Basketball coaches and books, man.
Todd Jadlow, a former Indiana Hoosiers player on Bobby Knight’s 1987 championship team, co-authored an autobiography with Tom Brew titled Jadlow: On The Rebound, which was released Oct. 15. According to Bob Kravitz of WTHR, Jadlow’s book contains allegations of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse against Knight.
Jadlow states that he did not include every nefarious coaching method employed by Knight in his book; what he did include is a laundry list of transgressions depicting a bully of a head coach, nearly all of which would be grounds for firing. The former player alleges that throughout his four years in the program from 1985-89, Knight punched him in the back of the head, broke a clipboard over his head, called teammate Daryl Thomas a “pussy” and told a manager to line his dorm room with pictures of vaginas, and habitually grabbed and squeezed his and other players’ testicles.
The list of included allegations, via WTHR:
- That Knight punched him in the back of the head with a closed fist during a walkthrough for an NCAA Tournament game against Seton Hall.
- That inside a sideline huddle during a 1989 game against Louisville – the game when Sports Illustrated famously captured a photo of the coach pushing Jadlow back onto the court — Knight cracked a clipboard over Jadlow’s head.
- That after an NIT game in New York City, an enraged Knight once dug his hands so deeply into Jadlow’s sides, he left bruises. Jadlow includes a picture of the bruises Knight left; “It’s weird because I never carried a camera,” he was telling me Friday over a Stromboli at Nick’s. “But I had this thought, ‘You know, if I ever write a book about my experiences, I want to have a picture of what he did to me.’”
- That Knight made a habit, with Jadlow and others, of grabbing players by the testicles and squeezing.
- That Knight continually called Daryl Thomas a “(bleeping) p——-” and once instructed the managers to wallpaper Thomas’ locker with pictures of female genitalia. Knight also liked to throw tampons at Thomas, who took more abuse than anybody on Jadlow’s teams.
- That on the flight home after the 1986 NCAA Tournament loss to Cleveland State, Knight tore up the plane and ultimately grabbed Thomas by the neck and shook him violently.
- That Knight made sport of Jadlow’s facial tic in front of the entire team; in the book, former IU teammate Mark Robinson wrote that Knight yelled at Jadlow, “If you don’t stop the (bleeping) twitching, I’m going to throw your ass out of here.”
- That during a practice, Knight forced Dean Garrett and Keith Smart to run hours of sprints while barking like dogs since they were, in his words, “playing like (bleeping) dogs.”
While some of the allegations of abuse are being told for the first time, Jadlow does not appear to be a jaded former player with an axe to grind—in speaking with Kravitz, he referred to himself as “a Knight guy” even still, saying that he loves the coach “like a father” and skipped his 1984 team’s Indiana-run 2011 reunion out of loyalty to Knight. (Knight was fired in 2000 after a CNN/Sports Illustrated report revealed he choked a player named Neil Reed in 1997.) Jadlow told Kravitz he reached out multiple times to speak with Knight while he was writing about the allegations for the book but was rebuffed by Knight’s camp.
Jadlow’s book deals largely with his life struggles, namely his battle with drug addiction and depression, and his ongoing journey back to a healthy state of mind; he spoke with Indiana undergraduate students about his book and personal experiences at an event Monday.