On Saturday afternoon, Bob Knight is expected to make his long-awaited return to Assembly Hall. He’ll enter the arena for the first time since getting fired in 2000, as he’ll watch the Hoosiers take on the Purdue Boilermakers. The news was first reported by Sports Illustrated Hoosiers team reporter Tom Brew and later confirmed by The Athletic’s Seth Davis.
The game will include a halftime celebration honoring the 40-year anniversary of Indiana’s 1979-80 team, which went 21-8 and rose to No. 1 in the AP poll before eventually losing in the Sweet 16.
Knight has not returned to a game since being fired from the university. The controversial end to his 29-year reign came to a close in September 2000 as he “gave a student an unmannerly lesson in manners.”
When Knight was fired, school president Myles Brand cited Knight’s “unacceptable pattern of behavior” that violated the university’s “zero-tolerance” policy, including verbally abusing a high-ranking female university official and “gross insubordination.”
Knight took home three NCAA titles at IU and coached the 1984 men’s Olympic basketball team to a gold medal. But his coaching career was also marred by several violent outbursts over nearly three decades—from throwing a chair during a game, to allegedly throwing a vase at a university secretary.
Knight returned to Indiana’s campus last April, attending a baseball game that pitted the Hoosiers against Penn State.
Prior to last year’s appearance, he hadn’t been on IU’s campus since giving a 20-minute farewell speech on Sept. 14, 2000.
Knight declined the opportunity to attend the 40th anniversary of the undefeated 1976 Indiana basketball team in 2015.
Tipoff for Hoosiers-Boilermakers is set for 2 p.m. ET.