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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

These Changes Might Not Happen Over Knight

May 18, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Hubert Mizell in the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times on Bob Knight, who remains Indiana's basketball coach--with some penalties:

"I'm glad he's staying. Eager to see if Knight, in his 60s, will make constantly astute behavioral judgments, polishing his manners, while managing to not compromise the toughness that helped make the General a hoops icon.

" . . . I do hope for a new Knight, but not so new it's phony. Knowing him, I can't imagine that. This is the monumental challenge of his career."

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Another view: Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News doesn't share Mizell's admiration of Knight or necessarily approve of the decision that allowed him to retain his job:

"[Knight] and the people who run Indiana University deserve each other. Knight and his trustees and the school president are now sentenced to at least five more years together, if Knight can make it that long under a code of conduct more suited for a 12-year-old boy than a 59-year-old legend of basketball.

" . . . Knight begged for his job over the weekend, in a carefully worded statement that only suckers call an apology."

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Trivia time: Knight has won three NCAA basketball championships at Indiana. Two other active coaches have won two. Who are they?

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Dog house: Bill Benner in the Indianapolis Star: "By putting college basketball's resident Rottweiler on a short leash, Knight will spend whatever is left of his IU coaching career--which under new guidelines could last anywhere from tomorrow to 10 years--knowing that if he dare snaps at anyone, he's gonzo."

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Who knows? From an editorial in the Indianapolis Star: "[Indiana University President Myles] Brand says future actions that bring 'embarrassment' to the university will be grounds for immediate dismissal.

"But the policy remains ill-defined. If Knight slams his fist on a scorer's table, will he be fired? Will ejection from a game for cursing officials be grounds for dismissal? Will a vulgar tirade directed at a player lead to termination?"

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Didn't choke 'em: Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Overheard at the water cooler: The guy who must really be wondering about this Bobby Knight stuff is Lou Campanelli. Cal fired him for just yelling at his players."

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Rumors: Peter Vecsey in the New York Post: "Anthony Mason denied he threw a beer at a woman in a Charlotte nightclub. However, as part of his chastisement, Bob Knight apologized on his behalf.

"By the way, Fred Hickman voted for Knight as NBA coach of the year."

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Trivia answer: Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Louisville's Denny Crum.

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And finally: Skip Bayless in the Chicago Tribune: "Let the Barnum and Bobby Circus begin. The white-haired bull in the red sweater will be prodded and poked like a caged animal.

"Bobby baiting could be fan.com contest, an Emmy category. Which fan at which school can hurl the insult that sends Knight over the edge? Which reporter from which network can ask the question that finally pushes his eject button?"

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