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'Absolutely, totally untrue'

Knight denies allegations that he intimidated student

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Latest: Saturday September 09, 2000 01:19 AM

  Bob Knight Bob Knight is working under the terms of a "zero-tolerance" policy implemented this spring. Gary Mook/Allsport

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Indiana coach Bob Knight called an accusation that he cursed at a student "absolutely, totally untrue," saying he simply gave the teen-ager a lecture about manners while holding his arm.

Nonetheless, the school is investigating the confrontation and considers the matter "extraordinarily serious," university spokesman Christopher Simpson said Friday.

Knight has been under scrutiny since he was accused of choking a player during a 1997 practice, and he was told in May he would be fired if he didn't adhere to a "zero tolerance" policy imposed by the university.

"I would have to be an absolute moron -- an absolute moron -- with the things that have been laid on me to grab a kid in public, or curse a kid in public, as apparently it's been said that I did," Knight said at a news conference.

The stepfather of the 19-year-old student told that Knight confronted his stepson Thursday at Assembly Hall after the teen greeted him with, "Hey, what's up, Knight?" The student was picking up football tickets at the building, which also houses the basketball arena.

Knight said the confrontation occurred as he and the student crossed through a doorway. The coach diagrammed on a blackboard at the news conference how their paths crossed and then re-enacted the encounter with assistant coach Mike Davis, showing how he briefly held the student's arm.

Knight under fire again
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Bob Knight gives his version of Thursday's incident at Assembly Hall. Start
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"I said, 'Son, my name is not Knight to you. It's Coach Knight or it's Mr. Knight. I don't call people by their last name, and neither should you,'" Knight said.

"This was simply a matter of manners and civility," he said. "I don't think my voice ever rose above a conversational tone.

"That is what happened and that's entirely what happened and any deviation from that ... is absolutely, totally untrue."

Knight also called it an "interesting coincidence" that the student was a stepson "of a guy who over the years has probably been the most vitriolic critic I've had."

The stepfather, Mark Shaw, a former radio talk-show host, said Knight took the teen by the arm, whirled him around and began cursing him.

"There were still finger marks visible on his arm," Shaw told The Indianapolis Star.

"I don't care if we're talking about Bob Knight, the president of the United States, or some guy off the street. That kind of conduct is not tolerated," he said. "My stepson was shocked and intimidated by Knight."

The teen, Kent Harvey, said he addressed Knight "on the spur of a moment" as they were passing each other.

"I called him by his last name and he blew up," he said in an interview with WRTV-TV in Indianapolis. "I froze. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know what to do."

Davis, who saw the confrontation, said there was no violence and no profanity. "He never said a curse word, he never raised his voice," the assistant said.

University police said the student and four witnesses had been contacted, but that school conflicts and Knight's schedule could hinder the investigation.

Following a series of accusations that Knight verbally and sometimes physically abused players, the university suspended him for three games and fined him $30,000.

The school also said the coach has to follow a supervised code of conduct, which it has yet to fully detail, and will be fired immediately if he violates it or has physical contact with any player or university employee.

Related information
Knight awaits behavior guidelines from university
Indiana president: Knight can stay, with conditions
A dark side of Knight
The Knight Tape
Knight's current, former players challenge accusations
Stepfather Mark Shaw describes the incident relayed to him between his stepson, Kent, and Bobby Knight. (465 K)
Shaw, a former Bloomington, Ind., talk show host, is asked about his relationship with Knight. (600 K)
Shaw talks about their process of reporting the incident. (452 K)
Shaw says currently there are no other witnesses identified other than the five students in question. (328 K)
Shaw indicates Indiana University's counsel has contacted him. (162 K)
Indiana University professor Murray Sperber, currently on leave because of prior death threats, voices his opinion on the current Knight allegation. (298 K)
Sperber talks about Knight's character concerning his critics. (344 K)
Sperber wishes Indiana's brass would remove Knight for the University's sake. (511 K)
Sperber is asked if he will be able to return to the University. (322 K)
IU assistant coach Mike Davis recounts his version of the incident at Assembly Hall. (553 K)
Alleged victim Kent Harvey describes his version of the events. (319 K)
Harvey says Knight can be an intimidating presence. (204 K)
Harvey feels Knight overreacted. (77 K)
Indiana University spokesman Christopher Simpson says the incident will be dealt with appropriately. (122 K)
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