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Knight, Carnesecca deserve to be honored


Nov. 20
All across America, the latest trend is to recognize coaches for their big-time success by naming the home court after them.

It happened to Mike Krzyzewski down at Duke, Jimmy Boeheim up at Syracuse and Lute Olson at Arizona. It's happening to the Wizard of Westwood out at UCLA, John Wooden -- an honor long overdue considering his accomplishments over the years. After 10 national championships, I would have thought that would have happened years ago.

Bob Knight

At DePaul, before the DePaul-Notre Dame contest on Dec. 14, DePaul's home court at Allstate Arena will be named Ray and Marge Meyer Court to honor the legendary Blue Demons coach and his late wife.

That leads me to ask why two other schools haven't honored their former coaches: Bob Knight at Indiana and Lou Carnesecca at St. John's.

I realize that Assembly Hall has its court named after another legendary and deserving coach, Branch McCracken. That fact has been underpublicized for years. McCracken coached the Hoosiers to their first two national championships (in 1940 and '53).

So here's my thought: Call it the Robert Montgomery Knight Center at Assembly Hall.

I can hear some people in Bloomington saying no way, no way to Knight, who currently is the head coach at Texas Tech. But he has done so much for Indiana University, and I'm not just talking about Ws on the hardwood.

Consider what Knight has meant to the institution. He raised tons of money for the library and gave the school lots of notoriety and publicity throughout his tenure.

Obviously, there was a battle between Knight and former Indiana president Myles Brand (currently the NCAA's executive director). Looking beyond that, it would be a classy move by Indiana administrators to honor Knight at Assembly Hall.

Look at his overall record: He graduated his players and won three national championships ('76, '81 and '87). Nobody deserves that type of honor more than the General.

Naysayers should forget the little antics and their petty jealousies and do what is right. Knight brought tremendous basketball honor to the Hoosiers. If others are being honored with courts being named for them, then Knight deserves some special treatment as well.

As I wrote in my new book, "Living a Dream," the time has come for the people in Indiana to come through.

It would be a great move. The Hall of Famer had so many magical moments. The 1976 team was the last unbeaten squad in Division I. The 1981 club, led by Isiah Thomas, captured the national title. The '87 squad, led by sweet-shooting Steve Alford, knocked off Syracuse in a memorable final.

Knight brought tremendous basketball honor to the Hoosiers.
Imagine bringing back all the stars who played under Knight! What a moment that would be. Hey Hoosiers, make it happen. I know Knight would probably say he doesn't need something like this to happen. But this is about what's right. He deserves it.

At St. John's, I can't understand why Lou Carnesecca hasn't been bestowed that type of honor. I really miss him on the sidelines. We don't have as many characters in the game today, as we did with Carnesecca, my late buddy Jimmy Valvano, the late Al McGuire and others.

The St. John's program needs a spark. When I called the game between the Red Storm and Marquette at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, I was surprised by the lack of buzz created by the program right now. The school was given 600 tickets to sell and returned more than 100.

What happened to the St. John's program? It has had problems recruiting and creating interest. Perhaps a night honoring Carnesecca by renaming the court at Alumni Hall would give the program a boost. It's an honor that Carnesecca truly deserves!

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