Indiana University Fires Knight
B L O O M I N G T O N, Ind., Sept. 10 -- Indiana University president Myles Brand today announced the firing of head basketball coach Bob Knight after 29 years at the university, calling Knight’s behavior “uncivil, defiant and unacceptable.”
“I’ve been in higher education for 30 years … unquestionably, this is the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make,” Brand said. “Bob Knight is a legendary coach at a school with a legendary basketball reputation.”
At a news conference today, Brand cited Knight’s “unacceptable pattern of behavior” that violated the university’s “zero-tolerance” policy, including verbally abusing a high-ranking female university official and “gross insubordination.”
The latest allegation is by 19-year-old freshman Kent Harvey, who says Knight grabbed him by the arm and cursed at him after the student called the coach by his last name. Knight denied acting inappropriately.
Brand said he gave Knight, who is currently on vacation in Canada, the option to resign this morning. Knight refused, and Brand told the Hall of Fame coach that he was fired.
The university will honor Knight’s contract, which will expire on June 30, 2002. A national search for a new coach will begin immediately, Brand said.
History of Misconduct
Knight won three NCAA titles at Indiana and coached the 1984 men’s Olympic basketball team to a gold medal. But his brilliant career has also been marred by several violent outbursts over three decades — from throwing a chair during a game, to allegedly throwing a vase at a university secretary.
The university finally said enough was enough last spring after accusations emerged that Knight had choked a former player during practice in 1997. The school launched a full investigation, finally reaching the decision to suspend the coach for three games, fine him $30,000 and adopt a “zero-tolerance” stance on future behavior.