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Dick Vitale Optimistic Bob Knight Will Be at Purdue Game After Meeting With the Former IU Coach

The rumors have been swirling all week.

Sources have confirmed that former Indiana head coach Bob Knight will be at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Saturday.  But each time those tips come with the same caveat.

Ultimately, it is up to the Coach.

And Indiana fans know how that goes.  Rumors of a Bob Knight return to an IU basketball game have come and gone seemingly dozens of times — with no Coach.

But the ESPN color commentator for Indiana’s game on Saturday against Purdue has a different level of access than most.  Knight presented Dick Vitale when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

And Vitale visited with Knight and his family on Friday.

Vitale reported on Twitter on Friday evening that he is “optimistic” that Knight will return to the place where he once patrolled the sidelines for 30 years.

Optimistic is the only word that can realistically be used.

Again, ultimately it is up to Knight.  And his family.

Knight, who will turn 80 in October, has been widely reported to be in failing health.  And that could ultimately influence the decision.

Knight has a career record of 902-371, including a 662-239 mark at Indiana.  He led the Hoosiers to three national championships.

The Ohio native had indicated over the last 20 years that he had no intention to make a public return to the school after being fired in 2000.

But Knight has since made an appearance at an IU baseball game and moved back to Bloomington.

He has been seen all over town since his return.  Everywhere that is, except Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, where he last appeared for an IU basketball game on Feb. 29, 2000 — against Purdue.

Could a question that has persisted for nearly 20 years finally be answered on Saturday?  Could Bob Knight return to IU for a basketball game?

No one knows for sure.

But things are looking optimistic.

More optimistic than ever.

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