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Knight continues talks with Tech

Formal discussions began Friday to make Bob Knight the new coach at Texas Tech.

The longtime Indiana coach, fired six months ago for violating behavior policy, met with Tech's president, chancellor and four regents.

Taking a break from the talks, Tech president David Schmidly said he planned to meet next week with faculty members who have signed a petition against Knight. The petition cited several highly publicized outbursts during Knight's 29 years with the Hoosiers.

"They have a right to do it. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right at any university," Schmidly said. "I don't have a problem with it."

Knight did not speak to reporters Friday, but he said Thursday that the job appealed to him "tremendously."

On Friday night, he was among the thunderous crowd in Tech's 1{-year-old $68-million arena as the Raiders played Penn in the NCAA women's tournament. Knight sat beside his old friend, Tech athletic director Gerald Myers, in a box overlooking the court.

A biology professor who is a member of Tech's Athletic Council said the 71 faculty members who endorsed the anti-Knight petition are not representative of the more than 900 faculty members.

"I think any university has a number of people that meet almost any action with a negative attitude," said Robert J. Baker, one of 11 members of the Athletic Council who met with Knight and will make a recommendation to the president. The council is made up of six faculty members, three community members, a student and an alum.

"To me, it's just a poor attitude they have," Baker said. "People are entitled to a second chance, and Tech is entitled to build a quality program."

He said Knight also could get more Tech athletes to graduate, noting the 98 percent graduation rate among basketball players during his time at Indiana.

Another member of the council was more ambivalent, however.

While impressed by Knight's record, which includes three national championships and 11 Big Ten titles, Ginny Felstehausen, a professor of family and consumer sciences education, said she also has concerns.

Among them is a comment Knight made in a 1988 interview with NBC, Felstehausen said. When asked how he handled stress, Knight replied: "I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it."

Knight explained he was talking about something beyond one's control, not the act of rape.

"For him as a coach, for him as a man who really values education, which is obvious, those are issues that I think are really important for Texas Tech," she said. "But I think when you look at the big picture, you have to ask, "Where are we?'

"I'm supportive of athletics and aware that we need to draw crowds, but at what price?"


DIVISION III RECORD: Pat Maloney set a tournament record with 14-for-14 free-throw shooting in Catholic University's 82-77 semifinal victory over Ohio Northern. The Cardinals play the Illinois Wesleyan-William Paterson winner today.

Women's NIT

UAB 96, FIU 83: Mia Thrash scored 29 points and Alabama-Birmingham overcame 42 points from Florida International's Gergana Slavtcheva. Slavtcheva made 5-of-7 three pointers and 13-of-15 free throws.