College basketball won't be the same without Bob Knight coaching, but it changed eight years ago when he left Indiana too. The 67-year old's announcement Monday night didn't surprise me that much. He's been running out of gas, as any coach his age and with 42 years behind him, can be expected to do. The job isn't that much fun when you don't have a big winning team which he no longer has. Texas Tech was a nice way for him to stay in the game during his 60s, but Indiana offered him the stage to attract quality players worthy of winning three NCAA titles.
Knight was always good to me. He began in 1971 in Indiana the same year I began on television here. I always reminded him I was born in Bloomington in 1949 and my dad taught at the Indiana University School of Business. I was careful to play the game his way and there was method to my decisions to mail him with requests for interviews and mail him thank you notes after we would visit on camera before Indiana games at MSU. He did me some favors over the years-- recommended me for a job in Miami, got me some NCAA basketball tickets and wrote a nice letter to my brother when he was dying of cancer.
A tough blow Tuesday for MSU football coach Mark Dantonio. The Spartans were hoping to land running back Mark Ingram from Flint Southwestern-- he committed instead to Nick Saban at Alabama. The Spartans also likely will lose Nick Perry of Detroit's King High School either to Michigan or USC. The Wolverines are holding their breath for the big announcement at noon on Wednesday-- will quarterback Terrelle Pryor come to Ann Arbor, or Columbus or Happy Valley? ESPN will carry the announcement live. It's a big day for signing on Wednesday.