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Knight upbeat during visit to Texas Tech

Bob Knight has brushed aside other job opportunities to focus on Texas Tech.

Ten days after Tech's president and athletic director approached Knight, the controversial coach arrived Thursday for a three-day visit.

"I've had contacts since talking to Texas Tech in different ways and I've just said I don't have any interest," the former Indiana coach said during a brief news conference. "This is a situation that appeals to me tremendously.

"I think this is a community that I would really like. I think the people here are people that I would really like. I think that there are people here that I would thoroughly enjoy. If I coach here, I hope that we would put a team together that they could thoroughly enjoy."

But at least 58 faculty members have put their names on an e-mail petition opposing Knight on grounds that his well-publicized outbursts would cast a shadow on the school.

Knight and athletic director Gerald Myers spoke at the United Spirit Arena. Knight last visited the $68-million facility on its opening night, Nov. 19, 1999, when the Hoosiers beat Tech 68-60.

The Hall of Fame coach, who led Indiana to three national championships and 11 Big Ten titles in 29 years, has sat out the past six months after being fired for violating a zero-tolerance behavior policy.

In interviews this week, Knight seemed eager to discuss the opening created when James Dickey was fired Friday after going 9-19 in his 10th season as coach of the Red Raiders. In the past few years, Tech has lost nine scholarships because of NCAA sanctions over recruiting and unethical conduct.

PITINO PONDERS: Rick Pitino's family will help him decide whether to take the Louisville coaching job.

Pitino told he will consult with his wife and five children in Boston on Monday before giving an answer to athletic director Tom Jurich.

"The most important thing in my life is my family," Pitino said Wednesday during a visit to the Louisville campus.

Jurich has called Pitino his only candidate to fill the vacancy left by retired Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum.

Pitino is confident his wife, Joanne, would support him taking it.

"My wife, there's no question, wants to come back to Kentucky," Pitino said. "She realized after being away that absence does make the heart grow fonder and how great Kentucky really was. She misses it and she would definitely like to come back. It's her choice of where to live and that's great for me."

Pitino's 18-year-old son, Richard, toured the campus with his father and Jurich on Wednesday. Richard's older brother, Christopher, who attends Georgetown, turned down an invitation to join them.

"I've disowned him," Pitino said jokingly.

OHIO: Coach Larry Hunter was fired after 12 years, the last six without an NCAA or NIT berth. He was 204-148.