Bobby Knight was the target of an FBI probe after four woman at a U.S. spy agency accused the foul-mouthed Hall of Fame basketball coach of illegal contact in 2015, The Washington Post reported.
Knight, who won three national titles as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers before being fired in 2000, delivered a lecture on leadership to employees of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) at Fort Belvoir, Virginia in July of that year.
According to The Washington Post report, four women who worked at the spy agency “alleged that Knight had groped or touched them inappropriately in brief encounters before and after his speech.” The newspaper cited investigative documents and interviews with more than a dozen NGA officials.
The allegations against Knight led to criminal probes by both the FBI and the U.S. Army.
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Knight was accused of making inappropriate comments, hugging a woman tightly around the chest and hitting another on the butt, according to the report.
Knight, who was dumped by Indiana in 2000 after the university finally had enough of his tired act, was interviewed by FBI agents at his Montana home in July 2016, per the report, as part of the nearly year-long criminal probe.
Federal prosecutors in Virginia elected not to bring charges against Knight, his lawyer told the newspaper.
“There is absolutely no credible evidence to support this in our opinion, these allegations,” Knight’s lawyer James Voyles, told The Post.
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Although Knight did not comment on the allegations, his wife Karen sent the newspaper the following text message:
“Bob did nothing wrong and there is NO evidence to prove that he did. Case closed.”
Knight, who also coached the U.S. men’s basketball team to a gold medal in 1984, was speaking at the NGA as part of a distinguished speaker series.
When Knight was fired after 29 years at IU, university president Myles Brand called the infamous coach’s behavior “uncivil, defiant and unacceptable.”
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His violent outbursts over the years included tossing a chair during a game, choking a player during practice and tossing a vase at an athletic department official. He also berated a student for disrespecting him for yelling “What up, Knight” while walking across campus.
Knight also told NBC’s Connie Chung in a 1988 interview “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it” when asked about dealing with stress.
NGA director Robert Cardillo, who has a relationship with Knight dating back to the coach’s West Point days, came under heavy criticism from within the government agency for even offering the speaking opportunity to the coach.
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