Indiana Daily Student

Knight rally at Nick's fizzles

It was nothing compared to Sunday's riots.\nNo burned effigies of Myles Brand, no fish uprooted from Showalter Fountain, no police in riot gear.\nTuesday's demonstration outside of Nick's English Hut, 423 E. Kirkwood Ave., attracted about 40 students, residents and television reporters. In brief spurts between 5 and 6 p.m. the crowd chanted, pledging support for Bob Knight.\nProducer Adam Delevitt of the Chicago radio station ESPN 1000, which sponsored the event, blamed the small participation on short notice and little publicity. Delevitt grew up in the Chicago area and attended Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., but said he is a vocal Hoosier fan nonetheless. \nWithin minutes of breaking the Knight story on his show early Sunday afternoon, Delevitt's radio switchboard lit up with dozens of calls. For the next five hours, he fielded calls from dozens of IU alumni. \nAn adamant Knight fan, Delevitt decided to sponsor a protest and air it outside Nick's, Bloomington's unofficial shrine to IU sports. \nTuesday night, inside the bar, most diners declined to come outdoors and finished their dinners instead. Outside, the rally came to a slow start, but several dozen protesters finally chanted, "Hell no, Knight won't go."\n"Don't say Knight," a student said. "Say Coach Knight."\nSomeone chimed in, "Hell no, I want a T-shirt," and glanced at the table set up with free ESPN promotional products.\nSeveral passersby approached the table, collected a T-shirt and promptly walked off. One student wrapped his shirt bandanna style around his head. Freshman Melissa Richardson, walking home from her job at the Association of College Unions International, stopped by the demonstration, pleased at another opportunity to support Knight.\nShe found out about his termination Sunday afternoon when she visited a friend working at White Castle. Richardson attended high school with Kent Harvey, the freshman in the spotlight but said she never knew him well. \n"My freshman year started off with this happening, and I'll never forget it," Richardson said, gesturing toward the small gathering outside Nick's. "All this is not going to bring Coach back."\nMeanwhile, the crowd yelled, "Bob got robbed!"\nA driver in a black Jetta jeered at the protesters.\n"We will fight -- for Coach Knight!," they called out.\n"Long Live Kent Harvey!" yelled a bearded man rolling past in a blue Volkswagen Rabbit.\nSeveral students responded with muffled obscenities.\nKat Miller, a Bloomington North High School freshman, wasn't old enough to enter Nick's but wore an ESPN hat and shirt and stood outside. Whenever she tells people out of state where she's from, they immediately associate Bloomington with Knight, she said. \n"Bobby Knight expresses himself, and he's being oppressed because he's kind of loud and has a bit of a temper," she said. \nJason Stellema only learned of Knight's termination late Sunday night when he stepped outside of his workplace, Kilroy's on Kirkwood, 502 E. Kirkwood Ave., and saw the throngs of protesters marching along the Sample Gates. Stellema, a Bloomington resident, grew up on IU basketball ' and on Knight's personality. \n"It's like an alcoholic of 29 years being told that they need to stop drinking," Stellema said. "Wherever he goes, I will support him. If he goes to Purdue, I will support him"

Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student