Roanoke Times
                 Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc.

DATE: SUNDAY, March 29, 1992                   TAG: 9203290197
SECTION: SPORTS                    PAGE: C7   EDITION: METRO 
SOURCE: Associated Press
DATELINE: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.                                LENGTH: Short


Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight declined to apologize Saturday night for a joke he shared with players who bought him a bullwhip.

Local black leaders had asked for an apology after Knight gave a mock whipping Wednesday to Hoosiers star Calbert Cheaney, who is black.

"What I should apologize for is, I think, 18 black kids having played four years for me, with 15 of them having [college] degrees," Knight said Saturday after his Hoosiers beat UCLA 106-79 in the NCAA Tournament West Regional final.

"Every black kid who's gone through his senior year with me really has a really good job and really's a contributing member of society. . . . I recruited the first black kid to ever play at West Point. Those are the things I guess I need to apologize for."

Knight had jokingly called the bullwhip a "motivational device."

A newspaper photograph of him tapping Cheaney's backside brought in about 150 telephone complaints Friday, said Alice Hoppes, president of the Albuquerque chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

"This issue is about sensitivity and racism," said NAACP branch vice president Ron Hinson.

Cheaney said he and teammates had bought the whip for Knight as a gag because Knight is such a taskmaster.

 by CNB