Indiana Daily Student

Thousands present for Coach's departure

Thousands of IU students turned out Wednesday night to show enthusiasm for Bob Knight, who said he has always prided himself on supporting and representing the student body.\nNothing could stop the herds of students, faculty and Bloomington residents from trudging through muddy Dunn Meadow to hear the 29-year coach speak about his time spent at IU. \nBefore Knight even arrived at Dunn Meadow, students clamored for the spots close to the lectern. Sophomore Traci Geffon said she was thrilled to be a part of history.\n"I'm here because it's a historical event and probably the only thing that is ever going to happen on campus while I'm here," she said. "I think Bobby Knight has a lot to do with Indiana and IU basketball."\nKnight affirmed this when he said, "Just as I've always wanted our players to be a part of the student body, so too have I always wanted our students to be a part of our team."\nFreshman guard A.J. Moye said he felt an especially deep appreciation for Knight's positive remarks regarding the team.\n"Coach really appreciates the fans, and he is a very powerful force in our program," said Moye, who thought about transferring before Mike Davis was named interim head coach. Moye added that Knight's encouragement to support this year's team made a large impression on the crowd.\n"No matter what the times or what the record may look like, every year the fans are there," he said. "He instilled more confidence in the fans. I think that might have been the biggest part. A lot of times, when bad situations like these happen, support can be lost ' it's not personal and it's not intentional ' but fans feel betrayed, and they're the most important part to us."\nSophomore Brock Lusch said he felt that betrayal. He planned on forgetting about his season ticket subscription before Knight's speech.\n"I hoped to hear that (Knight) was going to be strong," he said. "I wanted some encouragement to buy season tickets, because I was really iffy on that, but now I'm planning on buying tickets for sure."\nKnight's presence in Dunn Meadow was especially meaningful for Lusch, an Indiana resident and an avid fan all his life.\n"I've grown up watching him since I was knee-high," he said. "So it was really nice to hear him speak and see him in person."\nJunior Mathew Zinser said he was happy Knight focused mostly on positive issues in his speech. \n"(Coach Knight) started basketball here so we should respect what he started," he said. "He's an excellent coach, but unfortunately he just didn't fit in with what the administration wanted."\nNot everyone who attended the speech offered praise to Knight. Ali Singer, a senior at Bloomington High School North, said the speech did nothing to change her impression of the former coach.\n"I've grown up in this town, always thinking he was an ass," she said. "I don't appreciate him or his attitude, but I just came to hear what he had to say."\nSome Indiana residents complimented Knight's appearance at Dunn Meadow. Junior Abby Berzinis said that although she was disappointed Knight did not elaborate more on the charges against him, she was very satisfied with the speech.\n"I felt it was very moving ' I was almost in tears because I grew up in Indiana. It's kinda sick," she said with a laugh.\nNon-Indiana residents were also moved and touched by Knight's words. Junior Amber Stafford, an Ohio native, said she was impressed by the former coach's final words on campus.\n"I was very proud that he said he was going to move on and continue to coach," she said. "I think that's amazing and that he's an awesome coach. That's what he should be remembered for"

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