Former IU Player says Bobby Knight ‘punched me in the back of the head’

Former Indiana University basketball player Todd Jadlow has an extremely interesting journey to say the least, and he has chronicled his life in a new book, ‘Jadlow: On The Rebound’ which he promoted on The Jim Rome Show on Thursday.

Jadlow played at IU from 1985 to 1989 under Hall of Famer Bobby Knight and won a national title in 1987 and said while winning for Knight was very country club enjoyable, losing under him was pure hell.

“There were times that Coach did get physical,” Jadlow said. “I think my senior year in 1989, we were getting ready to go to Seton Hall to play in the regionals of the NCAA Tournament and were going to a walk-through, and he came up behind me and punched me in the back of the head, and I remember walking off the court that time and said I’m done. I’m not going to take this anymore.

“As usual, your locker gets cleared out, your name tag gets ripped off, your clothes get thrown out in the hall and you go home and the progression starts where the managers come to your house and the calls go on constantly, and then I think, probably about midnight, you get to a point where enough is enough and they take you back to Assembly Hall and Coach talks to you, and then the next day you end up going back on the court as if nothing ever had other happened.”

Jadlow said at one point, Knight got so worked up in a game against Syracuse at Madison Square Garden that he attacked him on the sidelines.

“Coach got extremely mad. He sits you down while you’re sitting down in a time out and he’d get up and just grab you by the groin and squeeze as hard as he could on both sides of the muscle, and then when you stood up, he’d dig into your thighs,” Jadlow said. “I even shared a picture in the book of the bruises he left there in 1989 after the game from digging in so hard in the side.”

One time, Knight also broke a clipboard over Jadlow’s head, the 6’ 9” forward-center said.

“In a game against Louisville, which there’s a picture as well in the book,” Jadlow said. “Plastered on Sports Illustrated in that game is a picture of him shoving me back onto the court, because I thought a timeout had been called. I was just so out of it that game just because of the stuff that went on and during a timeout, he got on me pretty bad and started mocking me because of the facial tick I had, and I was just completely out of that game.”

Although Jadlow also went out of his way to defend Knight on certain things as well, and pointed out that things were different during that time then they are today.

“The word abuse keeps coming up, and it’s still hard for me to even accept that word. It was in my mind during that time, a time of tough love,” Jadlow said. “A time of discipline, a time of listening and understanding, but certainly by today’s standards, if things of that nature happened, there is a no tolerance for it. So I think it’s a completely different era we live in today compared to back then.”

In a weird way, Jadlow seemed like he was grateful for some of Knight’s life lessons.

“Coach also taught us a lot of being a man and a lot of who he is whether good or bad was instilled in me, and I still have a respect and loyalty for the coach, even though it’s extremely hard playing for him, but I still am extremely proud that I played for him,” Jadlow said. “And I made it through that program even though with all the antics that went on while I was there.”

Knowing what he knows now, Jadlow was asked if he would have played for Knight again.

“That’s a hard question to answer. I’m proud of the fact that I played for him, and I call myself a Bob Knight guy. If knowing what I know now, and if it would be the same way playing for him now, it’d be really hard to go back and play for him,” Jadlow said. “If a son or daughter of yours went to go play for Coach Knight and some of these things went on, what would you think about it? I don’t know. That’s a question I can’t really answer.

“Let me tell you something, the fans and the university are incredible. That’s one thing I tell people. Indiana isn’t about any one person, any one team or any one coach. It is truly an amazing university, and it’s about the fans and the people that make that university. You know when we go there, I went there to play for Coach Knight, but in retrospect looking back, I truly am glad I went there because it’s Indiana.”

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