Former Indiana University basketball star A.J. Guyton wants Bob Knight to return to Bloomington. In an open letter posted to his Facebook page, Guyton asks Knight to attend a Nov. 7 ceremony where Guyton, along with four other players, will be inducted into the school's hall of fame.
I'm saying this to say, without you Coach Knight, the relationships are strange at IU. We are accepted and appreciated but there's a mission to "move on" from us. You're the only person who can make everything right & bridge this gap. It's not about the former administration, it's about the players you created. Where are in limbo, stuck in between. We are all experiencing various successes but not knowing how to include IU basketball. Receiving this induction without being able to look you in the eye and thank you for creating me makes it "less authentic". I remember you couldn't attend the Wooden Awards because of all the things going on at IU during that time. I didn't go without you. Coach Knight, you taught each and every one of us how to over achieve by being the best AT being prepared.
In 2000, Knight was dismissed from IU after grabbing freshman Kent Harvey by the arm. Earlier in the season, the coach had been placed on a zero tolerance policy by university president Myles Brand after he allegedly choked IU's Neil Reed during practice. Knight's eventual exit ended up creating a rift between players and fans who supported Indiana, and those who supported the coach.
Guyton, the 2000 Big Ten Player of the Year and first-team All-American, goes on to extend an invitation to Knight to help heal old wounds: "I believe it's time, I believe the time is now," he says. "We think that forgiveness is weakness, but it's absolutely not; it takes a very strong person to forgive. It's a long shot, but if we share this letter enough, it might end up in the right hands."
You can read Guyton's entire letter here.
During his time at Indiana, Knight led the Hoosiers to three national championships.
-- Alex Suskind