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Archive for Friday, March 9, 2001

Texas Tech’s Dickey in the dark on Knight’s status

March 9, 2001

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— If Texas Tech plans to hire Bob Knight, it's keeping current coach James Dickey in the dark along with everyone else.

"Tough loss," was all athletics director Gerald Myers said to Dickey on Thursday after Oklahoma State defeated Texas Tech, 71-59, in the first round of the Big 12 tournament.

Dickey, who finished in a tie for last place in the Big 12's regular season, said he met with Myers on Tuesday and asked him face-to-face if he was going to be replaced.

"He said he'd talk with me later," Dickey said.

Meantime, reports swirled that Tech officials were courting the fired Indiana coach.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal quoted an unidentified former college coach who is close to Knight as saying that Myers and Tech president David Schmidly were in Florida to talk to Knight about the possibility of replacing Dickey.

In a report on its Web site, the Dallas Morning News quoted an unidentified source as saying the university had favorable discussions with Knight. It also quoted sources as saying a campus visit by Knight would probably occur before a job is offered.

The Morning News source also said the school plans to fire Dickey and buy out his contract, which has three years left with a base salary of $200,000.

Myers refused comment Thursday.

Knight, who won three national championships at Indiana, was fired last fall after he grabbed a student by the arm and was said to have violated a no-tolerance policy.

Knight, who has been spending time with the St. Louis Cardinals at spring training, did not speak with reporters Thursday. But Florida Marlins manager John Boles said, "I showed him around the place a little bit and asked him how he was enjoying the year off, and he said he wasn't. He said he'll be someplace. He'll coach next year."

Dickey came under fire as the Red Raiders went 9-19 overall and 3-13 in the Big 12.

Knight has said he wants to coach again. In many respects, the Tech job might be a good fit for him and the school. It would allow Knight to resurface in a high-profile conference but a low-intensity media town in West Texas. He would have a brand new facility to work in, and he and Myers are old friends.

Plus, Texas is a fertile recruiting area.

From Tech's point of view, the Hall of Fame coach would automatically spark renewed interest among fans and boost lagging attendance.

Myers invited Indiana to play in the first game in the new arena in November 1999. Knight is even quoted in the Tech media guide as praising the facility, proclaiming, "There's no better place in our (Big Ten) league."

Knight has 763 games as a college coach, starting at Army in 1965 before moving on to Indiana in 1971.

"I have tremendous respect for coach Knight and what he's done for basketball," Dickey said Thursday. "He's one of the brilliant minds in the game."

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