Trustees expedite decision on Knight

IU president to decide coach's fate today

May 15, 2000|By CHICAGO TRIBUNE

INDIANAPOLIS -- When allegations surfaced two months ago that Bob Knight once had choked former player Neil Reed, an Indiana University faculty committee handed the matter to president Myles Brand, who immediately passed it to the board of trustees.

The trustees launched an investigation, discovering numerous other examples of the basketball coach's legendary temper, including a charge that he threw a vase at an athletic department secretary and reports of physical altercations with a former assistant and an IU sports information officer.

The trustees wrapped up their investigation yesterday, passing Knight right back to Brand. But the ball stops bouncing this afternoon. Brand is expected to announce at a 4 p.m. EDT news conference whether the 59-year-old Knight will be retained or dismissed. Sources close to Knight say there is virtually no chance the combative coach will resign from the job he has held for 29 years.

The Washington Post, without citing any sources, reported today that Knight would be able to keep coaching at Indiana if he accepts disciplinary action by the university. The article did not elaborate.

"No decision has been reached," university spokesman Christopher Simpson said after the trustees' private 2-hour, 20-minute meeting. "[Brand] has a full range of options, and his final decision will be made in concurrence with the board's wishes."

But the board's wishes aren't unanimous. Asked if the board had spoken with one voice, Simpson said, "The individual members expressed their views."

According to news reports here, four of the nine trustees favor dismissal. One trustee recused himself from yesterday's session because he represented Knight in his last contract negotiations.

Trustees left the meeting under a security escort and were not made available to reporters. The lone comment came from board president John D. Walda: "The process has been productive, and we're just about to conclude it."

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