Excerpts from Bob Knight's ESPN interview Tuesday night


Wednesday, September 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


On early years at Indiana

When I came here, this was a real experiment for me, a chance to do some things with the game of basketball that I thought I wanted to do.

I worked through two presidents, a lot vice presidents, a lot of members of the board of trustees and had no problems at all. I think I had an understanding with them.

I thought I would stay here and coach until I was done coaching, which I'm certainly not now. ...

On later years

In recent years, things have changed. Administrations changed. The athletic department has changed. I've known for I think several years that this was not the same situation that I've been in. And recently as July, I gave some serious consideration toward another job, and have in the past couple of years.

I don't think that my thinking about another job quite overrode the feeling I have for Indiana University.

More than anything, I wanted to get back to seeing us get back to being really good. And I kind of hung on to that thought for several years now _ four or five years _ and probably should have gone somewhere else.

And there's someplace that's a better fit for me as a basketball coach than Indiana is right now. ...

On his players through the years

I'm just so proud of the kind of kids we turned out here.

We've put together over the years, kind of woven an atmosphere of success academically, athletically, after graduation, that I think all of us are really proud of. ...

On the future of his current players

I think these kids understand today that they've got a chance to go out and still play. Whether I'm here or not, they can have a really good basketball team. They can enjoy and they can play.

In my mind while I was fishing (last Sunday) or traveling, I thought ``Who's going to play here. Who's going to play here,'' and ``Who's the best guy to play at this spot.'' Now I won't be able to do that with these kids. ...

What zero-tolerance policy meant to him

Nobody ever explained that to me.

I asked the vice president of the university as recently as last Thursday. I said, ``Can you explain zero-tolerance to me?'' And he looked me right in the eye and said, ``No I can't.''

So zero tolerance to me, then, I'm left on my own to interpret it.

I had no idea what zero tolerance is. There was never anything said. If I get a technical foul in a game _ is that zero tolerance? ...

On accusation that he was unwilling to work with athletics director Clarence Doninger since ``zero tolerance'' policy of May 15

My contract calls for me to control basketball and to run basketball, which I did. There was never a reason for me to ask of anything. Nor was there anything ever asked of me.

All I know is that we were able to conduct basketball since May 13, or whatever the date was, without the necessity of doing anything with the athletic director during that time. Nor at any time since May 13 has the athletic director ever asked me to sit down to talk, told me that he needed to see me for any reason. ...

On accusation that he verbally abused university lawyer Dorothy J. Frapwell

I did not scream at her. I did not yell at her. I did not use profanity. I did not talk in a voice any higher than I'm talking to you now. If that is interpreted by anybody as abuse, that's their interpretation. ...

On university president Myles Brand

He happens to be a guy who puts a lot of interesting spins on a lot of things for a lot of people. ...

On grabbing student Kent Harvey

I think that's something I would probably do under the same circumstances tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that.

What I did with that student was simply try to teach him something about manners. ...

On threats against Harvey and whether they should end

I'd be the first person to say that.

Here's a kid caught in some circumstances that I think was really flustered by what took place. Maybe he just came upon me very quickly, recognized me, was surprised to see somebody that he was used to seeing on television.

I would certainly hope that anything that would be as untoward as you just mentioned (threats) would cease very quickly. ...

On his zeal for coaching

There's no way I'm done coaching.

That's all I want to do. I'm looking for a situation like I had for years and years at Indiana, when we turned out great kids, when great kids came here, where I had a rapport with people in the administration, where we were going down the same path. I'm sure I'm not right for every administration and every administration isn't right for me. Very few of us are right for all seasons. Very few of us are St. Thomas Aquinas.

I want to coach in the worst way. I have a lot of years yet to coach, and that's what I'd like to do. ...

On breaking Dean Smith's record to be winningest coach in basketball college history (Knight needs 116 victories.)

Totally unimportant. I could care less about that. I've never cared about those things.

Pat (his son) came into the house and said, ``Dad, let me tell you what I found in the bottom of your locker under some old shirts.'' He found two basketballs that were marked with my 600th and 700th victories under a pile of old shirts in the bottom of my locker. I think that indicates to you how important victories are to me. ...

On being Bob Knight

I have always felt that I've got to be me. I can't be something that someone is trying to construct. I can't be something that I'm not to satisfy people. I try to be fair. I try to be honest. I have a philosophy about things that differs from people, and I think that's the basic problem in this whole situation. ...

On what's next for Bob Knight

I don't know. I may go fishing tomorrow. I may work on my offense tomorrow. I may look at some tapes tomorrow. There's never a day goes by that I don't work on basketball, and I'll continue to do that. ...