Legendary Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight is struggling with health issues, according to longtime Hoosiers radio voice Don Fischer.
On Wednesday, on “The Drive with Jack & Tom,” a radio show based out of Lansing, Michigan, Fischer was asked what it would take for Knight to mend fences with IU and return to Assembly Hall. In his response, Fischer said the 78-year-old Hall-of-Fame coach is “not well.”
“I hesitate to say anything about that right now because coach Knight is not well,” Fischer said. “He’s going through some major issues and it hurts me to even talk about it just because a man with that kind of a mind, who was so tremendous at coaching the game of basketball, and you know, at the age that we get to at this point in our lives, you want to keep thinking that that brain is never going to go away, and it appears that’s a real problem for him right now and what he’s dealing with.”
Quote is at 9:30 mark of interview:
IndyStar reached out to Fischer on Friday afternoon after hearing what he said on the broadcast. He spoke with a reporter and two editors, and requested that the story not be published.
Fischer said that he didn’t have any first-hand knowledge of Knight’s health and that he was “not a doctor.”
He later gave a statement to IndyStar in which he reiterated that Knight’s health “has declined.”
“Honestly, I probably shouldn’t have said what I said, because now everyone’s talking about it like there’s something really wrong with Coach Knight,” Fischer said in the statement.
“That’s not what I was trying to say,” he said in the statement. “I don’t mean to intimate in any way shape or form that he’s on his death bed. That’s not the case, that I know of. Just that his health has declined.”
Knight’s recent public appearances
Knight, who coached the Hoosiers from 1971 to 2000 and led IU to three national championships, has made a number of public appearances in the state and the region recently.
In 2016, he stumped for then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. That same year, Knight appeared with Trump at a rally in Michigan, where he interrupted Trump twice.
He also appeared with Trump in Southport in November 2018.
Knight has had a tumultuous relationship with IU since the school fired him in 2000.
Knight has skipped numerous opportunities to return to campus, including a 40th anniversary celebration of the 1976 undefeated national championship team in 2016.
He is scheduled to appear at Center Grove High School on April 4 with longtime friend and former Bloomington Herald-Times editor/writer Bob Hammel for “An Evening with Bob Knight.”
Hammel did not respond to an email seeking comment Friday.