Indiana Daily Student

Faculty reaction to Knight dismissal mixed

Following the explosive news that college basketball coaching legend Bob Knight was fired, members of the faculty understood the logic behind Knight's dismissal, but reactions were still mixed.\n Gerald Larson, director of India Studies, was home when the news broke. He expressed his regret that Knight left IU ' after 30 years of coaching ' on bitter terms.\n "I was home here and thought it was about appropriate on the part of (IU President) Myles Brand. I support Myles Brand," he said. "I think Bob Knight is a wonderful coach, but he neglected to control himself and so he has to own his own termination. It's too bad. It's too bad for IU. I think the faculty would be supportive of his termination."\n Brand announced Knight's termination during a press conference Sunday. He said Knight violated the zero tolerance policy that went into effect May 15. The committee overseeing Knight's reprimand was scheduled to meet Sept. 15. Since Brand's announcement, the campus erupted in massive student demonstrations. Police were on hand throughout the night.\n Victor Viola, professor of physics and avid basketball lover, was upset with the decision to dismiss Knight. "I love the game and I have great respect for coach Knight. I thought President Brand's excuses were pretty lame. However, I was not there and I didn't see anything."\n Viola didn't deny Knight's history of anger, but said he was disappointed that University officials didn't take action sooner and that basketball experts were not heavily involved in the process. "These policies should have been laid down many years ago. I didn't see anything in Knight's behavior. The one thing that really bothers me about this whole thing is that decisions are being made by people who are not directly involved in the program." \n One sentiment faculty members are making is the hope that the University's academic programs are recognized. \n "I guess one comment I made earlier is that I think there's far too much concern with Bob Knight when our academic credentials are at the bottom of the Big Ten," Viola said. "Too many faculty are preoccupied with the Bob Knight aura. He is not politically correct and he never will be. That I think is what too many people are focusing on rather than the substance."\n Optometry professor Clifford Brooks didn't expect the decision will change Monday's classes. \n "I'm over in the optometry school and we'll have class," he said. "On my side of the campus, I don't expect to see anything change. \n "I didn't know the full situation and it's a disappointment, of course. You never like to see someone go out in a situation like this. The committee was really wanting to see a change and that you want to see things resolved happily. Nobody ever wants to be in a situation where they have to make the decision the committee had to make."\n Larson added, "I think Indiana University is much more than Bob Knight. He's a great symbol of athletic prowess. IU will be fine, and I suspect Bob Knight will be fine, too"

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