Larry Bird drops out of Indiana University
Oct. 1974 After just 24 days at IU, Bird hitchhikes back to French Lick. The smalltown boy was overwhelmed by the school's large campus. He would spend the next nine months working as a garbage collector and playing AAU basketball.
Bird received a basketball scholarship to Indiana University in 1974. However, he was overwhelmed by the size of the campus and number of students and, as he would later admit in his biographies, wasn't mentally ready for this stage of life. Bird was also treated poorly by an established IU star, Kent Benson; as Bird recalled, the other upperclassmen of the team treated him well. He dropped out of Indiana and went home to French Lick where he enrolled in the nearby Northwood Institute before dropping out and getting a job with the Street Department (the department did pick up garbage once a week, but also repaired roads, removed snow, mowed lawns, etc.) for a year. He played AAU basketball for Hancock Construction
Averages of 31 points and 20 rebounds led to a scholarship from Indiana University, but after living in a small town, Bird felt overwhelmed in Bloomington. He lasted about a month at IU before returning home to enroll at nearby Northwood Institute. Weeks later, he dropped out. Eventually, he found work driving a garbage truck and doing maintenance work for local parks and roadways. It appeared that his basketball career was over.
As the best player in French Lick, Larry Legend earned a scholarship to Indiana University in 1974, which would have been a dream come true for any other basketball player from Indiana. Since Larry was from a small town and was a quiet person to begin with, he had difficulty adjusting to the big campus and college life in general. He ended up dropping out of the University of Indiana and enrolling in the Northwood Institute. He didn't last long there either as he eventually dropped out and got a job with the Street Department picking up trash, repairing roads, and mowing lawns. He did this for a year before deciding to give college another try.