| ||Associated Press|
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Toronto Raptors coach Butch Carter, who
played for Bob Knight more than 20 years ago, calls the Indiana
coach a "bully" and "self-serving coward" and says Knight used
a racial slur during an angry tirade against a black player.
The claim is in an upcoming book Carter co-wrote with his
brother, Cris, a receiver with the Minnesota Vikings. Excerpts from
the book, "Born to Believe," were published in Friday's National
Post of Toronto.
A telephone message seeking comment from Knight was left at his
office Friday morning. A woman in the office said he was out of town.
According to Butch Carter, Knight stormed into the locker room
after a practice and chewed out another player, saying he would end
up like "all the rest of the n------ in Chicago, including your
"When you tell a kid he's going to be like every 'n-----' in
Chicago, how far is that over the line of inappropriate and
cowardly behavior?" Carter wrote.
Knight denied the claim and told The Herald Times of Bloomington
in Friday's editions, "Nobody has ever heard me use that word."
Carter, who played at Indiana from 1976-80, did not identify the
player except to say he left Indiana the following year. In a
National Post column that accompanied the excerpt, columnist Tom
Maloney said the player is believed to be Isiah Thomas, who led the
Hoosiers to the 1981 NCAA championship and then left for the NBA.
Thomas, however, said he never heard Knight use a racial slur.
"I can only tell you, from my experience, that has never
happened. I never heard coach use that word," he said.
Mike Woodson, an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers and
an Indiana teammate with Carter, also denied hearing Knight use the
"I'm a little shocked that it's in a book because I never heard
Knight use that word. This is a low blow," said Woodson, who also
Carter apparently fell out of favor with Knight when the coach
learned he had used athletic department phones for more than $1,000
in long-distance calls.
"I told him then to not ever ask for a recommendation from
me," Knight told The Herald Times. "That's the only player who
played four years here that I ever felt that way about."
In the book, Carter said he didn't get a college coaching job
"because Knight discouraged him (the athletic director) from
hiring me. ... I played for Knight, was his captain and I graduated
on time, yet he had the power to defeat me professionally."
In the book, Carter also said Knight violated the
confidentiality of a player, also not identified, by revealing
intimate personal details during a locker-room talk.
"After the incident of Knight's locker-room explosion at the
black player, combined with this," Carter wrote, "I knew I was
never going to trust this man with anything going on in my life.
... Not only was Knight clearly not a friend, he was a self-serving
coward who masqueraded as a confidante."
The book, published by Full Wits Publishing, goes on sale May 1.
Carter said the excerpt was released because of leaks.
In a statement released Friday by the publisher, Carter noted the
Knight chapter was one of just 25 in the book and that he doesn't
plan any further comment on the book. He said he wrote the book
"I'm going to stand by what I wrote," he told The Fan, a
Toronto all-sports radio station, Friday morning. "I don't have any
problems with it. I think some guys have to do what they've got to
do, who were in that situation. But I think it was something that
impacted me largely, for the next years on how things played out.
I'm not going to apologize for what happened to me in my life."
Carter's allegations come at a time when Knight faces a
university investigation for allegedly assaulting former player
Neil Reed, who claims the coach choked him during a 1997 practice.
A video of that practice was aired on CNN/Sports Illustrated
earlier this week and is under review by the investigating
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