I find myself yearning for the days of Bobby Knight more and more everyday.
But not for the championships, the wins, the players. What I miss is passion.
When Bobby Knight left Indiana University, students protested, holding signs and chanting for the General to return. Holding Myles Brand responsible, many have never forgiven him (myself included) and continue to chastise a man who hasn't been involved with the university for years.
But now, the program has hit its lowest point, ever. The Hoosiers have already accomplished a few records, and none of them come with bragging rights. The loss to Illinois this past weekend earned this years team the honor of losing the most games in a season ever.
And that's not even the worst part.
The fans have stopped caring.
Fans still go to games, largely because of the new $5 balcony ticket special, but its not the same anymore. Fans leave Assembly Hall and go on with their lives the same, whether IU wins or loses. It used to be different.
As a child, and even as a teen, my schedule revolved around when IU played. I even had a shrine to the great Hoosiers, and frantically cut out whatever the Indianapolis Star had on the team. But does anyone rejoice in the Hoosiers anymore?
I place most of the blame on the University itself. Charging students almost $300 dollars for season tickets and by offering very little payment options, the University has alienated the team's most important source of fans: the students.
The rest of the blame has to be placed on poor coaching hires. Or at least some of it.
The emotional ride of Mike Davis, the National Championship loss, followed by the Sampson saga, would lead many fans to an emotional heartbreak. Add on a season with one Big Ten win and a team with a better chance of sinking a three pointer than making a free throw; I'm shocked we have any fans left at all.
All I know is when Tom Crean said, "This is Indiana," he had no idea.