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Mike Davis Named Interim Head Coach at Indiana University

Aired September 12, 2000 - 11:15 a.m. ET


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Again, I'm going to talk about Bobby Knight and the fallout continues in Bloomington.

Live now to Jeff Flock, who's still on campus there.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Actually, before we do that I think we have news out of Indiana University. And that is that Mike Davis, the assistant coach at Indiana University, will indeed be taking Bob Knight's place, which should make the players there very happy. That's news just coming out of IU.

And, I think I see Jeff Flock nodding, so that is information maybe he can pass onto the students he is about to talk to.

Jeff, take it away.

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I got your first reaction, Daryn, Bill, if you like. We are with the students who are journalists, who are at the eye -- in the eye of the storm, perhaps.

This is the Indiana Daily Student. We're in their offices right now. Indiana University's campus newspaper, and these are the folks that have been, for the last couple of weeks, very intensely, over the last several days, covering the Bob Knight story.

I want to show you today's headline and we'll get first reaction to the Mike Davis decision. They had some indication of it. Heather is one of the basketball beat writers and had some indication that perhaps it would be Mike -- Mike Davis -- and so, I want to get her sense of this right now.

But, first of all, this has been an intense period, Jeff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes. It's like being the ringmaster at the world's largest circus right now. I mean, it's been a rough weekend, but it's been a really rewarding weekend for all of us too.

FLOCK: Now, I want to go to Heather. Mike Davis, looks like it's him, CNNsi now reporting that.

Does it surprise you. And do you think the administration was really over a barrel on this one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, doesn't surprise me. I spoke with Mr. Davis' wife yesterday and late last night and she told me he was meeting with Mr. Doninger (ph). And, I spoke with Mike yesterday and he told me what a close relationship he has with the players. And yes, Mr. Doninger told me that he did feel a little bit of pressure to pick an interim head coach as soon as possible.

FLOCK: David, I know you haven't covered a whole lot of basketball, yet. It's mainly been this internal inner workings. You, though, have an interview coming up, almost when we are done here, with Coach Knight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that's correct. Twelve o'clock, noon, we get to sit down with him and ask him the questions that we want to know

FLOCK: What -- what's on your mind? what's number one on your mind?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, number one on my mind is getting his side. You know, what was his reaction to Brand saying: Hey, you're fired. You're done.

FLOCK: I want to put some perspective on this, because you had an interview with him last week, on Friday. You're going to get one today.

Peter, managing editor, how common was it to get access to Bobby Knight, prior to all of this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not common. Very rare, actually, in the past 20 years we've had, I guess, maybe one interview and that was three years ago. So, it's -- it's very uncommon and it's something I think a lot of journalist student, journalist sportswriters here work for.

FLOCK: I want to come back to the newspaper, real quick, and take a look at today's headline. Your top headline is the possible transfer of a couple of players, and you feel like you've got that nailed pretty well, that these two guys, at least right now, are saying they're going to transfer.

Also, the cleanup of the -- of the rioting damage, and you got a great shot. One of the things that campus newspapers often afford is access, and this is a tremendous shot of you.

Give me the sense of this -- this fountain that was torn up and the fish that was torn up -- Jeff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that is the Showalter (ph) fountain. It's in the center of campus. It's a pretty historic place. And students were kind of reenacting the '87 basketball title when they took the fish out of the fountain and took it to Bob Knight's house. But instead, this time, it was in protest of his firing on Sunday.

FLOCK: This is a great shot. I also want to spin this paper, if I can do that, and take a look at the back section. Beth you had something to do with putting this back section together. You've got some great pictures here. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our photographers were right in the heart of the riots that broke out on Sunday night, I guess it was, and they came back with some incredible shots, And, we wanted to tell the story visually and what people see, what exactly was going on here on campus.

FLOCK: I also want to say that not only do you have this interview tomorrow at the paper, but you are sponsoring, and tell me when it is, Brook. The coach is going to get together with students as he said he would do. You're sponsoring that. Tell me about that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, on Wednesday, Coach Knight actually contacted the paper, and wanted us to help him set up a forum for him to speak to students, because Sunday night, around 12:30, I believe, there were still riots going on at Assembly Hall. And the coach came out and said to the students, you know, let the policemen go home. This is enough. I'd like you to stop.

FLOCK: So, this is when, tell me, this -- is it Wednesday?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Wednesday evening.

FLOCK: And where it will take place?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We haven't exactly nailed down a spot yet, but we're working on that.

FLOCK: Where does the story go from here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The story moves to the new coach Davis, and the players. With Davis being named, maybe Moye and Fife will actually decide to stick around.

And then, it's taking control, getting everything ready for them to play basketball.

FLOCK: Also, before we get away, I want to go to the web site, because you have a web site and go ahead and give me the -- give me the address.


FLOCK: And, how many hits did you have -- yesterday was your biggest day ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It had to have been, by two p.m., we had about a million hits. I didn't check it after that, but, I can imagine there is just as many every few hours.

FLOCK: How often do you update that web site?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All day and up in through the night.

FLOCK: Concluding thoughts on Bob Knight, Heather, I know you talked to him on the phone prior to this. What's your impression of Bob Knight as a journalist covering him? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a journalist covering him, my impression is to be fair and accurate to him and to tell his side of the story.

FLOCK: Got a personal opinion?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Personal opinion? He seemed nice when I talked to him.

FLOCK: And your preparation for this interview today? butterflies in your stomach right now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little bit, yes. I've read some things: "Season on the Brink," "Rabbit Hunter." Stories you're supposed to read before you go talk to him and I think things will work out OK.

FLOCK: What's the first question you are going to ask him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know, sir, you're going to have to read the web site, see what the answer is.

FLOCK: There's a good journalist, not giving up too much, wonderful.

I very much appreciate your time today. I know you've got a very busy schedule, busy time today, and we thanks -- we thank you for making some time for us. We will, of course, continue to watch this.

There is your first reaction to the news of Mike Davis, perhaps, the new IU basketball coach, following in a great tradition. This newspaper will continue to cover it, and so will we.

I'm Jeff Flock, CNN, reporting live from the Bloomington campus. Thank you.

HEMMER: All right, interesting reactions there in Bloomington, Jeff, thanks a lot.



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