a time when all sports were coming of age and gaining tremendously in popularity with the viewing public. Color TV and remote controls instead of actually having to get up and turn a knob to find your other three channels…and maybe a couple on UHF…Remember UHF?
    And how about the truly top-rate broadcast personalities launching the coverage off the pad like Enberg, Cosell, McKay. A lot of young people don’t even realize the guy on ESPN covering NFL football, Chris Berman, is building his entire career by copying the unique style and voice of Cosell.

    Today with the hundreds of choices a cable package can offer, maybe we’re beginning to water down the product too much and thus our memories and attachments will be mush the same.
    My memories fade of those days..The heart still never lets go the excitement felt though much of the pictures become blurred by confusion all the visual stimuli a dinosaurs life staring at the tube. Maybe Knight was bigger than life because it was all so bright in our eyes then. We glued ourselves to the mammoth 20″ screens and we grew up side-by-side with the names in full living NBC peacock colors in our family rooms. I think we were lucky. Now billions of stars adorn the cable skies and the internet galaxies and the idols just don’t shine as brightly.

    I’ve blabber too much..Best cool it for a while.

  31. ForWhatItsWorth, you are quite an addition to this blog…your thoughts and honoring of great memories– as well as the character easily discerned in several of the posters in this blog (including you)as you is exactly what I enjoy about the exchanges here with Hoosier Clarion, Chet, Davis, and several others. I just followed this thread back (smiling when we got started)…it is great stuff…we couldn’t pay for the concepts and memories raised, nor the therapy involved.

    It’s clear I admire Knight. What I admired about Knight was the genius that re-invented the college game and set it apart from the ‘cheap populism of the NBA’; the way he mentored and taught to the object of ‘perfection) (never achievable, always the only goal), his strategic and tactical mind, ..his organization and planning. And, how wearing the candy stripes had a deeper meaning, reflected the character, the ‘Hoosier’ of the team and in the individuals defined by it. Doing all that and winning while ‘playing to the perfect game’, knowing it is unachievable which became an ethos we find hard, nearly impossible to let go.

    So, he had a temper and was a bit of a ‘marionette’… My answer to that…Steve Downing, Ray Tolbert, Randy Whitman, Quinn Buckner, Jim Thomas kid-the 6’3″ forward, Mike Woodson…one could go on and on. If I can create that in my kids, I will have the strength to live with the very imperfect human being in me. But, I will have contributed something much greater.

    Knight redefined and restructured college basketball and eventually changed the culture of high school basketball in Indiana. Yes, Indiana was a known equation and a powerhouse already, but there was a period (under a very good and decent man, Lou Watson) and slowly IU fell away from its prominence from the Mc Cracken, Everett Dean years.

    Bill Orwig and President John Ryan made a great choice when they brought Knight- though young (only 28), already one of the country’s most respected coaches at West Point,…a choice that sets standards (in every way) for Hoosier athletics that hold today and; more important, a choice many like us will, frankly, not compromise with. You can sense the respect for not only Knight himself, but for who we became ourselves. Good to remember that, thanks.

  32. One additional comment, if I may. Maybe it is a good thing to recall the facts surrounding the first incident that led to questioning of Knight.

    Two factors are very important. First, Knight came to IU from West Point in the mid 1970’s, immediately after our withdrawal from Vietnam. Even before he stepped on campus there was a ‘politicization’ of his character, best evidenced in the nickname quickly given to him, ‘The General’. It was, to some, as if in the cultural wars beginning to divide this country, represented the surge of the military-industrial complex.

    In 1978 (I believe), Knight was chosen by his fellow peers to coach the US team in the Pan American games hosted by Puerto Rico, which also happened to have the second strongest basketball team at the tournament. Puerto Rico itself was already boiling with politics between the Puerto Rican independentist movement and those Pueto Ricans who wished to remain a commonwealth or to complete the statehood process and become a part of the U.S. (they have chosen to remain a Commonwealth ever since).

    The independentist movement was very much dominated by local politicians and the lawyers. It saw in the Games a great chance to make a very public and political statement.

    As fate (and the game of basketball) would have it, the US and Puerto Rico ended up meeting in the final. The islands was a cauldron of politics and the independentists skillfully took advantage of an incident.
    Knight and the US team were scheduled to practice at a set time. When they arrived, according to the schedule, the Brazilian woman’s team was still on the floor. When Knight asked for the U.S.’ court time, the San Juan policeman assigned to the Brazilians ordered Knight off the court.

    Knight insisted in having his scheduled time and the officer again ordered him off. They argued and, during the argument, as Knight was wagging a finger, according to the policeman’s testimony, the policeman claimed Knight had hit him in the eye. Knight was arrested and the incident turned into an international diplomatic and press scandal.

    Two days later, the US beat Puerto Rico in an electric atmosphere that was background to pitting the US and the passionate nationalism of the Puerto Rican independence movement in the basketball game. Knight’s then wife Nancy was forced to leave as projectiles and spit rained down on her.

    Knight was not shy about his feeling. Following the U.S. victory, when asked by the press Knight expressed that when leaving the island he wanted to turn around with his back to the airplane window, bend over and lower his focused on this response and, from that point every incident involving Knight was interpreted by his detractors in the media as a demonstration of his ‘evil nature’.

    Interestingly, two Colombian basketball coaches who were present in the gym and feet away from the incident that day, later testified that Knight had never touched the officer. The judge and the prosecutor both had links to the independentist movement (whose support hovers between 5-10%; third behind the Commonwealth Status and the pro-US Statehood parties).

    But the incident remained, influenced and ‘defined’ his critic’s view of Knight for the rest of his career. Knight, who was also given to spectacular and generous acts of support and charity as well (funding library collections at IU, creating and helping to create a very substantial support to assist the paralyzed Landon Turner and support his effort to live a life of dignity, funding scholarships for non-athlete IU scholarships) was marked forever by his detractors.

    I think, have always thought, that it is important to examine the history of events. Three is usually a first domino that falls setting off the consequences that follow, leaving only a smudge of the original event.

  33. Tsao- You might have meant “martinet” rather than “marionette.” Indeed, BK came from West Point when the war was winding down. He went there when the war was winding up and his college deferment from conscription was exhauted. Did he avoid the draft (and being sent overseas) by enlisting for a pre-arranged stateside gig? I’m braced for the $#!+storm of criticism now coming my way, but before anyone posts remember that I wrote avoid the draft (legal), not dodge it (illegal). As any accountant will tell you- avoiding taxes is smart; evading them is a crime.

  34. You are right…I meant ‘martinet’. Don’t know the story on RMK and the draft, though I think (I now remember because of your prodding) that he was in the army as a service man assigned to USMA at West Point as an assistant basketball coach. Don’t expect the ‘storm’ from me, it is what it is. You are right about a hair thin but critical difference.

    BTW, I thought about that when we set out in the search for a new football coach last November. When most felt we needed a well known, established head coach from a major or medium-major program, I thought the best possibility for IU was to really seek a particularly well suited, intelligent, innovative and organized top assistant who would take IU as a challenge and an opportunity to design and build his own program, not merely ‘save’ a team stuck in a swamp. I was surprised and very pleased when KW’s name came up and I saw his background.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  35. It’s clear I am not an apologist for RMK. If I recall correctly, there were 23 people in the Puerto Rico gym. Twenty-two of the people present stated that the Puerto Rican cop was lying. Only the Puerto Rican cop backed up his own story.
    A bit of trivia. Lou Watson was the coach of another of my alma maters, Jeffersonville High School. While at Jeffersonville he would coach Cotton Nash, who went on to set all the Kentucky scoring records that would stand until Dan Issel broke them decades later. In between he moved to Louisiana for a year.

  36. Jeffersonville and Connersville used to have some great teams…My mom was a huge basketball fan and was from a very poor family growing up as an only child in southern Indiana…She always mentioned Jeffersonville and loved to talk hoops with me during high school tournament time..back when it was a real tournament(without the multiple class garbage). She later moved to Huntington to live with her cousin and eventually northwest Indiana..Her dad worked at laying down railroad during the Depression. She used to tell me stories how her father was quite critical of Roosevelt for decisions that put him out of work…I never fully understood the details, but I guess it kind of stole his heart. He was a super kind man, though. Never bitter…Never one ounce of limelight for a very hardworking man. In his later years he took care of cooking and helping with domestic life and raising the kids while both my parents worked.. I guess that’s why it bothers me how Bob Knight seems to hold onto bitterness. Nothing is gained. Sorry to go off on a tangent…I sure miss my mom when basketball season rolls around.

  37. You have it right. I bring it up because I think it is important to note how a story can spin or be manipulated out of control, and no-one even remembers how it all got started to begin with and how quickly the original incident is lost. Before you know it,… he’s being accused of choking a 6’8″, 225 lb. kid on the practice floor…

    Recalling both Issel and Nash, around (approx) that same era while Lou Watson coached IU, I also remember a shooter from Southport High School outside of Indianapolis, Louis Dampier who spent a lot of time making us miserable because he’d chosen to cross the river. And, of course somewhere between Lou Watson and Bob Knight, the Indiana state high school champion was Indianapolis Washington coached by Jerry Oliver, who brought George Mc Ginnis and Steve Downing him to IU and, a year later (or so…gets hazy here) became Lou Watson’s replacement before Knight. That was just about the time Texas Western (now Texas-El Paso I believe) wins the NCAA Championship and, I remember thinking while watching Indianapolis Washington that they may have been the only team in the country that could have competed with Texas Western. They had a guard, Larry Highbaugh (who played football and ran track at IU), who while in high school, ran a couple of 9.3 100-yard dashes.

    What a history. By the way, I do remember RMK playing for Ohio State. He was a great shooter but absolutely undisciplined. Drove his coach, the great Fred Taylor, nuts. He’d send Knight in (he was a 6th,7th. man when Jerry Lucas and the great Tom Havlicek played for the Buckeyes), Knight would take a couple of shots from midcourt, Taylor would throw his arms up in the air, turn, cover his eyes and send someone to substitute for Knight. Knight learned a lot from Taylor’s frustration with him.

  38. ForWhatItsWorth….yeah…those were some tough, tough days. Compared to our parents we had it relatively easy.

    There’s a song from those days that is absolutely heart breaking, “Mister, Can You Spare a Dime?” ‘once I sailed an ocean/once I saved a country… and the called me Joe’ We had saved Europe during WWI, left hundreds of thousands buried in the trenches and the soldiers came back… and ten years later were reduced to “Mr, Can You Spare a Dime”. It has to get inside you.

    I mentioned this once before. Knight had lost both his parents while still a teenager and lived with his grandparents. Both of them were deaf… I’ve always thought that a lot of Knight’s ‘loudness’ and ‘acting out’ comes from that experience.

    Have a good night.

  39. That would be John Havlicek. Louie Dampier went on to star for the Kenrucky Colonels of the ABA, playing alongside a young Dan Issel and Artis Gilmore. Watched them dozens of times. Never understood why the NBA didn’t pick them up. It may have been the best roster in the league. The tradeoff was, the owner, John Young Brown, who would marry Miss America, Phyllis George, would go on to own the Buffalo and, I believe, Boston franchises. He later became governor of Kentucky and seemed destined to be president one day. I’m not sure how he ****ed that one up. A politician in Kentucky, what could go wrong?

  40. For what it’s worth, I’m not sure what that action would have been unless he was in management, which it doesn’t sound like he was. FDR expanded railroad construction. He DID seize the railroads in 1943 to avert a nationwide strike, but that was will full support of the union workers on the railroad. The railroads continued to operate under the management of the War Department.

  41. Chet-

    There is worn old photo of my grandfather standing next to tracks with fellow workers…It’s the coolest picture with magnificent poses and spike driving sledgehammers resting on shoulders. Sad part is that I never paid much attention to the details when my mom used to recount the story. It didn’t get brought up too often. There was a lot of hidden heartbreak in her voice when she talked about those days and I think she held the bitterness toward Roosevelt that never inflicted my grandpa. Maybe the federal government using its powers to influx so many workers into states wasn’t beneficial for all..Maybe there was corruption..Maybe it knocked men out that had spent years at their trade or reduced their wages drastically..I really don’t know. My grandfather passed away when I was only about 2 or 3 years old. I never got the story firsthand. Roosevelt was made into a heroic figure in textbooks and I’m sure many of his programs had the result of picking the country up from the devastation of the times.. It’s just not the story my mom passed on to me. My mom was a vibrant woman with an unbelievable positive attitude…She was a fabulous cook..She fought ten years with cancer(breast, colon, stomach) and never complained. Though not college educated, she was very bright..beautiful cursive handwriting and a far better vocabulary than my own..She loved Stephen King books and mystery stories..She could talk your ear off about any topic. She got fiery when talking politics.
    Yet, behind all her confidence, and being the rock of the family and the one all of us wanted to talk in good times and struggle, there was vulnerability and a repressed fear that I think never left her from her childhood days. They were unimaginably tough times and as an only child she had few to share the anguish(her first cousin in Huntington became like a sister). I’m bringing down the mood here… I best stop.

    I’ll part with taking the memory in her lively voice when we would talk hoops.

  42. There’s always another side to every coin. I think they just tried to benefit the greatest numbers.
    My father’s parents were somewhat affluent prior to the Depression. Grandfather was superintendent of Kentucky schools, apparently. I never really knew him. They did OK through the Depression but were never the ‘hoity toity’ socialites my grandmother seemed to think she deserved. She was an arrogant, racist Kentucky woman. Never cared much for her.
    My mother, on the other had, was the oldest of 14 kids in Appalachia. Her father was an alcoholic WWI combat veteran who would find the Lord and beat the children when he was in his tips. I didn’t know him as he died at 46. Mom lived in her first house with a floor, other than dirt, at 13, a window came later. She was the only one of her siblings to attend a formal school and completed high school. Two of her brothers found themselves in prison. A generation later, all five of her own children not only completed college but earned graduate degrees. My Mom said the Depression didn’t change much for them. They had no place left to fall.

  43. Chet, To add to J.Y Brown’s resume, he also is the lead owner on the buyout of the Colonel of Kentucky Fried Chicken. You are correct he had a lot going for himself and was a high life person. IIRC he was an often absentee Governor and also had several issues with health.

  44. Chet-

    It sounds like your mom had a fantastic spirit and you are extremely proud of her. How could you not be? Alcoholism is a brutal thing to grow up around and so often you here of how it can destroy families. I know the pain it can cause. Your mom rose above it and the all the sorrows of a difficult childhood. It’s easy to tell you benefited from her strength and desire to impart her sound values on all her kids.

  45. Davis, I live in the Loop, across the street in the northern edge from Millenium/Grant Park…so pick anyplace and a good time for you and I’ll confirm here. It would be a pleasure.

  46. Tsao- sorry to be so long in getting back, but it has been “one of those weeks.” How about lunch at Ronnie’s at the so. west corner of Lake and Clark (used to be on Randolph by the Greyhound station when that was downtown, was that really 20+ years ago?) at noon on Friday Sept. 30, 2011?

  47. Davis, will be traveling to the West Coast to see family, The place is good, possibly the second week in October?

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