Bloomington – Bob Knight has said thanks, but no thanks to Indiana University's invitation to his Hall of Fame induction next weekend.
In a prepared statement, IU Athletics Director Fred Glass said that he was contacted by the legendary IU basketball coach Wednesday and told he wouldn't be on hand to be inducted into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame.
"Coach Knight contacted me directly yesterday to let me know that would not be attending the Hall of Fame ceremonies, primarily because of his concern that the media interest in his attendance would take away from the other people being inducted," Glass said. "I absolutely respect his feelings on that and very much appreciate his response, which in no way suggested he opposed being inducted."
Knight will be represented at next Friday's induction ceremony by long-time friend and Bloomington Herald Times sports editor Bob Hammel.
Glass added that Knight did express his appreciation to the fans for their support of him and his IU basketball program during his 29-year run in Bloomington. Knight guided the Hoosiers to three national titles and 11 Big Ten championships while compiling a 661-240 record.
"Coach Knight expressed his tremendous appreciation for the support his teams were given by the IU student body and fans all over the state of Indiana and the contribution that support made to the success of his teams," Glass said. "Coach Knight also noted that there is no one he appreciates more than his players who he said were the most responsible for the success the program had during his tenure."
The possibility of a Knight return appeared possible up until last week, when word leaked that an unnamed IU donor had paid the $75,000 to settle a legal dispute between Knight and Indiana University. Once Knight heard about the source of the money, he ordered his attorney to wire it back to IU and chastised the university for their handling of the situation.
"In all the years I coached at Indiana and elsewhere, I never accepted a thing from alumni, and I don't intend to start now," Knight said earlier this week in a statement released by his current employer, ESPN. "This issue is with the university, not with the alumni. It would be amazing what this university's legal office has spent over the past nine years avoiding this obligation as well as paying off all the broken athletic contracts they have made."
In addition to Knight, the other honorees include: Jerry Yeagley (men's soccer, 1973-2004), who captured six NCAA titles and is the all-time winningest coach in college soccer;. Steve Downing (men's basketball, 1971-73), Katrin Koch (women's track and field, 1989-92), Joe Norman (football, 1975-78), the late Mike Rabold (football, 1956-58), and Alan Somers (swimming, 1961-63) as honorees.
Knight Makes It Official - He's Not Coming
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