Bobby Knight promised he would give me the scoop when he decided to retire as the basketball coach at Texas Tech and likely not coach again.
The phone at my house rang at 8:06 Sunday morning.
"I told you I would give you the advance notice when I decided to quit," Knight said. "This is it. I just don't have my heart in it anymore. It is time to turn to the coaching over to Pat [his son].''
Bobby made it clear that this was the time for Pat to take over and not wait until the end of the season. Texas Tech had won its past two games, beating Missouri and Texas A&M for a 3-3 conference record and this seemed the right time for Pat to take over.
Bobby and I had talked about his situation many times, and he definitely would have quit after this year.
Yes I blew the big scoop because the official announcement didn't come until 24 hours later.
I did make the announcement that Knight had told me he was going to quit on ''The Sports Huddle'' show on WCCO radio Sunday morning.
But knowing this man so well for 40 some years, it was hard for me to believe that he wouldn't change his mind when the time came for him to make the announcement. So after giving it a lot of thought for several hours after the radio announcement, I decided not to write it about until I talked to him again. I couldn't reach him all day Sunday.
I talk to Knight at least once every week.
There is no doubt he was not very happy with the situation at Texas Tech, where the women outdraw the men in basketball even when the men have a winning record. Furthermore, it has been very difficult to recruit the same type of athletes at Lubbock that he could at Indiana.
However, he was very loyal to Gerald Myers, the athletic director at Texas Tech, and he turned down at least three outstanding jobs because Myers gave him the big opportunity after he lost the Indiana job.
He would have been very interested to talk to Joel Maturi about the Minnesota job. But Big Ten athletic director Jim Delany never has been a big friend of Knight's, and I doubt he would have recommended him for any job. He was confident he could win here.
The fact he won his 900th game this year had to play a part in his decision.
He has a great relationship with ESPN, and I look for him to get an offer to work for it or one of the networks to talk basketball. Nobody knows the game any better or could do a better job.
While he was in between jobs, he did turn down some great offers from one of the networks but I think he might be more interested in doing something now.
He is 67 years old. But I wouldn't bet against him coaching again. If a job in the Big Ten opened up, I am convinced he would give it great consideration.
While he had problems with some of the media, it was amazing the good words that were uttered about Knight as a person and a coach when his retirement was announced.
Yes he made some mistakes. But there is only one person in the media that knows him as well as I do and that is former Bloomington, Ind., sports editor Bob Hammel. And I know all of the great things he has done.
Nobody in his profession has done more for former players and former coaches than this man.
A good example of how he never forgot anybody is the case of Landon Turner, the former Hoosier who was crippled in an auto accident.
Every year for the past 10 years I have gotten the phone call from Knight to get handicapped tickets for Turner so he can attend the Super Bowl.
Yes this is the type of things he has done for so many.
The basketball world will miss this guy who for those who know him love him and respect that he was not only a winner but contributed as much to the game as any coach ever.