Indiana Daily Student

Knight blasts University officials

In 'Playboy' interview, former coach discusses leaving, attacks administration

Bob Knight has stirred up controversy across the country. In Big Ten arenas. In NCAA Tournament press conferences. On hunting trips. \nNow, the former IU basketball coach has found a new medium -- Playboy. The interview, Knight's most extensive since appearing on "Larry King Live" last fall, is set to hit newsstands Feb. 5.\nKnight lashed out at University officials in the November interview and said his only regret is not leaving Bloomington sooner. \n"I talked to some people, and, almost without exception, they told me to leave," Knight said in the 12-page interview. "What I did in this situation was think about the wrong things. When I quit coaching, I envisioned being able to stay around the University, to help in any way they asked."\nThe in-depth interview, in the March issue of Playboy, discusses Knight's childhood, coaching career and possible routes the Big Ten's winningest coach can take after being fired Sept. 10.\nKnight said he planned to donate $5 million to IU upon retiring, but said that will no longer be done. \nKnight chastised the media and the stepfather of Kent Harvey, the student who alleged Knight grabbed and cursed at him in the Assembly Hall lobby. \nKnight also called IU officials "deceitful" and said he never accepted the school's "zero-tolerance policy." The fiery coach said he should have listened to his wife, Karen, who advised him to leave IU six years ago. \nBrand and athletics director Clarence Doninger received the majority of Knight's criticism. Knight called Doninger the "most incompetent and untrustworthy" person he has worked with in athletics. \n"The guy's a little man, a very small person in all respects other than size," Knight said of Doninger.\nKnight also denied Brand's assertion that the coach had been "defiant and hostile" after the announcement of the "zero-tolerance policy," which went into effect in May. \n"The administration and the trustees have been deceitful right from the beginning," Knight said. "Their approach has been one of enormous duplicity. They've been dishonest in their presentation of things and reasons."\nThe University's guidelines, Knight said, put him in an "impossible situation." \nPlayboy contributing editor Lawrence Grobel said he got a first-hand glimpse at Knight's highly combustible temper during the two-day interview. Grobel described two instances in which Knight attempted to stop the interview because he disapproved of the questions. \nThe second time, Grobel wrote, Knight tried to take two tape recorders from him before Don Donoher, the former University of Dayton coach, intervened. Grobel said Knight tried to grab the tape recorders as the three drove to the University of Akron, where Donoher's son and Knight's son are assistant coaches. \n"Calm down, Bob. Sit down," Donoher said, according to the article. "We have a tense situation here, I don't think it's a good idea for the two of you to be in a car together when I leave." \n"He grabbed me by the wrists," Grobel told the Associated Press. "But when I left, I said 'Look Coach, I'm not here to antagonize you; I'm glad we're back in one piece. And he said, 'You have no reason to apologize, you handled yourself better than I did.'\nKnight, who said he's heard from owners or coaches of 14 NFL teams since his firing, indicated in the interview he's not done coaching. \n"I would really like to wind up my coaching career working for people I really like and respect and who feel the same way about me," he said. "I want better final memories than I have right now."\nVice President for public affairs and government relations Christopher Simpson said IU's focus remains on the Hoosiers' current season and implementing Brand's "academics first" proposal.

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Recap.

Signup today!
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