Kvancz denies Knight Rumors

GW Athletic Director Jack Kvancz denied rumors that former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight was seen in the GW area two weeks ago.

“Bob Knight has not been around,” Kvancz said Friday afternoon. “Nobody that I know has seen him.”

Kvancz said his only guess was that “maybe Knight is a Republican,” and that the former Hoosiers coach was in town for the inaugural celebration Jan. 20. Kvancz said he would have had no knowledge of Knight’s stay in the area because he was with the GW men’s basketball team at Fordham at the time.

Knight was fired from Indiana before the season began for breaking a zero-tolerance policy the school issued him as a result of a pattern of abusive behavior toward players.

Coaching rumors have swirled around campus lately, after The Washington Post reported that GW coach Tom Penders might leave the Colonials for Rhode Island. Penders, who was with the basketball team in Xavier Friday, denied The Post’s reports last week.

“(Rhode Island) may be looking for a new coach (after the season),” Kvancz said. “That was strictly a rumor thing out of New England.”

The Rams have struggled the last two seasons under coach Jerry DeGregorio. After reaching the NCAA’s Elite Eight four seasons ago and winning the A-10 tournament the following year under Jim Harrick, the past two seasons under DeGregorio have been unsuccessful. The Rams finished 5-25 last season and Rhode Island entered Sunday’s game at Temple with a 5-16 overall record, including just one win in conference play. The Colonials travel to Rhode Island Feb.14.

Penders coached at Rhode Island from 1986-88 recording a 48-17 record with an NIT and an NCAA Tournament berth. GW’s Tommy Penders Jr., who became an assistant to his father in 1998, coached as an assistant to Harrick at Rhode Island in 1997.

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