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Former Indiana University Basketball Coach Bob Knight Denies Knowing Specifics of Zero Tolerance Policy

Aired September 13, 2000 - 2:27 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Bob Knight says he will coach again, he just has to find the place that suits his personality. Knight is looking for a new job after being fired by Indiana University.

And CNN's Patty Davis is in Bloomington, Indiana, today, with the latest on Knight and how students at the university are handling this controversy.

Patty, what's new?

PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, Bob Knight will address students here on campus at about 6:00 Central time tonight to tell his side of the story.

The campus is quiet, though, no protests since Sunday, that was the day that Bob Knight was fired. But university police say that they will be standing by at that event just in case.

Now, in an interview last night, Knight said that, indeed, he should have left his coaching job here at Indiana University much sooner, and he defended a confrontation that took place here at Assembly Hall last Thursday. That's when a freshman says that Knight grabbed him and cursed at him after the freshman called him by his last name. Knight says he was simply trying to teach the boy some manners.

Now, the university says it fired coach Knight for a pattern of incidents that it says violated its zero tolerance policy, but Knight says that nobody ever explained that zero tolerance policy to him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB KNIGHT, FORMER INDIANA UNIVERSITY BASKETBALL COACH: I have no idea what zero tolerance is. There was never anything said.

What if I get a technical foul in a game -- is that zero tolerance?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ask him for a definition?

KNIGHT: I asked a lot of people for -- as I said, I just -- as recently as last week asked the vice president for the definition of zero tolerance. I asked Dr. Williams (ph), who's a former executive vice president for a definition of zero tolerance; and he was a guy that was kind of working back and forth between the president's office and me.

For what reason, I really don't know. That was not my choice. That was the president's choice. But he had no idea of the definition of zero tolerance.

And I thought I would stay here and coach until I was down coaching. Which I'm certainly not now. I mean, there's no way I'm done coaching.

But in recent years, things have changed. The administration has changed, the athletic department has changed, and for some people that may be good, for me it hasn't been. It just has not been the kind of situation that I've been used to here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIS: Knight says he has received calls from teams that are interested in hiring him.

As for players, the many who had threatened to leave, it appears now that they will stay. They got exactly what they wanted, and that was for the university to hire assistant coach Mike Davis. That's what the university did yesterday, they hired him as interim coach.

Patty Davis, CNN live, in Bloomington, Indiana.

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