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Knight Apologizes for Forfeiting Game

November 23, 1987| Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Coach Bob Knight, embroiled in another incident caused by his uncontrollable temper, admitted he was wrong in ordering his team to forfeit its exhibition basketball game to the Soviet Union.

Knight pulled the Hoosiers off the floor with 15:05 remaining in Saturday's game after he was ejected following his third technical foul.

"I apologize to our fans for what should have been a good evening . . . a chance to see our players play," Knight said in remarks taped after the game. The show was to be broadcast by WTTV and other Indiana stations Sunday night.

The Soviets, helped by six free throws following the three technicals against Knight, were leading, 66-43, when the Hoosiers followed their coach into the dressing room. Knight refused to be interviewed after the game or make his players available for interviews. The Soviet team and coach also declined comment.

"I had said publicly that winning the game wasn't important to me," Knight said during his show. "I didn't think it was a game we could have won under any circumstances. I think the Russians played much better than we did.

"As far as taking the team off the floor--there are things I wish I could do over again. That is one of them. "

Knight, convicted of hitting a Puerto Rico policeman during an incident at the 1979 Pan American Games and disciplined after throwing a chair onto the floor at a Purdue-Indiana game during the 1984-85 season, explained that the latest incident began over a dispute involving a rule interpretation.

"I'm not sure that even people who saw it (the incident) would understand, but I'll be glad to try to explain," Knight said. "I don't think I was right in what I did."

The first technical was called when Knight attempted to protest a lane violation on a free throw.

"I got a technical foul called on me, apparently, for being out of the coach's box," Knight said. "From that point, I just should have walked away from it."

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