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Sports Moments in Time: 35 Years Ago Today – Bobby Knight Throws a Chair

Posted on February 23, 2020 by Dean Hybl

Few figures in college sports have towered over the domain as forcefully as that of Bobby Knight over college basketball for more than 30 years.  Known as “The General”, Knight retired in 2008 as the all-time winningest coach in Division I men’s basketball history with 902 victories (currently ranks 3rd) and is also credited with ensuring that his players were not just athletes, but true student-athletes.

However, his legacy is forever tarnished by his reputation as a bully and inability to control his anger sometimes both on and off the court.

Today, February 23rd, marks the 35th anniversary of one of his most famous blowups and in many ways the event that foreshadowed his fall from professional grace.

During a Big Ten basketball game between Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers and the Purdue Boilermakers, Knight became frustrated with a call by the officials and received a technical foul. Irate, Knight turned to his bench, picked up a plastic chair and then flung it across the court. He received a second technical foul and ejection and was later suspended for a game and fined by the Big Ten.

Indiana ultimately lost 72-63 and Knight’s reputation for a quick temper was suddenly part of the national lexicon.

It would take 15 years and a number of additional incidents, but Knight was eventually fired by Indiana University for his repeated outbursts, including incidents of laying hands on players.

He completed his coaching career at Texas Tech and, ironically considering all the years he harassed the media, spent most of the next decade as a basketball commentator for ESPN.

The 79-year-old Knight recently returned to Indiana for the first time since he was fired, something he had for many years said he would never do.

Below is the clip of Knight’s famous chair toss:

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