There have been few more polarizing figures in college basketball history than the man who patrolled the sidelines for Indiana University‘s Men’s Basketball team from 1971-2000, the legendary Bobby Knight. Even though the man dubbed “The General” has been absent from Bloomington, IN for almost a decade now, he has made headlines several times this past week. And much like the man’s entire tenure, they are causing a stir amongst Hoosiers all over.
Knight’s name first popped up on the radar last weekend in regards to a settlement being reached for a lawsuit the former coach had brought against IU. Bobby Knight was suing the university for not properly defending the coach when he himself was sued by a former assistant in 2002.The former assistant Ron Felling had sued Knight for assaulting him in 1999.
Reports were that the former coach would except $75, 000 from anonymous donors in reparation for the money Knight spent in both lawyer’s fees, and a $25,000 settlement in the original case. Several days after the announcement that the issue had been resolved, Bobby Knight came out publicly to denounce the settlement.
He said that in his 30 years at Indiana University he never took a single cent from alumni or private donors and he was not going to start now. He also instructed his lawyer to return the $75,000 check to whomever sent it.
If that was not enough, Bobby Knight made a statement on October 29 that he would not be attending the induction into the Indiana University’s Sports Hall of Fame, which takes place this week in Bloomington. Knight is one of seven inductees in this year’s class and felt that his involvement would detract from the other six honorees. That’s the nice way of putting it.
In Knight’s three decades of coaching at IU he lead Indiana to three NCAA national championships in 1976, 1981 and 1987. The 1976 team had a perfect record of 32-0 and is the last Division-I men’s basketball team to go undefeated. Bobby Knight also holds both the school-record for wins with 662 and the Division-I men’s basketball record with 902.
Knight was fired from Indiana University in 2000 after a number of hot tempered run-ins with players, team and school officials. He is now a college basketball analyst on ESPN.