Hoosier Headlines for August 17, 2011: obituary edition.

The last week has been marked by the deaths of two Indiana University legends.  Late last week, former IU president John Ryan died.  Ryan served the third-longest term as IU's president, behind only Herman B Wells and William Lowe Bryan, and led IU from 1971-1987.  He and Bob Knight had a very close relationship, and Ryan was in charge during a golden era of IU athletics.  He is preserved for posterity as IU's president because of his role in Breaking Away, playing (appropriately) the university president.  

Of course, this is a sports site, so I have to note that one of the more intriguing thing about IU's memorial page to Ryan was this blurb:

"John Ryan was a great man and an outstanding Indiana University president. He understood what Indiana was capable of and not capable of, and he worked very hard to make the best use possible of all that was there. The team of John Ryan, George Pinnell, Ed Williams, Bill Armstrong, Ken Gros Louis and, in athletics, Bill Orwig and Ralph Floyd gave the university some truly great years, and it was a team that, starting with Dr. Ryan, always had the best interests of the university at heart."
- Bob Knight, Former Indiana University Men's Basketball Coach

Will we ever stop obsessing about whether Knight will ever reconcile with IU?  Probably not.  By omission, Knight's quote echoes his usual criticism of every IU administrator hired from the late 1980s until the end of his tenure, but that he was willing to provide this blurb for IU's use seems to be a positive development. 

Also, one of the greatest players in IU football history died yesterday. Pihos, an all-American fullback/receiver at IU who was the leading scorer for the 1945 Big Ten champions, is a member of both the college and pro football halls of fame, and is to date the only IU player enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. He led the Philadelphia Eagles to two NFL championships. Here is the IU obituary, and the New York Times obit is here.  The Times obit, in particular, is worth a read for its poignant account of Pihos's financial and mental struggles during his last years.

In other news:

News and Notes from IU football | IU Insider blog | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
Lots of news from Hutch in this entry, including depth chart info on long snappers, punters, and quarterback (surprise, suprise, it now appears to be a three way battle between Edward Wright-Baker, Dusty Kiel, and Tre Roberson).

Key stretch: Indiana - Big Ten Blog - ESPN
Adam Rittenberg discusses the first half of IU's Big Ten schedule.

Wilson continues to push Hoosier mindset | The News-Sentinel - Fort Wayne IN
Some good stuff from DiPrimio, too. These guys are doing a nice job despite the closed practices.

Safety first for Indiana football's Chris Adkins | The Courier-Journal | courier-journal.com
"Chris has always been a kid who has been able to adapt to any situation," said his father, also named Chris Adkins. "Before he played on defense as a senior at Warren he had only played running back since pee wee football. But his ability to adapt has turned out well because it allowed him to go to college and play football."

Tracy Smith satisfied with progress of baseball/softball project | The Hoosier Scoop
It appears that the long-promised baseball-softball complex is finally close to breaking ground (literally--as Tracy Smith wryly notes in the article, the ceremonial groundbreaking was years ago, and he has the shovel to prove it). Originally, the plan was to build the complex north of the Tennis Pavilion, close to the bypass. Not long ago, there were discussions of renovating the existing fields, which are located south of 17th Street and are surrounded by dorms and Greek houses. Now, it appears that the complex will be built in the new location. Wherever it is, I hope it gets built soon so that we can hold on to Smith.


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