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Staying at home

Teammates plan to remain Hoosiers for Knight's sake

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Latest: Monday September 11, 2000 11:06 AM

  Indiana players Indiana University basketball players from left: Kurt Haston, George Leach, Jarrod Odle and Dane Fife, stand behind their former coach. AP

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. ( -- No defections appear imminent among the players recruited to the Indiana University basketball team by fired coach Bob Knight. However, that could change soon.

Sophomore center Jeffrey Newton was the most vocal of the Hoosiers late Sunday night, threatening to transfer if Indiana University president Myles Brand did not resign. A number of other players, namely guard Dane Fife and freshman Jared Jeffries, said they likely will go elsewhere unless one of two assistant coaches -- Mike Davis or John Treloar -- are named Indiana's next head coach.

"We may not have a team next year," Fife said when asked what would happen if neither assistant is hired for the job.

All 12 of Knight's players attended Sunday's news conference where university president Myles Brand announced the firing. Some hung their heads while others glared at the dozens of reporters fixed on Brand's words. A couple wiped away tears.

Fife said the players hope to stay together and win a championship for Knight this season.

They looked to two assistant coaches, Davis and Treloar, to keep the team together.

"As long as we keep them here and as long as we're here he isn't really gone. This is Coach's team," forward Kirk Haston said.

Knight was fired for a "pattern of unacceptable behavior" at Indiana. He will be replaced by an interim coach for the upcoming season.

Jeffries, one of the nation's top high school prospects last season, said he came to Indiana because of Knight and believed the coach wasn't given a fair chance.

"It's tough to see. You want to see all great men go out on top," Jeffries said.

Players later told reporters they would stay together through the upcoming season if Davis and Treloar continue to coach the team.

They also want a say in the new coach, said reserve forward Tom Geyer, one of Knight's strongest supporters on the team.

The university would consider the players' input, but "you have to be open-minded and do what is best for the institution," athletic director Clarence Doninger said.

"Obviously the team can't call the shots, but we want their input."

Related information
Knight's stormy tenure as Indiana's coach over
Knight's final accuser receives 'terrifying' threats
Knight's tirades overshadowed titles till the end
Knight's dismissal angers thousands of rallying students
Junior guard Dane Fife says it was a sad day for Coach Knight and for his players. (185 K)
Junior forward Jarrad Odle says he doesn't know what his college basketball future holds. (69 K)
Sophomore forward Jeffrey Newton says he will transfer if President Brand doesn't step down. (165 K)
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says it is a sad day for the world of basketball. (170 K)
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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