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Lawsuit fights Knight firing

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 4, 2000


A lawsuit seeks to overturn the firing of coach Bob Knight, contending Indiana University violated the state's open meeting law.

The complaint was filed Monday by Roy Graham and Gojko Kasich on behalf of 46 plaintiffs.

"The issue is fairness," Graham said. "The issue is not what Bobby Knight did or didn't do."

The lawsuit stems from Sept. 9 meetings between university president Myles Brand and trustees in which the men's basketball coach's job was discussed. Brand fired Knight on Sept. 10, saying he violated a "zero-tolerance" behavior policy.

The lawsuit asks Judge Elizabeth Mann to declare the Sept. 9 meetings in violation of Indiana's Open Door Law and to declare Knight's firing void.

Graham and Kasich contend the meetings between Brand and groups of four trustees were public meetings as defined by state law. As such, the university should have made public notice of the meeting, the complaint says.

Even a closed door executive session to discuss personnel matters must be announced by public notice 48 hours in advance. The university has said the meetings did not trigger the open meetings law because fewer than half the board of trustees attended any one meeting with Brand.

"We did what we did," university counsel Dorothy Frapwell said. "People were in town and Myles was sharing information. We did not want a quorum there. That is true."

Frapwell also said a 1987 act by the board of trustees gives the university president authority to fire Knight. Knight's attorney, Russell Yates, said in September that Brand's firing of Knight was in accord with rules established in the coach's contract.

MORE COLLEGES: South Florida men's soccer player Greg Krauss of Clearwater was named Conference USA player of the week after scoring four goals against Memphis and Alabama A&M in a weekend tournament. ... Chris Zayas, Josh Huettich, Mario Lara, Per Anders Eliasson scored as Tampa, with 14 shots on goal, beat Eckerd 4-0 in a men's soccer game. ... Florida's Chris Duncan was named SEC cross-country male athlete of the week after his third win in as many events. At the Gator Invitational Saturday, Duncan's time of 24:42.49 was the third fastest by a Florida runner on the UF Golf Course. ... USF senior Brett Hitchcock won medalist honors at the Hillman Robbins Memorial Intercollegiate golf tournament in Millington, Tenn., shooting 6-under-par 210. The Bulls finished third in the 16-team field. Hitchcock's win follows his co-medalist honors at the Raising Cane Classic in Hattiesburg, Miss. ... The 16-team Pacific West Conference has approved the withdrawal of 10 of its 16 members. Central Washington, Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Seattle and St. Martin's (Wash.) will form a conference on July 1 with five other departing PacWest schools. Also leaving are Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks, Western Oregon, Northwest Nazarene (Idaho) and Humboldt (Calif.). Montana State-Billings, Western New Mexico, Brigham Young-Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific, Hawaii Hilo and Chaminade (Hawaii) will remain in the PacWest. ... Dana Wilcox had two goals to lead Rollins past Saint Leo 3-1 in women's soccer. Angie DeAngelis scored for the Lions. ... Kansas state treasurer Tim Shallenburger filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, claiming it owes $666,590 that wasn't returned to people who sought Final Four basketball tournament tickets and didn't get them.

AUTOS: CITGO Petroleum Corp. ended its longtime deal with Wood Brothers Racing by shifting its sponsorship to Jeff Burton's Winston Cup car. Burton's new sponsorship begins Sunday at the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte and continues through next season. CITGO has been sponsoring the Fords fielded by the Wood Brothers for 16 years and will continue to have its colors displayed on the team's No. 21 Fords driven by Elliott Sadler through the rest of this year. Burton drives the No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford for Roush Racing. Exide plans to end its sponsorship program.

BOXING: Jesus Chavez, No. 1 contender in the World Boxing Council's super-featherweight division, asked the state of Illinois to pardon an armed robbery conviction so he can box in the United States again.

CRICKET: India beat host Kenya by eight wickets in the opening match of the 11-nation ICC Knockout Trophy in Nairobi to advance to a Saturday match against world champion Australia. ... Sussex signed Zimbabwean batsman Murray Goodwin as its overseas player for the 2001 season. Goodwin, 27, replaces Australian left-hander Michael Bevan, who is taking a year off after topping the English first-class averages for 2000 with 1,124 runs at 74.93. Goodwin averaged 42.84 in 19 tests before announcing his retirement in July. ... Former Australia batsman Dean Jones said he applied to become India's coach, joining countryman Geoff Marsh, New Zealander John Wright and West Indian Andy Roberts as candidates.

GOLF: Nick Faldo was drawn to play Darren Clarke in the first round of the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth, England. Today's match will be Faldo's 16th appearance in the tournament, but his first since 1994. Clarke beat Tiger Woods for the title at Match Play Championship in February. The winner of the 36-hole Faldo-Clarke meeting will play former champion and fourth-seeded Vijay Singh. ... Larry Mize was added to the U.S. team for next month's 16-nation Dunhill Cup, joining Tom Lehman and John Daly. ... Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus will open World Golf Village's second course, the King and the Bear, on Nov. 15 with a free, 18-hole exhibition. The course at St. Augustine is the first design collaboration by Palmer and Nicklaus on an 18-hole layout. ... The South Florida PGA won the 20th annual Challenge Cup matches 13 and 7 over the North Florida PGA at the Tournament Players Club at Heron Bay in Coral Springs. The competition was cut short by rain after Chris Campbell beat Kirk Jones 3 and 2 to clinch the team victory for South Florida. Four matches were on the course; one was completed, with Tom Cleaver beating Rick Sopka of Tampa 3 and 2. ... Two-time champion Ellen Port led the first stroke-play qualifying round of the United States Women's Mid-Amateur Championship with 72 at Big Canyon Country Club course in Newport Beach, Calif. Patricia Cornett was one stroke off Port's par pace. Brenda Corrie Kuehn and Judith Allan-Kyrinis shot 74. Defending champion Alissa Herron shot 75.

HORSES: Yankee Paco drew the No. 1 post position and was installed as the 7-5 favorite for Friday's $535,000 108th Kentucky Futurity, third leg of trotting's Triple Crown. The top five finishers in two divisions advance to the final. ... Retired jockey Julie Krone, the first woman inducted into the National Thoroughbred Hall of Fame, will be featured in Gulfstream Park's advertising and will make public appearances during the meeting from Jan. 3 to March 16. Krone retired in 1999 with 3,545 victories in 19 years. In 1993, she became the first woman to win a Triple Crown race, riding Colonial Affair at the Belmont Stakes.

OLYMPICS: Two more athletes tested positive for banned substances in the last two days of the Games, the International Olympic Committee said. The IOC wouldn't disclose the identities and sports, but it said that their delegations and federations had been notified. If the results are upheld, nine athletes will have failed in-competition tests. ... Two days after the Sydney Games closed, more than 500,000 spectators cheered Australia's most successful team with a ticker-tape parade. Team captain Andrew Gaze accepted the key to the city for the athletes, who won an Australian-record 58 medals, including 16 golds, to surpass the 41 medals won in Atlanta. ... USA Hockey said the 25-woman team that will compete in the 2002 Games includes 14 members of the 1998 gold-medal-winning Olympic team and six returning national team players. They will be coached by Ben Smith and Julie Sasner.

ICE SKATING: Michael Weiss, two-time U.S. figure skating champion, withdrew from Skate America with a broken foot and may be out for up to six weeks.

TENNIS: Jennifer Capriati was eliminated from the $535,000 Porsche Grand Prix by Chanda Rubin 6-0, 6-7, 6-2. Kim Clijsters beat Anna Kournikova 6-4, 6-3 in another first-round match at Filderstadt, Germany. ... Gustavo Kuerten came back from an 0-4 deficit in the third set to beat Vincent Spadea 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 in the first round of the Salem Open in Hong Kong. Michael Chang beat Andrew Ilie 6-2, 6-0. In other first-round matches, Chris Woodruff outplayed Giorgio Galimberti 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, and Kevin Kim beat Phillip King 6-4, 6-2. Sergi Bruguera beat Jeff Tarango 7-6, 7-6 (7-5). ... Kristina Brandi beat Sylvia Plischke 6-3, 6-4 in the opening round of the Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo. Meghann Shaughnessy was ousted by Helena Dokic 6-4, 6-2, and Ai Sugiyama had little trouble dispatching Alexandra Stevenson 6-3, 6-3. Miroslava Vavrinec downed Rita Kuti Kis 6-4, 6-2, and Deja Bedranova beat Anna Smashnova 6-4, 6-1.

OBITUARIES: Rich Dimler, a former NFL player and co-captain of the University of Southern California 1978 national championship team, died of pancreatitis Saturday. He was 44. Dimler was a two-year starter and played four years under coaches John McKay and John Robinson. ... Anchor Jensen, master shipwright and creator of the Slo-mo-shun IV and V hydroplanes, died Aug. 13 at age 82. In 1950, Slo-mo IV smashed the world water-speed record and earned five straight Gold Cup victories, breaking the world record mile run again in 1952 in 178.5 mph.

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