Crean reaches out to Knight

April 3, 2008
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IUfanIndiana University’s new men’s basketball coach proved at Marquette he can win games. Now he is proving to be a savvy marketer. Yesterday, during his introductory press conference, Crean lauded and reached out to former IU players.

Today, he began reaching out to former Hoosier Coach Bob Knight.

“Bob Knight will never have to call me to find out what I think about him,” Crean said this morning on the “Mike and Mike in the Morning” show on ESPN Radio. “Indiana University has a great tradition, and Bob Knight is as big a part of that as anyone, and my taking this job has nothing to do with my thoughts on that.”

Crean said he and Knight have a common friend in St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa and indicated he will attempt to reach out to the Hoosiers’ winningest coach in the near future.

Knight is scheduled to be on “Mike and Mike” tomorrow and will be asked about IU’s new coach.

Crean--unlike his IU counterpart in football, Bill Lynch--has few worries about selling tickets. Assembly Hall has been largely sold out even in the Mike Davis and Kelvin Sampson eras. But sports marketers said for IU to maximize its corporate and alumni contributions, a bridge needs to be built across the chasm created by Knight’s acrimonious departure.

With a relatively small Big Ten athletic budget of $45 million, a looming capital campaign and plans to replace Assembly Hall, sports marketers said IU athletic department leaders will be leaning on Crean to help raise funds.

“You can bet he’ll be at a lot of golf outings and alumni association outings this summer,” said David Morton, president of locally based Sunrise Sports Group.

Should Crean reach out to Knight? Why or why not?
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  • This shows Crean is a smooth operator. I can't wait to see what Knight has to say tomorrow. At least, hopefully he will be gracious toward Crean if not the university. Like it or not, Knight's reputations still rubs off on old IU.
  • Bob Knight has consistently given the impression that he holds animosity for the UNIVERSITY! I can't see him giving any supportive or constuctive or even impartial input to Crean. We IU fans need to stop catering to his whims. He has spurned many opportunities to return our acts of reaching out to him, as recently as last month when he cancelled his speaking engagement in Indiana. Until he's ready to come down off his mountain, we need to go on without him.
  • During ESPN's tournament coverage, Dick Vitale went on some tirade about IU and how they should name something for him. This whole time Knight was in a split screen with Vitale looking a bit uncomfortable I thought. When Vitale was done going on and on Knight didn't respond and the other three guys just went on as if Vitale hadn't said anything. I think Knight will try to avoid talking about it with Mike & Mike but it will be harder for him to do. It will be interesting to hear.

    Marketing-wise it is probably a good idea because some IU fans can't or won't leave the whole Bobby Knight thing be. Yes Knight will ever be tied to IU and his championships there but he has expressed his dislike of the university. Crean should try to reach out this once and if Knight acts in his usual manner let it go.
  • Well how do you know thae reason why he cancelled his engagement was out of animosity? Well in that case he'd never step foot back in the state of Indiana. I think Bob has a bit of animosity, but not like some have proclaimed here or elsewhere, and of course he looked uncomfortable, Dick just basically went on a random rant of which about a topic he knows d*mn well Bob doesn't like to talk about that much, and that he has expressed before. He might give the guy some constructive criticism but not for the media to see I bet lol! And as for usual manner, probably true in a sense, but of course he has a soft and charasmatic side that for some reason he doesn't like to let the media see

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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

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