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Knight's players give ultimatum

The post-Bob Knight era at Indiana began Monday in a style one might expect from the Hall of Fame coach: an ultimatum.

Players demanded that assistant coaches Mike Davis and John Treloar be retained and that one of them be hired as interim coach. Otherwise, center Kirk Haston said, there would be "serious repercussions."

"I'd say we'd have several guys leave. I couldn't put a specific number, but several would leave," Haston said.

Athletic director Clarence Doninger said he has asked Davis and Treloar to stay, although not necessarily as the interim coach. Doninger also said he already has received calls from "a number of people" _ whom he would not identify _ interested in the job.

Junior guard Dane Fife said he will transfer _ at Knight's urging _ "because there's no reason for me to be here with what's going on and how we've been treated." Fife hasn't officially asked for a release.

Freshman swingman A.J. Moye said he likely would leave, too, and lashed out at university president Myles Brand, who fired Knight on Sunday for "a pattern of unacceptable behavior."

"I just feel like the whole administration, this whole school is screwed up, basically," Moye said "We were lied to, we were deceived and now it's over, all because people wanted coach out."

Other players said they would wait to see what Doninger decides. "If things work out the way we want it, we'll stay," sophomore forward George Leach said. "We are ready to go if they don't meet our demands. Indiana will not have a team."

The NCAA requires a transfer athlete to complete two semesters before being eligible, meaning any IU player who transfers wouldn't play in the 2000-01 season. But a further penalty facing current Hoosiers is that if they transfer to a school that has already had 12 days of classes, they cannot count that semester as part of their two-semester penalty.

That means Fife and others would have to sit out until December 2001 before they could play at schools already 12 days into the current semester.

The only chance to escape that clause is for a waiver to be granted by the NCAA.

Knight's son, Pat, an assistant coach, said his father likely will coach somewhere else, and he would go with him.

"I'm out of here. I wouldn't stay in this place after the way they treated my father," Pat Knight said.

Davis said he has not decided what he will do, although he likely would not remain as an assistant. Doninger said he might name an interim coach as early as today. If he sticks to that timetable, the selection likely will be either Davis or Treloar.

Indiana Pacers coach Isiah Thomas, who played for Knight, said he wants to hire his former coach as an assistant. Thomas was named Pacers coach in July.

"I look at the teams I have to beat," Thomas said. "I look at Phil Jackson in Los Angeles and his relationship with Tex Winter. Coach Knight can be my Tex Winter."

When asked if Knight could relate to NBA players, Thomas said: "I think he's smart enough to relate to anybody."

Across the IU campus Monday were remnants of the previous night's rallying, where thousands displayed pro-Knight banners and burned Brand in effigy. Hanging by a rope was a stuffed human figure with the name Kent Harvey written on it. Harvey is the freshman who had a run-in with Knight that sparked the events leading to the coach's dismissal. A sign by the figure said, "This is what we do to traitors.

According to the Indianapolis Star's eyewitness accounts, a defiant Knight used a bullhorn to reach the assembled masses Sunday night. "There's nobody that's ever coached that appreciates the support of students as much as I have," Knight said.

_ Information from was used in this report.