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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student

IU spokesman threatened

Simpson takes high road, administrator defends him

Christopher Simpson, vice president for public affairs and government relations, said he has been receiving harassing phone calls and e-mails since former coach Bob Knight was fired. Simpson is the spokesperson for the University.\n"Mr. Simpson is one of the visible people," IU Trustee Dean Hertzler said. "He's the one who everybody sees and people associate him with the decision."\nKnight was fired as head coach of the basketball team Sunday for violating the University's "zero-tolerance" policy. Knight said Simpson was one of the major contributors in the decision to fire him.\n"Nobody screamed louder and longer for me to be fired than Simpson did at those meetings last Saturday," Knight said. "Simpson is a spin doctor. I don't know what else the guy is. He's about as treacherous and dangerous as anybody I've ever been around."\nHertzler said Simpson did not show enthusiasm towards Knight's firing nor did he try to speed up the process.\n"Christopher has not done that," Hertzler said. "He has been the spokesperson for the University. From my perspective, Christopher has not brought the topic up to me or other trustees. Knight's behavior would have been brought up at this week's board meeting anyway."\nSimpson said he is now worried about his family's safety. He has not been threatened by Knight. \n"I've certainly gotten unnerving e-mails and phone calls, as have other people around here," Simpson said, referring to Brand and freshman Kent Harvey. "It's very unfortunate when an athletic event denigrates to where it becomes personal."\nKnight said his relationship with Simpson is anything but personal, and that he does not trust Simpson in any way. But the coach does trust Bob Hammel, one of his closest friends and Herald-Times columnist. Hammel is like the coach's shadow. When Knight fails to remember a score, a game or a year ' which is a rare instance ' Hammel is his reference book.\nWednesday, Knight used him to prove a point about Simpson.\n"I've referred to Simpson for as long as I've known his as … and I'll let Bob see if he could come up with the phrase I've used to describe Simpson."\n"I've thought of several," Hammel said, laughing.\n"No, the phrase I've used most often," Knight said without smiling.\n"Oh, double agent."\n"How long have you heard me use that phrase to describe Simpson?"\n"As long as I've known Simpson."\nSimpson had only positive remarks for Knight after the coach's interview. He talked of Knight's national and conference championships, high graduation rates and charitable work.\n"That's gone with Bob Knight and that's where I feel the most sadness," Simpson said Tuesday evening. "I have unbelievable respect for Bob Knight."\nSimpson had little response to Knight's character attack.\n"I'm not going to characterize any of that," Simpson said. "I really don't have any comment about it. My job is to act as spokesperson for the University"

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