Hoosiers' Knight pays $10,000 for bench seat Coach opens own wallet to sidestep suspension

Big Ten also punishes ref

East Regional notebook

March 12, 1998|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON -- Deciding to play for pay is common. Choosing to pay to coach is not, but that's the road Bob Knight and Indiana chose yesterday.

University officials said in a release that they "reluctantly agreed" to let Knight pay a $10,000 fine himself to the Big Ten Conference stemming from his three-technical performance during a Feb. 24 loss to Ilinois.

The conference had told Knight and the school that he could accept either a one-game suspension or a $10,000 fine. The conference denied Knight's appeal of that decision.

So after agreeing to pay the fine, he will coach his team tonight against Oklahoma.

"I don't want to say I'm happy, but I'm glad that he paid the fine," guard A.J. Guyton said. "We have to have him out there, or we don't stand a chance. There was never a doubt that he was going to be there for us. Now it's up to us to show up and play this basketball game."

Knight's fine -- for the three technicals plus his post-game comments when he called referee Ted Valentine a travesty -- marks the third time he has received a fine equal to or in excess of $10,000.

When asked if he had ever considered taking the suspension, Knight said, "Unless I was broke, which I'm not."

As of last April, Knight's salary was $145,500 a year as coach, although he is estimated to make as much as $400,000 from endorsements, TV and radio appearances and his summer basketball camp.

Valentine, who called a technical on Knight while he was attending to an injured player, was also reprimanded by the Big Ten, which will not allow him to officiate non-conference games involving conference teams. This sanction did not placate Knight.

"He'll officiate in other conferences, instead," Knight said.

Fogler defends Gamecocks

When do you have to defend a 24-win season and an SEC championship?

When you're Eddie Fogler and the South Carolina Gamecocks, who face Richmond tomorrow in the second game of the East subregional at MCI Center.

What follows Fogler and his team was last year's first-round loss to 15th seed Coppin State.

The party line is that Coppin is a dead subject in Columbia.

"We're putting that Coppin State business behind us," guard BJ McKie said. "It's done, it's over with, it's a whole 'nother season."

Fogler said: "We're not worried about it and if we lose to Richmond, we'll address that tomorrow."

He cited a 24-8 record and SEC championship as a sufficient resume for last season.

"I don't feel that I have to defend the team, I'm just stating facts. That team will be remembered and will be respected at the University of South Carolina. Coppin State was good; the better team won that game," Fogler said.

Even worse, in Richmond, the Gamecocks find themselves pitted against a program which has provided some of the best giant-killer stories of the NCAA tournament during the past 15 years.

In 1984, the 12th-seeded Spiders fought off the fatigue of five games in six days, taking out No. 5 seed Auburn. As a No. 14 seed, they struck again four years later, beating third-seeded Indiana. Then, as a No. 15 seed, they took out Billy Owens and second-seeded Syracuse in 1990.

"The Syracuse game, that was the first time I'd even heard of Richmond," center Eric Poole said. "So when they started recruiting me, I took into account that they were a good school with a good tradition."

Pub Date: 3/12/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.