Bob Knight cares more about Purdue than he does Indiana. Yeah, that’s right.
The coach who once famously went on this (among many other) very NSFW rants about how much he hated Purdue, is going to be a guest at the school’s Agricultural Alumni Association Fish Fry on February 6, but didn’t attend a celebration of his greatest Indiana team at Assembly Hall a few weeks ago. To repeat: he’s attending a fish fry for Indiana’s archrival, but refused to show up and honor the best team he ever put together.
I’m officially done with Coach Knight. It’s over, I don’t care about him anymore and don’t want him anywhere near my alma mater, no matter how much fellow Hoosier fans beg him to return.
Knight was fired by Indiana on September 10, 2000 and hasn’t been back since. Despite repeated calls over the years for him to return and be honored, he has patently refused. Everyone who had a major hand in his firing – which was totally justified – is now gone from the school, yet Knight still holds a grudge.
Bob, it’s been 15 years and you’re 75 years old, grow the hell up.
Knight is a brilliant basketball mind and he turned Indiana into a national power during a Hall of Fame career at the school. The Hoosiers won three national titles, 11 regular season Big Ten championships and went to five Final Fours. “The General” was an eight-time Big Ten Coach of the Year during his 29-year tenure in Bloomington.
Knight is also a petulant child who turned Indiana into a national laughingstock for virtually all of his final decade at the school. He was physically and vocally abusive to players and staff members and violently lashed out at subordinates on multiple occasions. Yet somehow, after all these years, he doesn’t understand why he was fired or why Indiana felt justified in canning him.
Even if Indiana hadn’t been completely right in firing Knight, after 15 years you’d think he would finally have the ability to let it go. A normal, compassionate human being would understand that fans of the Hoosiers, who dedicated so much time to his teams and showered him with love, have probably earned the right to cheer him one last time. But that’s just not who Knight is, he just can’t care about anyone but himself and his gargantuan ego.
On January 4, Indiana honored the 40th anniversary of college basketball’s last undefeated team. The 1976 Hoosiers were one of the greatest teams in college sports history and to this day are revered nationally, not just in Bloomington. The players showed up for the tribute, Knight did not. He didn’t even bother to send a message to fans or his former team. It was classless and embarrassing for a place that did so much for him.
Bob Knight is clearly just a bitter old man. It’s sad, but true. He has had countless opportunities to bury the hatchet and return to the school that helped make him a legend. He has never once even hinted that he would forgive and move on.
At this point I’m convinced Knight will never return to Indiana. He has never been one to take the high road, and I don’t expect him to start now.