BY RODNEY MARGISON
When it comes to sports stories, many are like fish tales—exaggerated beyond recognizable truth. But in Unknown, Untold, and Unbelievable Stories of IU Sports, writers John C. Decker, Pete DiPrimio, and Doug Wilson present 11 unusual stories about Indiana University sports, all of which are true.
The IU Press publication takes readers beyond the familiar Hoosier arenas and athletic fields to lay out some fascinating, behind-the-scenes sports history tidbits.
With more than 70 years of combined experience covering IU Athletics, the authors start by exploring the history of the Hoosiers’ black football uniforms (which they wore only once, in a 49-7 loss to Kentucky in 1997) and the role former IU basketball coach Bobby Knight had in their subsequent disappearance.
There is also a story about a little-known statistic regarding what is known as A.J. Moye’s “play.” Many, if not most, Indiana basketball fans can recall when the 6-foot-2 Moye blocked an attempted dunk by Duke University’s 6-foot-9 Carlos Boozer in the 2002 NCAA Tournament. That career-defining play helped lead Indiana to an upset win over the No. 1 Blue Devils in the Sweet 16, and ultimately to an appearance in the tournament’s championship game. But how many know that the official box score lists Moye with exactly zero blocks?
Readers also learn about IU’s tradition of the “manager’s book,” created by student managers at the completion of each sports season. The first manager’s book was a 1922 edition for football, compiled by IU’s first senior sports manager—future Pulitzer Prize–winning war journalist Ernie Pyle.
But there’s a lot more here than just football and basketball stories. With eight more tales that encompass IU’s baseball, soccer, and track programs, Unknown, Untold, and Unbelievable Stories of IU Sports is packed with enough rare information that, after reading it, anyone—from the casual fan to the dyed-in-the-wool fanatic—can be a Hoosier sports expert on trivia night.