Those of you with September dates in the "When will Bob Knight blow up?" office pool may have taken the first step toward collecting Friday after an Indiana University freshman accused the embroiled basketball coach of grabbing and cursing him outside Assembly Hall in Bloomington on Thursday.
If true, the actions would violate the "zero tolerance" code of conduct edict university President Myles Brand issued last May as a condition for Knight keeping his job.
At a May 15 press conference in Indianapolis, Brand said "any verified, inappropriate physical contact with players, members of the university community or others in connection with the coach's employment at IU will be cause for immediate termination."
Of course, nothing involving Knight is ever clear cut.
At a Friday news conference, Knight angrily denied the charges.
"I would have to be an absolute moron -- an absolute moron -- with the things that have been laid on me, to grab a kid in public, or curse a kid in public, as apparently it's been said that I did," Knight said.
Christopher Simpson, the school's vice president for affairs, told the Associated Press the school is taking the accusations "extraordinarily seriously."
Yet, from the beginning of the "zero tolerance" era, many have wondered how the university would interpret the term "inappropriate."
What would happen if Knight was provoked, which may be the case with Friday's incident?
The student making the accusations, who was not named, is the stepson of Mark Shaw, a former Bloomington-area talk show host who has been critical of Knight.
Four of the student's friends reportedly witnessed the incident, but there are conflicting stories.
Knight said he grabbed the student by the arm after he reportedly greeted the coach with the line, "Hey, what's up, Knight?"
According to Knight, he said, "Son, my name is not Knight to you. It's Coach Knight. I don't call people by their last name, and neither should you.
"That is what happened, that's entirely what happened, and any deviation from that is absolutely inaccurate, completely inaccurate."
Shaw said there were fingerprints on his stepson's arm as a result of the confrontation, but Mike Davis, an assistant Indiana coach who was also a witness, told ESPN.com the grab was more "like shaking hands."
University police spokesman Lt. Jerry Minger said scheduling conflicts could delay his department's investigation.
"There's no imminent danger to anybody," Minger told the Associated Press. "This could take awhile," Minger said.
Brand was not available for comment, but he alone is the man responsible for Knight in the wake of a controversy that nearly cost the 59-year-old coach his job.
In March, CNN-Sports Illustrated aired a story in which Neil Reed, a former Hoosier player, accused Knight of choking him during a 1997 practice.
A videotape of the incident, leaked to the media in April, appeared to confirm Reed's claims.
Brand ordered the university's nine-man board of trustees to investigate the matter and, after a seven-week inquiry, the trustees concluded Knight "illustrated a protracted and often troubling pattern in which Coach Knight has a problem of controlling his anger."
Brand, however, concluded the incidents taken individually did not constitute grounds for dismissal.
Instead, Brand suspended Knight for three games, fined him $30,000 and invoked his "zero tolerance" edict.
"It's not a second chance," Brand said at the time, "it's his last chance."
In May, Knight said he had "no problem with the guidelines."
Brand, though, left himself some wiggle room.
"Yes," he admitted. "There will be judgment calls."
This may be the first of many.
From the beginning, friends wondered whether Knight could hold up under a barrage of reporters, referees and fans who might want to bait the coach into a career-ending incident.
"You've got a lot of OK Corral people out there, looking to put notches in their gun belt," former Marquette basketball Coach Al McGuire told the Los Angeles Times in May.
Pete Newell, the hall of fame coach and one of Knight's closest confidants, agreed.
"He's going to get a lot of heat he normally wouldn't get almost anywhere he goes," Newell said. "It's almost like walking on eggs."
In 29 years at Indiana, Knight has survived a litany of transgressions in part because he has won three national championships in a state that views basketball as religion. With 661 career wins, Knight is 117 short of breaking Dean Smith's record.
In 1979, Knight was arrested and convicted in absentia for an assault on a police officer in Puerto Rico.
In 1985, Knight flung a chair across the court during a game against Purdue.
In 1988, he told NBC's Connie Chung: "I think if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it."
In 1993, Knight pulled his son Patrick from a game and appeared to kick him in the legs.
The list goes on.
Will Friday's accusation spell the end of Knight, or will he survive to coach again?
Can he make it as far as "Midnight Madness"?
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