As we mentioned a couple months ago, Bob Knight will finally be enshrined into the Indiana University Hall of Fame in November. Though we’re sure hostilities linger on both sides of the fight after Knight’s acrimonious departure, this would be as good a time as any to bury the hatchet and act like adults for once.
To that end, Indiana even went the extra step of sending Knight a check for $75,000 to cover his expenses of being the coach at Indiana, which resolved a legal battle that Knight and his lawyer had been fighting since his dismissal nine years ago. Problems solved and we’re all on the right track, right?
Um, no - Knight’s furiously sending the check back.
From the INDIANAPOLIS STAR:
School spokesman Larry MacIntyre confirmed Tuesday the check was sent to Knight’s attorney last week, and the school has received notification the money, donated by alums, will be returned.
“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 in a statement. “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,” Knight said.
A noble gesture on its face, yes. The only problem is - where’s the money supposed to come from? As the CRIMSON QUARRY blog explains, Knight’s beef has some serious logical flaws:
This is the most confusing part. Did Knight’s attorneys sign a settlement agreement without their client’s consent? I can’t imagine, particularly not in a high profile case with a high profile client, but stranger things have happened. Did Knight know of the settlement, but not know of the source of the $75,000? That’s perhaps the most plausible explanation, but we won’t know unless Knight or his attorneys further elaborate.
IU is a public university. Its funds come from Indiana taxpayers, federal funds, various grants, and, among other things, donations from alumni. Anything that comes from IU is coming indirectly from donating alumni. Whatever happened with this lawsuit, the money never was going to come from Myles Brand’s estate, for instance.
Aha. This really is all about the late Brand, though. With Brand no longer with us, Knight has an awfully tenuous case against Indiana for which to hold a grudge. Heck, with Indiana’s new AD Fred Glass even sending him a hand-written note to help resolve the matter, you’d think the kinder, gentler Knight would be happy to put this all behind him.
But perhaps that’s all just a veneer and Knight’s the same Knight he’s always been - forthright, stubborn to a T and with a pretty well etched-in-stone list of friends and enemies. We’ll see if he warms on IU between now and his induction in November. This isn’t exactly an encouraging start.
(Terrorist fist jab: USA TODAY’s GAME ON! blog)