33 comments

  1. Beautiful. Thanks Dustin.

    The total antithesis to Crean’s Marmalade.

    The book will be out next week (on March 5th).

  2. Good condensed article.
    Glad he was here. He was brilliant.
    Glad he is gone.
    Glad we ended up with Crean.

  3. My favorite line: “All the years I coached, we sent a card to every professor for each kid I had, and I was able to keep track on a daily basis who cut class or who was dropping a grade average. What I did was bring that kid in at 5:00 in the morning, and he would run the stairs from the bottom to the top until I told him to quit. I did this with a lot of kids, but never twice.”

    Say what you want about the man, but he had his priorities straight as far as why student-athletes got a free education to play basketball.

  4. Same old Bob – a principled, intelligent, compassionate, insenstive total a-hole. He was both the best coach in the world and a guy who occaisonally lost the ability to coach a winning team. Three National Championships, and fired for going 12 years without one BTW, don’t give me that ‘violation of zero-tolerance’ garbage – he and McCracken both were gone after 12 years of no championships. If he was capable of winning, he would still be coaching here, still a pain in the backside but forgiven if the banners kept coming.

  5. Kurk, a compassionate, insensitive a-hole? If we were discussing anybody else, I’d say that’s impossible. Yet somehow it fits.

  6. Punjab, that was pretty similar to a tactic my college coach used. In the preseason we’d have study hours from 7-9 pm Sunday – Thursday. If even a single player was late by a minute and didn’t have a valid excuse we would all have to run hills at 6 am the next morning. Apparently we didn’t learn as quickly as Knight’s players, because I remember doing it more that once.

    I agree that if Knight had continued to win NC’s (or at minimum B1G championships) he’d have stuck around many more years. However, I also believe if he had been less of an a-hole, and nothing else changed, he’d have been able to leave on his terms.

  7. Since he basically closed the door on going back to IU, I hope this ends all the talk and IU moves on. Tired of hearing about him. I agree with Ron’s post. And the crap about running stairs as punishment is probably the reason he’s not coaching anymore or was effective with players while coaching in his later years. Kids aren’t held accountable like that anymore and would now go to the AD and have the guy fired. Thank you Knight for slamming the door shut on a return. Maybe now Glass, Crean et al will finally move on. The horse is dead.

  8. Every last word said about his ‘tracking system’ is true and, more important, a fundamental part of his conviction about what Knight’s life was and is about. It was, and he was, uncompromising and he was willing to take the pain that came with it.

    Once, in his office, his secretary leaned in and said Steve Alford was there. He asked me to leave the office and wait. ‘I gotta talk to him about missing a class’ (something to that effect). I crossed paths with Alford, went down the ramp and could hear RMK bellowing at Alford, behind two doors.

    The day before a legendary coach (from a university north of Indiana which provided us with a head coach later) had given a speech at the Auditorium. As we left and are walking down the ramp, he says: “What do you think of __________, what did you think of his speech?” I told him I thought the guy was trying to be ‘likeable and cool’, which was his reputation. “Yeah, he says…he tells his kids ‘just reach for the sky and grab; but doesn’t necessarily teach how you grab or how you reach…there’s a lot of those in this business.”

    I never forgot it because it was exactly what distinguished him from most other coaches. I believe it is exactly how he saw his profession…teaching. I had others like him, Alfred Diamant and William Lee Miller at IU, Mary Glenn Hamilton (a tough, no-compromise former WAC in the Army who taught me to write in English ‘or go carve meat’) and Roy Aberson a great, great track coach in high school; and, a couple of bosses like that. They also set the curve for what I expected and, luckily got, from some of my kid’s teachers.

    But, the relationship with RMK and my son knowing him was and remains one of the great influences in their (both kids- now in their 40’s)lives. He simply taught how to expect more from yourself and never compromise with that ideal.

    Regardless of the fact that I would love to see him coming to Indiana because he truly and clearly defined who we were and (even in the case of those who partially accept him) who we are at Indiana; I understand his feeling about not wanting to come back. There were too many who did ‘compromise’ and did not understand nor ‘stand for the right thing’ as a standard that shapes lives. Instead, they inch backwards. Why? convenience, image and, probably, under all of it, a streak of weakness.

    It would be too revolting an experience for Knight to see some of those faces and hearing them drool as they speak of their ‘support’ again. I’d rather he remember us for what we were then. Tough, uncompromising Hoosiers who were a part of him as he was a part of us, for many even today. In all senses it said and continues to say ‘It’s Indiana’

    (Some of you may reach down for your emotional reaction to this statement. I’ll save you some time, don’t bother refuting it. It will only make me think less of you. We can just simply disagree. Now, if you’re still incensed, have at it, but it won’t matter much).

  9. Now maybe Dickie V will stop talking about it on every Indiana game he does. It’s annoying. The horse is dead. We loved Knight, but it’s Creans baby now, and the majority of sane fans love him too. Let it go. I used to respect the man, but lost respect over the years, because of his bitterness. Sometimes you just got to forgive, whether your in the right or wrong. I think it’s sad really.

  10. BigHoosier/…. Agree with your first sentence. The rest, not so much. And, it is Crean’s team now and that’s fine with me. He’s sustaining a Hoosier tradition and adding to its history. Good for him, we all share in all of it.

  11. I will agree. I’m not about to ramble about it. In short, I respect what the man did. That’s about as nice as I can put it

  12. #15
    Chet
    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 – 12:30 PM UTC
    Mendacity? Merry Christmas, Rico.

    Why thank you Chet! That’s so nice of you! Can’t wait to see you ont the 4th of July!
    your friend,

    Rico

  13. Knight is not the kind of person you want representing an institution of higher learning. Outside of Hoosier Nation, the perception he gave to IU was a total black eye. As he’s distanced himself from IU, through his petty and crude ways most of Hoosier Nation is waking up to what the rest of the country saw.

    I hope as part of his book tour that Andy, Jeremy or Dustin get a chance to interview him and really get him in the no spin zone.

  14. Terrible, pathetic quote about Brand. and people gave Bobby all the credit for being the bigger man when he visited Brand on his deathbed.

  15. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

    John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton

  16. It’s ok Chet! I know I treated you bad. Just trying to start a new slate. I hope your day is fabulous, and enjoy watching the Hoosiers today.

    Rico

  17. Geoff, your last paragraph shares some similar representation of my thoughts on that subject.

    Aruss, I was fortunate to be around Knight numerous times. I also have had the opportunity to be know some powerful people from varied walks of life. I know of no one individual who could verbally skewer Knight in an eyeball to eyeball environment.

  18. What I like about Bob Knight is his authenticity.

    I don’t always agree with everything he does, but he is real.

    In a world of fakes, I cannot help liking that.

  19. I respected Knight as a coach and his focus on academics.

    But there are 2 former players, among other former players, who did not deserve the treatment they received from Knight. Unfortunately, both have passed away from heart failure. Neil Reed was the heart and soul of IU for 2 years even playing with a shoulder harness and diving for loose balls.Jason Collier was constantly accused of being soft and afraid to go to the boards. Jason later led the ACC in rebounding for 2 straight years.RIP Neil and Jason- you did not deserve to be dehumanized.

    All his donations to the library do not make up for that conduct.

  20. To those who admire Knight for having players run stairs at 5AM for dropping a grade average, it’s great that he was attentive about academics, but why not get the player a tutor, or somehow address the reason for the slippage, instead of punishing him?
    Can someone please get Dickie V to shut up about renaming McCracken court at Assembly Hall? Branch McCracken was a terrific coach at IU and deserves to be remembered. This is the Crean era, and Knight is now an Ohio State basketball fan. Let’s move on.

  21. Betsy… Seriously? While I don’t have first knowledge of the environment around D1 athletics in the 70’s and 80’s, I am very familiar with how they were in the 90’s and today. There is no shortage of tutors, and the teams have academic advisors and more access to academic assistance than do normal students. So I am almost positive when I say that, even early in Knights’ tenure, and definitely in the last 15 or so years, he made sure his players were working with tutors.

    Now as far as punishment for missing class… What would have him do? Not only is running a perfectly acceptable punishment for an athlete, but it has a positive conditioning result. It also sounds like it was extremely effective in achieving the desired outcome, since he claims he never had to do it twice to the same kid. I’m having a hard time understanding your issue with it.

  22. Betsy you are thinking very shallow. Tutors are available. RMK’s academic coaching methods worked even better than his BB coaching methods.

  23. Knight has simply moved on. Everyone in the Hoosier Nation should do the same.

    Nothing wrong with enjoying our memories of his great accomplishments and looking for more great accomplished produced by others in the future. If you did not like Knight, or his teaching methods, that’s O.K., but please please don’t denigrate those of that respected him. And if you, like myself, were a big fan of his, there’s no need to attack his critics. His accomplishments speak for themselves, and so does his behavior, both the good and bad.

  24. Coach Crean will never have any “bad” that we’ll have to swallow with the “good.” Banners under Crean will be as untainted all those hanging in Mackey and Pauley Pavilion.

    Can’t wait for Walton to finally come to Bloomington and stands hand-in-hand with Tom Crean … It’s far more important that Bill forgives us(much like he did in his granting an interview to Dan Dakich)for the disservice to the game we allowed…How Hoosier fans could sit placidly while a tyrant whipped children for merely the sake of hanging a banner. The true genius of basketball left our great basketball state..We turned our back on the kind man that motivated young men without the need of scars.

    We are a better Indiana today for evicting the tyrant. We should burn those three banners and beg the big redhead for forgiveness. Thank you, Dan Dakich. Thank you for Cody, kindness, and the day Bill Walton will come to Indiana with his bitter balls still aching from the day Downing kicked them up to his chin.

  25. If we could find one point in our basketball history it all began to slip away….? Is it not the day Knight decided to recruit a kid out of the godforsaken suburban sprawl of nothingness called Merrillville, Indiana? Wasn’t it around the same time the mega stores began to flourish and small town businesses and the true character of diversity began to evaporate from out economic and cultural landscape? The man talks of culture…Have any of you ever been to Merrillville? Merrillville in the 1970’s was a slice of what America has evolved. Fast foods, strip malls, congestion, chain stores…The nation’s first chain electronics stores were born on Highway 30…Merrillville: The forerunner of an ugly America stripped of its flourishing downtown streets and small vibrant towns…An America killed by KMarts and WalMarts..and Sam’s Clubs..and Best Buys…and AutoZones…and HomeDepots….All the space taking up by zero personality…And then you have Dan Dakich.

  26. You know, the pros, the cons, the beauty, the ugliness, the good, the bad, the whatever, all the opinions.

    Everyone seems to conclude with the same thought.

    Time to move on…

  27. I agree. Coach Knight has had his opportunities to take the better road and he has refused them. Let him take his $30,000 to $50,000 speaking engagements and move on down the road. Why does he get that kind of money for a speech? It is because of Indiana University

  28. No, jrides, you are wrong. It is because of what he did at IU. RMK made the best of his opportunity at IU utilizing good resources and building strong support for the program on a results basis. Something Coach Lou Watson recognized he was not able to do.

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