Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2001

Panthers place well in Soldotna

The North Road Panthers turned in a number of solid performances Saturday in a tournament hosted by the Soldotna Whalers at Soldotna High School.

Taking firsts for the Panthers were Lincoln Johnson in Pre-Bantam at 55 pounds, Darian McClevish in Pre-Bantam at 35 pounds, Chris Curren in School Boy at 110 pounds and Tab Key in Cadet at 119 pounds.

Nabbing seconds were Brando Wik in Midget at 75 pounds, Keith Meeks in Novice at 112 pounds and Lance Penhale in School Boy at 80 pounds.

Achieving thirds were Joshua Dickenson in Novice at 85 pounds, Trent Eckert in Novice at 95 pounds and Spike Hamman in School Boy at 95 pounds.

Knight edges closer to Texas Tech job

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Bob Knight moved closer Wednesday to being hired as coach of Texas Tech.

Athletic director Gerald Myers recommended the school hire the former Indiana coach hours after university president David Schmidly said he would accept Myers' decision.

Late Wednesday night, Schmidly said he received Myers' written recommendation, but wouldn't disclose the contents. School spokeswoman Cindy Rugeley said Myers, who has been friends with Knight for 30 years, told her his intentions Wednesday afternoon.

Indiana sticks with Davis

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The guessing is over for Mike Davis.

The coach who replaced Bob Knight in September finally got the job he wanted Wednesday when Indiana removed the ''interim'' tag from his title.

The school made Davis sweat through a season, followed by two days of deliberations and a morning filled with contract negotiations.

''I always thought I'd get the job, from day one,'' Davis said. ''There were a lot of people I cut off and stopped talking to because I didn't want to hear the negativity.''

University president Myles Brand said the season revealed Davis' true character.

''We don't name basketball coaches very often around here, and when we do, we make sure that we make the right choice,'' he said.

Davis led the Hoosiers to a 21-13 record and a second-place finish in the Big Ten tournament. They were upset by Kent State in the first round of the NCAA tournament, fueling speculation that Davis would not become the permanent coach.

Davis didn't believe it.

''I just felt like if they judged me on that one game, I wouldn't be here, anyway,'' he said.

Davis got a four-year contract that guarantees him at least $400,000 a year, the highest base salary for a coach in Indiana history. The salary can grow if Davis meets performance and academic incentives.

University vice president Terry Clapacs, one of seven members on the committee that decided Davis' fate, said no other candidates were contacted.

The 40-year-old Davis, who had been a Hoosiers' assistant coach, took over the team on Sept. 12, two days after Brand fired the hot-tempered Knight for violating the school's zero-tolerance behavior policy. Players on the team threatened to quit if Davis wasn't given the job.

Davis faced a daunting task in the basketball-crazy state.

He was replacing a Hall of Fame coach who was 661-240 with three national championships in 29 seasons at Indiana. Davis began his first head coaching job with a team that had only two returning starters, three juniors and no seniors.

He also had to contend with the interim coach title, which brought on questions after every game. He found every move questioned, especially after making a flurry of changes.

The Hoosiers' preseason midnight practice had a different atmosphere with slam-dunk and 3-point shooting contests and the participation of the women's team.

Indiana also changed its shoes, going from Converse to Nike and added the Nike logo to its uniforms.

The changes to Hoosiers tradition might continue next season. Davis said Wednesday that players' names might appear on the backs of their jerseys.

''I remember when I played at Alabama and it meant so much to my mom to have my name on the back of my jersey,'' Davis said. ''So we may do that, but they have to earn it by working hard in the offseason.''

Clapacs said the NCAA tournament loss did not affect the university's decision and that the committee believed Davis was the right person to take the program out of the Knight era.

''This is not your ordinary basketball program,'' Clapacs said. ''The decision that had to be made was who could lead the program and keep it that level. The decision ended up being an easy one.''

Knight, close to becoming the new coach at Texas Tech, was fired after grabbing a freshman to lecture him on manners. Davis said he has not spoken to Knight since he left Indiana.

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