Bob Knight to be inducted into Indiana University Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star reports some big news this morning:  legendary IU basketball coach Bob Knight will be inducted into the Indiana University Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in November.  As the article notes, new IU athletic director Fred Glass and the hall of fame committee elected to change the prior rules that required an inductee (or his or her family, if the induction is posthumous) to consent to induction.  Glass reports that he informed Knight via a handwritten letter of his selection, but Knight will be inducted with or without his consent.  Clearly, however, Glass is trying to handle the matter delicately:

 

"If he came back, it would be very welcomed, and I think he would enjoy himself. But I'm not going to start a campaign or try to hotbox Coach Knight. He's his own man. I'm not going to put him on the hot seat on this. We just hope he accepts and comes back."

Also, Glass has enlisted fellow hall of fame committee member Bob Hammel to act as a liaison to Knight.  Hammel, who was for many years the sports editor of the Bloomington Herald-Times, is a long time Knight confidant.  Steve Downing, the former IU basketball player who went with Knight to Texas Tech and remains there, also is in the class of 2009 (along with former soccer coach Jerry Yeagley, track runner Katrin Koch, swimmer Alan Somers , and football players Joe Norman  and  Mike Rabold. 

Will he show up?

It's anyone's guess.  I think it's a very positive sign that Hammel is willing to lead the efforts to get Knight to return.  It seems unlikely that Hammel would involve himself if he thought the move was futile.  And I think Glass is correct that an Indiana athletics hall of fame that doesn't include Bob Knight is cheapened by his exclusion. Still, it's been obvious in recent years that Knight still is quite wounded by his 2000 firing.  He has mentioned IU very sparingly, and he hasn't made any trips to Bloomington for ESPN or called any IU games since joining the network.

Still, it would be a great thing to see Knight inducted into the IU hall of fame and to see him honored at halftime of the football game against Wisconsin (and hopefully at a basketball game later on).  I had an offseason post on this topic here, and discussed the comparison between Knight and his idol, former Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes.  Hayes returned to Ohio State, and hopefully Knight will do the same before it's too late. 

So, any guesses?  Sadly, my guess is that it's more likely than not that Knight will not return in November.  You can put your predictions in the comments.

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