Bob Knight is innocent

This time, at least. The Indiana basketball coach is cleared of the latest charge that he punched a player.

Published June 16, 2000 7:52PM (EDT)

Indiana University has found a guy Bob Knight didn't hit.

The Associated Press reports that the school cleared its basketball coach Thursday of charges by former player Chris Lawson that Knight punched another player, believed to be Matt Nover, at halftime of a 1990 game. "There is no substantiation for the charges," trustees president John Walda said. "It appears that the allegations are inaccurate."

Lawson told his story to a newspaper a week after IU suspended Knight for three games next year, fined him and put him on a zero-tolerance behavior policy following a host of allegations that he'd abused players, co-workers, bosses and just about anything else that crossed his path on a bad day. But Nover and former teammates Pat Graham and Chris Reynolds all said the incident Lawson alleged never happened.

On Tuesday, Knight's chief critic, English professor Murray Sperber, announced that he's taking an unpaid leave of absence because he has been receiving death threats and harassing phone calls in response to his criticism of Knight.

Prediction: One year from now, Murray Sperber will have a job in Bloomington and Bob Knight will not.

By Gary Kaufman

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