- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 12, 2000

From combined dispatches


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. The post-Bob Knight era at Indiana began yesterday with something that wouldn't be all that unusual from the Hall of Fame coach himself: an ultimatum.
Players demanded assistant coaches Mike Davis and John Treloar be retained and one of them be hired as interim coach. Otherwise, center Kirk Haston said, there would be "serious repercussions."
"I'd say we'd have several guys leave. I couldn't put a specific number, but several would leave," Haston said. "If they want to keep this team together, they'll give us some support, and that means they'll keep coach Treloar and coach Davis here."
Athletic director Clarence Doninger said he has asked Davis and Treloar to stay although not necessarily as the interim coach. Doninger also said he already has received calls from "a number of people" whom he would not identify interested in the coaching job.
One player, junior guard Dane Fife, said he has decided to transfer at Knight's urging "because there's no reason for me to be here with what's going on and how we've been treated."
Another, freshman swingman A.J. Moye, said he likely would leave, too, and lashed out at university president Myles Brand, who fired Knight a day earlier.
"I just feel like the whole administration, this whole school is screwed up, basically," Moye said. "We were lied to, we were deceived and now it's over all because people wanted coach out. They got their way. I hope they're happy… . I hope they're just dancing somewhere happy. Twelve players' lives are never going to be the same because of them."
Other players many of whom came to Indiana solely because of Knight were also turning to their former coach for guidance. Junior forward Jarrad Odle said Knight made it clear to the team he's available anytime they want to talk.
"He's going to be a friend to us now instead of a coach," Odle said, standing outside the building where banners mark Knight's three national championships. "He's being a friend to us and trying to get us to the best place we can be."
And still other players said they would wait to see what Doninger decides about a new coach.
"If things work out the way we want it, we'll stay," sophomore forward George Leach said. "We are ready to go if they don't meet our demands. Indiana will not have a team."
Haston said he would like to talk again with Knight, who met with the players Sunday night.
"This is still his team, and I'll do anything he says he wants me to do," Haston said.
Knight's son, Pat, an assistant coach, said his father likely will coach somewhere else and he would go with him.
"I'm out of here. I wouldn't stay in this place after the way they treated my father," Pat Knight said. "There's no way.
"He's excited and wants to go someplace," the younger Knight said about his father. "He's got a good five or six years left in him to coach. A Hall of Fame coach that's available is a pretty hot commodity in my book. Everybody's thinking it ends here. It doesn't end here. This is a new beginning for us."
Pat Knight, 30, played at Indiana from 1991 to 1995. He was an administrative assistant and scout for the NBA's Phoenix Suns in 1996 and an assistant coach of the CBA's Connecticut Pride in 1997 before joining his father's staff the next season.
Across the campus yesterday were remnants of the previous night's rallying, during which thousands of students displayed pro-Knight banners and burned likenesses of university president Myles Brand in effigy. Hanging by a rope outside one off-campus house was a stuffed human figure with the name Kent Harvey written on its shirt.
Harvey is the 19-year-old freshman who had a run-in with Knight that sparked the events leading to the coach's dismissal. A sign by the hanging figure said, "This is what we do to traitors."
Harvey said Knight grabbed him by the arm and cursed at him after the freshman greeted the coach at Assembly Hall by saying, "Hey, what's up, Knight?" Knight said he had simply held the student's arm and lectured him about manners.
Regardless, Brand and other university officials saw the confrontation and other misconduct that had not been publicized as the final blow. After reprimanding Knight in May and putting him under a zero-tolerance policy, the university acted quickly, unwilling to let this latest episode linger.
Davis said he has not decided what he will do, although he likely would not remain as an assistant.
"The players would really have to convince me to stay here as an assistant coach," Davis said.
He said he spoke to the players and told them to be patient and not make a decision based on what happens to the assistants.
Doninger understands why the players are upset.
"You've got some quality people, and they are stunned by all of this. They are hurt by all of this," he said. "There's no question they came to Indiana University to play for coach Bob Knight. We'd like to think they came to Indiana University because of Indiana University, too, but I know the facts of life here, and they came to play for coach Knight."
He said the search for an interim coach would begin right away and a permanent coach not too long after that.
"My best guess is you start thinking about the process even after you get the current coaching staff intact," Doninger said. "It's something you need to address very early on. It gets awkward as the season goes on, but everybody knows that's going to be the situation."
Knight will respond to his firing in a live interview tonight on ESPN. The interview will take place at 7 p.m. and will be rebroadcast at midnight on ESPN2.

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