Indiana Daily Student

Knight fired: Brand ends coach's 29-year reign

Legendary coach removed from position for violating agreement

INDIANAPOLIS -- IU basketball coach Bob Knight left for a brief vacation in Canada Saturday morning. IU President Myles Brand put Knight on a permanent vacation Sunday afternoon, when he removed Knight from his position for violating the "zero-tolerance policy," established May 15 by the University.\n"The problem is that he has continued a pattern of unacceptable behavior which is similar to the pattern he had prior to May 15, except it's gotten worse," Brand said. "There wasn't just one instance. It was ongoing."\nBrand cited several examples of Knight's behavior that violated the policy.\n• Knight has embarrassed IU in public and private. "Coach Knight has made angry and inflammatory remarks about University officials and the IU Board of Trustees," Brand said.\n• Knight has disrespected alumni. "The coach has informed the University that he refuses now to participate in previously scheduled Varsity Club events ' the most popular and widely attended events our alumni anticipate each year," Brand said.\n• Knight verbally abused an IU administrator. "There has been an instant in the recent past in which coach Knight verbally abused a high-ranking female University official in the presence of other persons," Brand said.\n• Knight has not cooperated in fulfilling the sanctions. "It is important to note that the coach has agreed to fulfill these obligations, but he has forced the University to go through a protracted, unpleasant and completely unnecessary process to reach that end," Brand said.\n• Knight was insubordinate. "I requested, more than once, that he postpone his trip and stay in Bloomington. He adamantly refused," Brand said.\n• Knight initiated physical contact with freshman Kent Harvey. "The severity of the act is in dispute. But the bottom line is that an angry confrontation with a student explicitly violates the spirit and letter of the guidelines," Brand said.\n"The fact is, that in giving coach Knight one more opportunity, he has failed to take advantage of it. It was his decision."\nBrand offered Knight the chance to resign when they spoke on the phone Sunday morning. Upon hearing Knight's refusal, Brand told Knight that he was being removed ' effective immediately.\n"Knight told me he wanted to continue to coach at IU," Brand said. "We had our conversation. It was a civil conversation and he understood the points. He did not react angrily. Coach did say he did not believe he did anything wrong. The conversation lasted about 10 minutes."\nThroughout the weekend the IU Board of Trustees communicated with Brand informally and the IU Police Department continually briefed Brand on the Harvey incident. Brand said the Trustees did not take a vote, nor did they need to, because the University exercised a clause in Knight's contract: "If the University at any time desires, Coach shall cease to serve as head basketball coach when so advised in writing."\n"The large majority of the Trustees fully supports this decision," said Frederick Eichhorn, vice president of the Board of Trustees. "We regret that the coach's actions have resulted in this conclusion, but this is the best answer for the University at this time."\nThe IU basketball players showed their support for Knight by driving to Indianapolis for the news conference and discussing their feelings with the media. They leaned against the wall, with their shoulders shrugged, heads slightly lowered as Brand made his remarks.\nThe players also appeared at the beginning of a pro-Knight rally that started in front of Assembly Hall, weaved its way through campus, lasted more than six hours and grew to more than 2,000 people strong. The rally ended when Knight showed up after midnight at Assembly Hall to disperse the crowd. \n"We wanted to come down here and thank everybody for their support," junior center Kirk Haston said in front of Assembly Hall. "I knew he had supporters, but to see the students come out here like this ' it's great."\nAthletics Director Clarence Doninger and Vice President for Administration Terry Clapacs, will lead a committee to find an interim coach for the 2000-01 season. \n"I thought we were set for the year, and then some," Doninger said. "We will certainly consider in-house, and we will certainly listen to the team. We're going to be very open minded, and we're going to move very quickly."\nDoninger also said that even though a new person can coach the IU basketball team, nobody can replace Knight.\n"Coach Knight has been the IU basketball coach and in this time of unparalleled success," Doninger said. "This has been a golden era with so many positive things. He has been a tremendous coach. It's been a wonderful ride. He's had some glitches along the way. But I think it's a very and sad ending"

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