University backs off ultimatum; Knight to coach

University backs off ultimatum; Knight to coach
by Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel
February 3, 2004

Bob Knight will not be suspended as head coach of Texas Tech for his public argument with chancellor David Smith. The Hall of Fame coach will take the bench Tuesday when his 19th ranked Red Raiders host Baylor at 8 pm. ET.

"He's going to coach, we just found out there is no suspension," said assistant coach Pat Knight three hours before tip-off.

Knight had been issued an ultimatum Monday night by Smith: Take a five-day suspension – causing Knight to miss games against Baylor and at Kansas – or be fired as the Red Raiders' head coach. But he had never accepted the suspension as it had been widely reported.

Instead Smith was hit with a wave of negative reaction from trustees, alums and students concerning the suspension and the ultimatum was lifted Tuesday afternoon. Knight will serve no suspension at all.

The incident occured Monday at local supermarket. Smith approached Knight at the salad bar and told him he thought he had been doing a good job this year, particularly in controlling his temper. Knight said he thought he had done a good job for the past three years and walked to the other side of the salad bar. Smith then followed him around and asked what issues the two were having.

One thing led to another and both men wound up shouting at each other. There was no physical contact and it ended fairly quickly. The two men are not close friends.

The Red Raiders, who averaged just less than 12 wins per season in the four years before Knight arrived, are 16-4 this season. While at Indiana in March 2000, Knight was investigated by the university after former player Neil Reed said the coach choked him at a practice in 1997. Two months later, Knight was fined $30,000, suspended for three games and placed under a "zero-tolerance behavior policy." In September 2000, Knight was accused of grabbing a student by the arm, cursing and lecturing him about manners after the coach was addressed, "Hey, Knight, what's up?"

That month, Knight was fired from Indiana for violating the behavior policy. Indiana president Myles Brand, now president of the NCAA, fired him for what Brand called a ``pattern of unacceptable behavior.'' This past December, Knight went into a profanity-filled tirade after an ESPN reporter asked about his relationship with former player Steve Alford, who was also participating in the interview. Knight later apologized.

Knight had brought Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to Lubbock to speak to the Law School and was entertaining him this week while preparing for the game.

Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports national columnist.


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Updated on Tuesday, Feb 3, 2004 3:16 pm, EST

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