The AJ Guyton open letter | The Boneyard

The AJ Guyton open letter

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For those continuously looking for respect for UConn and Jim Calhoun ... there's some of that. But, more importantly, this is a cry to a University to keep traditions and continuity. Something - with our Champions Center and the KO family atmosphere - we have done marvelously well.

Open letter to you Coach Knight:

I want to thank everyone who's taken the time to send a message congratulating me on my most recent accomplishment. If you don't know by now, I was recently nominated for induction into the Indiana Univers...ity sports HOF along with 4 other worthy members. Honestly I initially heard about the news a couple months ago while vacationing in Texas so it didn't come as a major surprise when it was announced yesterday. One thing I remember is having a feeling of shock, joy and disappointment. What could be disappointing you ask?

Upon hearing the news from Dr. Fred Glass, I was saddened. I started thinking about the bad games I had and how my career at Indiana ended. How could they still want me in the HOF after that? I felt a feeling of "undeserved" because I didn't win any big ten titles nor did I lead any teams past the second round of the NCAA tournament. Being etched into the history of IU basketball means you lead, won & conquered right? I know Isiah Thomas wouldn't approve. I've always been aware of that & I make sure my utmost respect goes to the real winners at Indiana University, the champions. After getting reassurance from family members & former competitors (Mateen Cleaves being one of them) that I was deserved, I still felt there's something missing. As I was riding home from the store, I saw a facebook post from a friend who lives in Texas. It said, "at Bob Knight field house, about to take the court". That was the "Ah HA" moment!

What's missing is the man who personifies Indiana basketball. The man who's the bridge between the past & the present. The negative feeling I had was knowing he wouldn't be a part of this celebration. I realized at that moment how much his approval meant to me, mainly because he's the sole reason I'm considered for this honor.
I feel the Indiana basketball community is torn. My loyalty is & has always been with Bob Knight. I attended IU because there was an opportunity to play & people said I couldn't make it under Coach Knight. He didn't overly recruit me, there was no press conference. He simply asked after my visit "so are you coming to Indiana or not" as he gripped my shoulder tightly. "Yes sir" I replied. That was it! The turning point from deciding to go to Michigan State was Coach Knight's one simple statement to me & my parents. "I can't guarantee you're going to play right away but you will have a fair opportunity to earn minutes, you will graduate in 4 years, you will leave here a better person, & there's nothing I won't do for you once you graduate". I've called Coach on 4 different occasions since i've graduated without any prior contact with him & each time he did what I asked. This is why my loyalty has always been with Bob Knight.

On the flip side, I am Indiana basketball. I couldn't abandon the few fans, supporters & memories I still have. I made multiple efforts to ingratiate myself back into the IU basketball family. Once I did, I realize how different it is, how separated we are. There's only one trace of Knight's time and that's old reliable Tim Garl. I believe there will be & has been a black cloud hanging over Indiana University because of the severed relationship. Indiana has just as much or more history as Duke, UNC, Kentucky, UCONN & UCLA, the "storied" programs. The one common denominator is the relationship the school has with the coaching legends (Dean Smith, Jim Calhoun etc) & former players. The break up was bad, it was awful, it ruined my Senior season of basketball. We couldn't prepare for Pepperdine the way we normally could & on top of that Kirk Haston was injured. It was a perfect storm of issues to destroy my senior season at IU. I truly believe Indiana would have won a national championships with the team who finished 2nd in 2002 if Coach Knight was coaching those kids. Those were his recruits & even though we didn't win a title, our work ethic showed in Tom Coverdale, Kyle Hornsby, Dane Fife & Jarod Odle. I personally think IU would have won 2 more titles. All these things factors into why the relationships seems to be forever damaged, the relationship between Coach Knight & Indiana University.

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. To believe it's not about talent, it's about outsmarting talented players. To be there for one another on & off the basketball court, for life. To have a short memory when it comes to mistakes, but also train yourself to make as little mistakes as possible. To make up for those mistakes by making the right plays. I don't know what happened during that time & I'm certainly not asking anyone to apologize for anything. I'm simply extending a public invitation for you to do ME a favor, attend the induction ceremony on November 7th, it would mean the world to me as a former player and supporter. For you to come see the young professional you've helped create. I believe it's time, i believe the time is now. 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. I'll never speak of this again, I also believe in moving on.

Indiana University, what ever charity you have to donate to on Coach Knight's behalf, lets get it done. Time's ticking & we all deserve a homecoming. I'm asking you Coach Bob Knight, you said you'd do anything for me once I graduated, can you please attend my induction ceremony, which is coming back home to Indiana University?
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Yeah it was pretty cool to be acknowledge as a "storied program".

I think this UCONN brand of family that JC started, and now KO is taking up a notch, will be it's own selling point for recruits. It's easy to BS this at the start but to have this go on for a long time is hard to do unless its genuine.
 
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Great read. Thank you Pudge. So happy we did not have the break up between JC and WM UConn. KO turned out to be such an inspiring and charismatic coach and leader.

I think ... that Kevin Ollie is far&away the best succession process ever at an elite College Basketball program. And, that will be OUR legacy going forward. I highly doubt that Boeheim's successor will transition as smoothly. Lute Olsen to Sean Miller (I guess they forget the 3-4 years of mess). Roy Williams to Bill Self (in actual historical fact ... the Ted Owens to Larry Brown to ... then Roy Williams to Bill Self wasn't seamless; and none of those guys are KANSAS family guys). We have done something big here.
 

CL82

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Great read. Thanks for posting.

It helps you to realize just what Jim Calhoun created. It's more than the wins; it's more than the championships. it is a legacy of family and success that is a really pretty unique and pretty special. When things are rough in conference realignment, keep this in mind and realize how fortunate you are to be a UConn fan.

(By the way, this letter is brilliant by Guyton and may bring about a reconciliation because it allows everyone to save face.)
 
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I think ... that Kevin Ollie is far&away the best succession process ever at an elite College Basketball program. And, that will be OUR legacy going forward. I highly doubt that Boeheim's successor will transition as smoothly. Lute Olsen to Sean Miller (I guess they forget the 3-4 years of mess). Roy Williams to Bill Self (in actual historical fact ... the Ted Owens to Larry Brown to ... then Roy Williams to Bill Self wasn't seamless; and none of those guys are KANSAS family guys). We have done something big here.
That's definitely true. There is a saying in college basketball. "You never want to be the guy who replaces the guy. You want to be the guy who replaces the the guy who replaced the guy." KO has shattered that cliche. UConn has done it with more ease and success than any other institution.
 
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Thanks Pudge. AJ Guyton is a good due that's for sure. For all of those who don't like Knight because he was a "bully" please read it twice. Kids know what they were getting into and what would come of it if they stuck to it........great read.

The fact he has UConn in there shows what he's seen in watching the games over the years..........and add to it ALL of the assistants too? As said, UConn has something amazing here in men's hoops!
 
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^ If people on this board do not like Knight because he was a bully- they did not watch a single UCONN game coached by JC over the last 20 + years.

The issue with Knight wasn't that he yelled during games. He got in trouble for assaulting a player during a practice, and generally not knowing when to keep his hands to himself.
 
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What I love about JC and his team is the will to win. That is our tradition. They played beyond their capability, beyond what they think they are capable of. Same thing with KO. KO and JC teams seemed to rise to the occasion. Against all odds. GA's teams were consistently great. I don't see any of that in our football team since RE.
 

formerlurker

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Yeah it was pretty cool to be acknowledge as a "storied program".

I think this UCONN brand of family that JC started, and now KO is taking up a notch, will be it's own selling point for recruits. It's easy to BS this at the start but to have this go on for a long time is hard to do unless its genuine.

It already has..............

“He said, ‘Mom, I’ve been on different teams — travel ball, etc. — and I’ve never been on a team like this,” Karen said. “It really is a brotherhood. There are really no gray lines. This is really a fraternity and a brotherhood. It’s pretty amazing.”

Said Daniel Hamilton: “We all love each other, we’ve got love for each other. I think that’s the main thing. And it’s going to translate on to the court.”
 
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Yeah it was pretty cool to be acknowledge as a "storied program".

I think this UCONN brand of family that JC started, and now KO is taking up a notch, will be it's own selling point for recruits. It's easy to BS this at the start but to have this go on for a long time is hard to do unless its genuine.

"at the start"? we are already at this position of being 'family run'. I was watching the 1999 tournament games over the weekend for the first time in a very long time, and seeing Ricky and Kevin Freeman making huge plays on the court to result in our first title, and knowing that they were there on the sidelines this past season, coaching, teaching, and willing a young group of kids much like they used to be to a title made it extra sentimental to me. I am looking forward to seeing more of one Mr. Walter Ray Allen involved with the behind the scenes management of the team. It's so excellent to see our guys become this tight-knit family taking so much joy in the successes, struggle, and hardship that the current players go through

I think going forward the problem is going to be too many retiring former players and not enough open positions to hire them for in the staff!
 
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Toug
^ If people on this board do not like Knight because he was a bully- they did not watch a single UCONN game coached by JC over the last 20 + years.
tough love is not in style ,Bob Knight was one of the greatest coaches of all time.
When he was at Army he would take his undersized team( 6'6 limit) and would give anybody in the country all they could handle.
Coach's like BK and JC were special because you knew if you could succeed with them you had accomplished something.
 
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^ If people on this board do not like Knight because he was a bully- they did not watch a single UCONN game coached by JC over the last 20 + years.
Hold on. The two are only comparable to a point. Both used very bad language and grabbed players and yelled and screamed. Knight threw chairs across the court and choked players. It's a big difference.
 
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^ If people on this board do not like Knight because he was a bully- they did not watch a single UCONN game coached by JC over the last 20 + years.

Jim Calhoun toed the line on multiple occasions. Bob Knight crossed it.
 

CL82

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Donde esta Syracuse?
Syracuse está aquí:

480088839.jpg


Así como 4 es grande que 1, Dayton es mayor que Syracuse.
 

intlzncster

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Great read. Thank you Pudge. So happy we did not have the break up between JC and WM UConn. KO turned out to be such an inspiring and charismatic coach and leader.

Don't know if Warde would have lasted a month if that happened.
 
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Guyton said Knight told him as a freshman:

1. I'm going to push you harder than you've ever been pushed
2. Your going to graduate
3. I'll be there for you whenever you need me.

Old school coaching personified (no promise of minutes, starting, NBA, etc..), which means life lessons and boy/man goals with friendship.

Remind you of anyone?
 
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Guyton said Knight told him as a freshman:

1. I'm going to push you harder than you've ever been pushed
2. Your going to graduate
3. I'll be there for you whenever you need me.

Old school coaching personified (no promise of minutes, starting, NBA, etc..), which means life lessons and boy/man goals with friendship.

Remind you of anyone?

I think Bob Knight was a great coach who cared about his kids, but he crossed the line when he throttled that kid. End of story, and he deserved to lose his job. Comparing him to Jim Calhoun and acting like Calhoun's intensity somehow excuses Knight's violent and abusive behavior is nonsensical.
 
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"at the start"? we are already at this position of being 'family run'. I was watching the 1999 tournament games over the weekend for the first time in a very long time, and seeing Ricky and Kevin Freeman making huge plays on the court to result in our first title, and knowing that they were there on the sidelines this past season, coaching, teaching, and willing a young group of kids much like they used to be to a title made it extra sentimental to me. I am looking forward to seeing more of one Mr. Walter Ray Allen involved with the behind the scenes management of the team. It's so excellent to see our guys become this tight-knit family taking so much joy in the successes, struggle, and hardship that the current players go through

I think going forward the problem is going to be too many retiring former players and not enough open positions to hire them for in the staff!


I was refering to any new coach can preach "family" but only time can tell if this is genuine. JC proved his brand of family throughout his career was genuine and KO being imersed in this as a player and asst coach had a template but re-jiggered with his own brand (ten toes in).
 
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