BLOOMINGTON, Indiana, USA (AP) Bob Knight returned to Indiana University on Saturday, the first public appearance of the former basketball coach since he was fired almost 19 years ago.
Knight returned to watch the Hoosiers baseball game against Penn State from the press area. The Big Ten Network was broadcasting the game when Knight made the impromptu golf cart ride to the field.
The director of athletics, Fred Glbad, has repeatedly made proposals to recover Knight. Every time the gentleman refused.
The Hoosiers first tried to make amends by adding photos of Knight in the Assembly Hall, the local stadium of the basketball team.
In 2009, the school introduced Knight to the athletic Hall of Fame, but Knight skipped the ceremony. He wrote a letter to Glbad at the time, explaining that he did not want to create a "media circus" that distracts the other members.
Knight also stayed away from the 40-year school reunion for his 1976 national championship team, the last undefeated team in men's Division I basketball, which led many to wonder if Knight would ever return to the University where the former Ohio State player played and coach a household name in basketball circles and beyond.
It was not immediately clear what motivated Knight's change of heart. But there have been recent reports that the 78-year-old Knight has not been in good health.
During a speech meeting Thursday night at Center Grove High School on the south side of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Star reported that there were times when he had difficulty with his memory.
But Knight's return to the campus was a welcome sight for the Hoosiers fans.
Here is something you thought you would never see. Bob Knight is back in Bloomington for an IU baseball game against Penn State. pic.twitter.com/qX6ItMFow7
– The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) April 6, 2019
Knight won a school record of 659 games in Indiana (1971-2000) and retired as coach of Texas Tech during the 2007-08 season with a career record of 899-374: the most wins of all male college coaches important He won 11 Big Ten titles while training the Hoosiers before being fired in September 2000.
School officials put Knight on a zero tolerance policy that same year after the video appeared to show that Knight was grabbing one of his former players, Neil Reed, around the throat. Reed died in 2012, aged 36, of a heart attack.
Knight was fired after an alleged confrontation with an Indiana student in the Assembly Hall.
After his stay in Indiana, Knight was hired at Texas Tech, where he went from 138-82. He was also 102-50 in the army.
Knight was also a substitute in the Ohio State National Championship team in 1960.
He entered the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.