Commentary

IU Hall of Fame finally call Knight

Updated: August 26, 2009, 4:56 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Finally, Robert Montgomery Knight will be inducted into the Indiana University Hall of Fame.

How deserving is Knight of this honor? Are you serious? It is hard to believe that it took this long for him to be picked. I am happy that someone had the sense to do the right thing, and egos were set aside.

There is no way in the world that you could have a Indiana University Hall of Fame without Knight in there. In my opinion, there was a serious credibility issue until Knight was finally chosen.

Just look at some of the numbers. Besides the three national championships, he posted a career record of 662-239 with the Hoosiers and coached teams that won 11 Big Ten titles.

It is about a lot more than stats. He taught his players how to compete with a sense of pride and passion. Knight also instilled discipline and made sure that his players understood that they were student-athletes. His kids graduated and you never heard word one of any NCAA rules violations.

Today there is chaos in intercollegiate athletics. There is a win at all costs mentality that is prevalent. That was not the case in Bloomington when Knight was on the sidelines.

Also being inducted in a long overdue move is Steve Downing. He was such a tough player, a 6-7 center who was the Big Ten MVP in 1973. He went on to become a first-round pick in the NBA. It is hard to believe that Downing was not chosen before this.

I salute the new administration and basketball coach Tom Crean for making this happen. They are moving in a positive direction to right a wrong, putting Knight into a Hall of Fame honor he deserved for over two decades.

It is the highest honor at the University. He was good enough to make the Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., so he should be good enough to earn the honor in Bloomington.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.