Bobby Knight To Sue Indiana University

ByABC News
March 8, 2001, 3:44 PM

I N D I A N A P O L I S, March 8 -- Former Indiana University coach Bob Knighthas sent the school a letter notifying it that he intends to suethe university over his September firing and accusing the school ofslander and libel.

According to the notice of tort claim, which was obtainedtoday by The Associated Press, Knight alleges the universityalso violated the Indiana Open Door law, caused "intentional"infliction of emotional distress and interfered withpotential contracts, including employment opportunities.

"We were disappointed and even taken aback to hear theallegations contained in the notice of tort claim," universityspokeswoman Susan Dillman said. "The charges are frivolous andtotally without merit."

Legal Deadline Was Approaching

Knight was fired Sept. 10 by Indiana after 29 years as coach forviolating its "zero-tolerance" policy. The firing came afterKnight allegedly grabbed a freshman student by the arm and lectured him onmanners after he greeted the coach informally.

Knight had 180 days to notify the university of his intention tosue. The deadline would have been Friday.

Knight's lawyer, Russell E. Yates, was not immediately availablefor comment.

Offer To Settle Matter Outside Of Court

The letter, which is dated March 2, said the damages were"lost income, pain and suffering, mental humiliation andinterference with his ability to obtain subsequent employment."

"All of these actions undertaken by the Board of Trustees andMr. [Myles] Brand are well known to all at the Indiana University,but Indiana University has failed to appropriately handle theactions of its board or its president," Yates wrote.

Yates offered the university an opportunity to "amicably" workout the matter outside of court.

Dillman had no comment on what the university's next step willbe.

"This is not a lawsuit, it is simply a step in the process,"she said. "We certainly would hope that he does not choose topursue this further."

Knight won 661 games and three national championships during his29-year career at Indiana and ranks fifth all-time with 763victories.