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It has been 16 years since Indiana fired Bob Knight just prior to the 2000-01 basketball season, and 16 years since he stepped foot on the Indiana University campus. Based on his latest comments, those hoping for a reunion probably shouldn’t hold their breath.
Knight was a guest on “The Dan Patrick Show” where he was asked why his return to Assembly Hall is so important to the fans. Knight started by saying he has always “really enjoyed the fans.” However, he then explained that he will never return to Indiana because of the leadership that was in place at Indiana at the time of his firing.
“I’ve always really enjoyed the fans and I always will,” Knight said. “On my dying day, I will think about how great the fans at Indiana were. As far as the hierarchy at Indiana University at that time, I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for those people. With that in mind, I have no interest in ever going back to that university.”
Knight saved his strongest words for when Patrick suggested that most or all of those leaders are no longer at the school.
Dan Patrick: “Aren’t all of those people out of there, coach?”
Bob Knight: “I hope they are all dead.”
DP: “Well, I know some of them are, I don’t…”
BK: (interrupting) “Well, I hope the rest of them go.”
Myles Brand was the president of Indiana University at the time and was the one who fired Knight. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2009.
Knight was fired for what the school called at the time an “unacceptable pattern of behavior,” and “gross insubordination.”
The final straw was a run-in with a student who had referred to Knight by just his last name as their paths crossed on campus. Two students accused Knight of grabbing the student’s arm and scolding him with a profanity-laced tirade.
Knight won three national championships at Indiana, including the 1975-76 season when his team went 32-0.
You can hear Knight’s comments here: