Knight sacked by Indiana

Indiana University have fired their volatile coach Bob Knight for a pattern of "hostile and defiant" behaviour, after allegations that he roughed up and cursed at a 19-year-old student.

Indiana University have fired their volatile coach Bob Knight for a pattern of "hostile and defiant" behaviour, after allegations that he roughed up and cursed at a 19-year-old student.

"Unfortunately, there have been many instances in the last 17 weeks in which coach Knight has behaved and acted in a way that is both defiant and hostile," Indiana University's president Myles Brand said.

Among the latest allegations by Brand against the legendary coach - one of the most successful in US college history with 763 victories and an Olympic gold in 1984 - was an encounter last week in which the 59-year-old Knight grabbed and angrily lectured a freshman student who said to him: "Hey, what's up, Knight?"

Knight has vehemently denied that he roughed up and abused the student, saying he would have to be an "absolute moron" to violate the guidelines, and claimed that the boy's stepfather, the radio host Mark Shaw, was his most "vitriolic opponent" and may have set him up.

Knight said he quietly told the student to call him "Coach Knight" or "Mr Knight" rather than just by his last name.

"It is not in dispute that the coach reached out [and] grasped the young man's arm in an unwelcome fashion. The bottom line is that an angry confrontation with a student explicitly violated the guidelines," Brand said.

The college's board of trustees imposed a "zero-tolerance" policy on Knight in May after an investigation of his behaviour - including an incident captured on film in which he appeared to try to choke one of his players. He was also fined $30,000 (£20,000) and suspended for three games.

Knight was sacked after he refused an offer to resign. The school will pay Knight the remaining two years of his contract, worth $170,000 a year. Tantrums have marked his career, with a chair-throwing incident during one game, pushing and slapping his players during games, screaming at referees, and profanity-laced news conferences. In 1979, he was sentenced to six months in jail in absentia for hitting a policeman in Puerto Rico while coaching there.

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