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 Tuesday, September 12
Knight fired as Indiana head coach
 ESPN.com news services

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bob Knight's temper finally did him in.

The Indiana basketball coach, already in trouble for a history of misconduct, was fired Sunday by the school for a "pattern of unacceptable behavior."

University president Myles Brand, who announced the firing at a news conference, called Knight "defiant and hostile" and said the coach had shown a "continued unwillingness" to work within guidelines of the athletic department.

Ten protesters arrested
In response to the Bob Knight's firing Sunday, thousands gathered outside Assembly Hall, the arena where Knight won three national championships.

The crowd marched through campus to Brand's home, yelling in unison: "Hey, hey, ho, ho. Myles Brand has got to go."

Horns blared across campus, makeshift signs and banners filled dorm windows and hung from fraternity balconies. Some read, "Bob Knight is God" or "Mr. Knight 4 Prez."

Others were threatening messages to Harvey. Campus police arrested 10 people, most for disorderly conduct.

Knight had been warned in May about his behavior during three tumultuous decades at Indiana, where he won three national titles as one of the game's best coaches but also one of its most volatile. But his behavior became even worse since then, Brand said.

The final confrontation came last week when Knight grabbed a student by the arm to lecture him about manners at Assembly Hall.

The coach had been ordered to abide by a "zero-tolerance" conduct policy, which included no "inappropriate" physical contact with students.

"He did not fulfill the promises he gave me," Brand said.

Knight had the option of resigning but refused, the school president said.

Knight, who met with his players Sunday night, emerged from Assembly Hall just after midnight and addressed the throngs of students who had been gathered outside for hours.

"In the next couple days, I'm going to get together somewhere with as many students who want to come out, and them I'm going to tell you my side of this thing," Knight told the crowd, which responded with cheers. "And I think you'll be interested in hearing it."

Brand stressed that Knight's run-in with 19-year-old freshman Kent Harvey on Thursday was not the only reason for the dismissal of the 59-year-old Hall of Fame coach.

"If that was the only instance that took place you would not be here today," Brand told reporters.

Indiana players and coaches had already been informed of the decision.

"We met with the president (the team and the staff) and he wasn't too happy," said assistant coach Mike Davis, referring to Brand. "He went over that he was waiting to get the police report, but it was still hard to believe they were going to get rid of coach (Knight)."

A source close to Knight said that Knight called Brand on Sunday morning and that the two "got into it." According to the source, Knight told the president that he would fly back from Canada, Brand said that wasn't necessary and that Indiana was going in a different direction. The source said that Brand was against Knight holding an impromptu news conference Friday and didn't want Knight to leave for Canada.

Reaction to the news was quick.

"Disbelief," said Jared Jeffries, a McDonald's All-American freshman who is Indiana's highest recruit. "I came to Indiana. I thought coach Knight would be here as long as I would.

"When I heard about it I thought there was a good chance this could happen," Jeffries said. "The university was so strong on its zero-tolerance policy and I knew that if something like this happened he could be in trouble."

Knight held a news conference Friday to explain his side of the story.

The coach said he didn't curse at Harvey, stepson of Knight critic and former local talk radio show host Mark Shaw, but did briefly hold his arm and lecture him.

The teenager had said, "Hey, what's up, Knight?" as they crossed paths at the basketball arena, a greeting the coach deemed disrespectful.

Brand said he stood by his decision for not firing Knight in May and for instituting the conduct policy, calling it the "ethical and moral thing to do" because of Knight's contributions to the school.

"I still believe we had to give him one last chance," Brand said. "He failed to live up to that. That was his decision.

"His unacceptable behavior not only continued since then but increased."

Davis endorsement
McDonald's All-American freshman Jared Jeffries, the prize of Bob Knight's recruiting class for the upcoming season, would like to see assistant coach Mike Davis take over the head coaching job.

"I want coach Davis," Jeffries said after learning Sunday that Indiana University was set to fire Knight. "Coach Knight has gotten him ready the past three years. He knows the IU system. He recruited the nucleus of the team. We need him a lot."

Jeffries said the program would remain strong with Davis at the helm.

"As long as coach Davis is with us, we've got the talent," Jeffries said. "It just may take a while for us to get everything down."

The search for a new coach will begin immediately and Brand said he did not yet have any candidates. Knight will be paid for the final two years of his contract.

Besides his three NCAA championships, Knight led the Hoosiers to 11 Big Ten titles and coached the U.S. men's basketball team to the gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

But his behavior, which has included verbal and physical abuse of players, has been a problem and often an embarrassment since he took over the Hoosiers in 1971.

Knight has one of the game's most notorious tempers -- throwing chairs across the court, stuffing a fan in a garbage can, scuffling with Puerto Rico police and kicking his own son on the bench.

Last spring, he was accused of choking one of his players during practice in 1997, an act caught on videotape. Following a school investigation into that claim and others, Indiana warned Knight that he must adhere to the conduct policy.

The university also suspended him for three games and fined him $30,000.

Meanwhile, Harvey and his two brothers have received numerous threats by phone and e-mail, said Shaw.

He said the teens never wanted to see Knight fired. An apology from the coach was all they wanted.

Harvey and his brothers want to stay at Indiana, Shaw said, and university officials have assured their family they will do whatever is necessary to ensure the Harveys' safety.

"We'll have to see how that plays out. It's terrifying," Shaw said.

ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz and information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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