Chancellor David Smith's version of the infamous salad bar incident with Coach Bob Knight has been released. Three days after it all happened at Market Street United, subtle differences can be seen in the way the two men involved describe it.
|Dr. Smith's Memo to File Recounting Market Street Incident|
The gist of the story we've heard all along is the same. However, Smith's account describes a visibly shaking and red faced Coach Knight whose comments toward him were on the verge of screaming. Smith outlines a heated argument with Coach Knight that started with an innocent compliment. Smith's memo reads, "As I approached Mr. Knight, I placed my hand on his shoulder, kidded him about eating healthy, and stated that 'most of us only hear the negatives, it's important that sometimes someone remember to express the positives."
|Bob Knight Comments on Incident - Unedited|
Smith goes on to say he wanted to commend Coach Knight on his handling of some tough losses recently... "post our January 2, 2004 meeting in my office." Smith writes: "(Knight's) demeanor and habitus changed drastically. With a red face his response was curt and angry as he responded, 'I always handle things well and have always handled things well." From Coach Knight himself, we saw a slightly different recollection. At a press conference he said, "I simply said 'David, you know I think as long as I've been here for the most part.. I didn't say all, believe me I didn't say all. I said for the most part I think I've done pretty well."
The Chancellor's memo says Coach Knight walked a few steps away and was visibly shaking as he tried to place more salad on his tray. Smith blames the whole situation on lingering resentment on Knight's part for an incident that happened last year in the Tech locker room. Smith writes about that incident saying: "He abruptly walked away from me in front of Gerald Myers." Smith also says Knight claims "He was only straightening his collar and that I over reacted to his actions and misrepresented them."
In Bob Knight's statement to the media, he never admitted to yelling at the Chancellor but Smith's version points to a clear escalation in Knight's voice in a very public place. Smith writes "Knight then began a very angry and confrontational outburst in public directed at me. He stated in almost a scream, I always misinterpret comments and that I called him a liar, apparently because I had contradicted his version of the locker room encounter." Smith goes on to say he did not deserve to be treated that way in public or private.
Now we know after these incidents Bob Knight was reprimanded by Athletic Director Gerald Myers. Now we have a copy of that letter. It states "Bob, it is necessary that I reprimand you for allowing a situation to develop in a public format that was not in the best interest of the university. It is absolutely imperative that we avoid any incidents that will reflect negatively on the university, the Athletic Department and the basketball program." It goes on to say "From this day forward you must avoid these kind of incidents, and any future behavior of this type either public or private is unacceptable and will result in severe actions."
We know before this reprimand there was a lot of talk of suspension, some premature reports even surfaced about suspension. Among the documents NewsChannel 11 received, was a press release that was never issued which outlined a three day suspension. NewsChannel 11 also received a letter from Myers pleading to Smith to reconsider suspending Knight.