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Indiana students march on campus to protest Knight's dismissal
BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (CNN) -- Chanting "We love Bobby," about 2,000 students marched on Indiana University's campus Sunday to protest controversial basketball coach Bob Knight's dismissal.
Riot police stood by as the demonstrators, who were mostly orderly, gathered at the university's Assembly Hall. Many protesters carried signs and chanted slogans.
Riot police also stopped students who marched to downtown Bloomington. The students were ordered to return to their dorms. The protesters dispersed, but many returned to Assembly Hall.
Later, some crowds protested in front of IU President Myles Brand's home.
Student complained of force
Knight, 59, was fired earlier in the day after university officials decided that he violated the zero-tolerance guidelines recently imposed on him by the university's athletic department. He had coached the university's team for 29 years.
Knight was in Canada when word emerged of his dismissal. He returned to Bloomington on Sunday night, but offered no comment.
The coach was accused last week of grabbing a freshman male student by the arm while lecturing him about manners. The alleged incident was one in a series of what the school termed a "pattern of unacceptable behavior" by Knight.
On Friday, university officials said they had launched a new investigation into accusations from student Kent Harvey that Knight grabbed his arm, restrained him and used obscenities. The student had addressed Knight by his last name.
"He used force against me and restrained me," Harvey said. "I don't know. He scared the hell out of me basically." Knight denied the allegation during a news conference on Friday night.
'One last chance'
During a news conference at the university's sister campus in Indianapolis, Brand said the school could no longer tolerate Knight's behavior.
"We have given ... Bob Knight one last chance, and he's failed to take full advantage of that opportunity," Brand said.
Brand said that there had been "many incidents" during the past 17 weeks in which Knight had failed to control his temper, and that last week's incident by itself would not have led to the coach's dismissal.
"Bob Knight made his own decision. Given that last chance, he did not fulfill the opportunity," Brand told CNN.
He said that Knight would be paid his approximate $170,000 annual salary until the end of his contract, which expires in June 2002. Brand said the university would immediately begin searching for a new basketball coach.
A coaching legend
Brand said that he did not take the decision lightly, but added that he felt he had no option given the "continued pattern of unacceptable behavior" by Knight.
"Unquestionably, this is the most difficult decision I have ever had to make," Brand said.
Knight is considered a legend. He was one of the most successful college basketball coaches, having won three National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, titles.
He led his team to 15 consecutive NCAA championship tournament appearances. Knight is one of 13 coaches in college basketball history to win 700 games. He was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.
Stepfather of freshman in Knight altercation still hopes for apology
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