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Knight’s Status Uncertain for NCAAs

March 11, 1998

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) _ Indiana coach Bob Knight’s status for the first round of the NCAA tournament is in doubt again.

Indiana was notified Tuesday that the Big Ten rejected its appeal of disciplinary action taken against Knight and denied the school’s request for a hearing.

The Big Ten gave Indiana until noon today to either pay a reported $10,000 fine or elect to have Knight serve a one-game suspension. Big Ten officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

``I’m going to sit down and think on it a while,″ Knight told the Herald-Times of Bloomington on Tuesday night.

A suspension would take effect for Indiana’s first-round NCAA game against Oklahoma on Thursday night in Washington, D.C.

The fine, under Big Ten by-laws, would be withheld from the university’s share of conference television revenues.

Knight has said on two occasions that he would not miss a game because of the incident, The Indianapolis Star reported.

A Big Ten spokesman also told the newspaper that the matter would have been settled long ago if the university had penalized Knight in some way.

The discipline involves a series of incidents involving Knight that took place during and after a game with Illinois on Feb. 24. Knight received three technicals from referee Ted Valentine during the game and then criticized the officiating in public remarks after the game, calling it the biggest travesty in his more than 30 years as a head coach.

There were reports that Valentine also was being disciplined by not being able to referee in the Big Ten for the first two months next season.

The Big Ten reportedly gave Knight a choice between a one-game suspension or a $10,000 fine. However, neither the conference nor Indiana has confirmed the amount of the fine.

The Big Ten committee includes faculty representatives and administrators at Big Ten schools and serves the role of an appeals panel in disciplinary matters.

Reports said the conference found that Knight violated its sportsmanlike conduct code, which includes intentionally inciting participants or spectators to violent or abusive action and publicly and unduly criticizing a game official.

As an irate Knight left the Assembly Hall floor following the third technical, he made a point of making one more pass in front of Valentine, who stood, hand on chin, at midcourt. Knight’s move drew a loud reaction from the Assembly Hall crowd.

The second technical, however, was the most controversial. It came with 9:37 to play as Knight was going out to check on an injured Luke Recker.

Recker, on a drive to the basket, was knocked to the floor. On the play, Illinois’ Sergio McClain grabbed the rim, drawing a technical foul. Knight argued that Recker’s basket should have counted, but officials ruled, correctly under NCAA guidelines, that it could not. When McClain grabbed the rim resulting in a technical foul, the ball was automatically dead.

A suspension would be the third in Knight’s 27 years at Indiana.

In 1985, he tossed a chair across the court during a game against Purdue and was ejected from the game and suspended for one game by Big Ten commissioner Wayne Duke.

Knight was suspended for one game in 1993 after a sideline tirade in a game against Notre Dame. During the outburst, Knight screamed at his son, Pat, and kicked him in the leg. Then when fans behind the Indiana bench started booing, Knight turned and responded with an obscenity.

Knight also was reprimanded and fined $30,000 by the NCAA for an outburst at a postgame news conference during the NCAA tournament in 1995.

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