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Idaho Recipient Of Warm, Fuzzy Gift From Knight

Sat., April 1, 1995

Was it a peace offering? An apology? A gift?

Folks at the University of Idaho aren’t sure. But Indiana coach Bob Knight’s sweater - apparently the one he wore the night he cussed out UI regional development director Rance Pugmire at a press conference two weeks ago - is in Vandals athletic director Pete Liske’s office.

As you may recall, Pugmire, a liaison at the press conference, was mistakenly told that Knight wouldn’t be attending and announced it to the media. Minutes later, Knight arrived, fuming.

The infamous red sweater was transported by Gil Brandt, a friend of Knight’s, who was in Boise when Knight erupted following the Hoosiers’ first-round loss to Missouri.

Brandt, the former Dallas Cowboys’ executive, gave the sweater to Liske at the Idaho Sports Banquet last weekend in Coeur d’Alene.

Why? “I don’t know,” Liske said. “There was no message. I think it’s a funny statement, more than anything else.”

Brandt wasn’t available for comment.

Liske said he didn’t know if the sweater were meant for Pugmire as an apology.

If so, Pugmire, who handled Knight’s tirade with aplomb, joked, “At least I’ll have something to cover my backside.”

Pugmire said he’d rather have received a call or letter from Knight if his intent was to apologize.

Liske wasn’t sure what he’ll do with the garment.

Delay game

Most believe Oklahoma State’s only chance to beat UCLA today is to reduce the pace to a crawl.

So maybe Bryant “Big Country” Reeves was just following orders when he shattered the backboard with a reverse, two-handed jam during Friday’s practice at the Kingdome.

You know, then it would HAVE to be a half-court game.

“It was just a little drill we do everyday in practice,” said Reeves, raising his career total to four splintered backboards. “I guess it was the way I grabbed the rim. The rest is history.”

“It is my dream,” marvelled UCLA center George Zidek.

Reeves wasn’t hurt and took a quick post-practice shower to remove lingering shards of glass. Teammates and a few members of the media snapped up shards as keepsakes.

“I think there could be a message sent by that (dunk), that we came to play,” he said. “Personally I know that we came here with one thing on our mind and that’s to win the national title.”

Kingdome personnel quickly replaced the backboard and the practices of the remaining three clubs were only slightly delayed.

Common man

Pearce Landry is North Carolina’s Everyman. He toiled for two years on the JV before making the varsity last season as a walk-on, playing in 21 games and scoring 26 points.

This year he’s developed into a top reserve as UNC endured numerous injuries.

“He’s just had a tremendous year,” Tar Heels coach Dean Smith said of Landry, who received an academic scholarship in his freshmen season.

Everybody has to be somebody

George Raveling is at the Final Four in a new capacity - CBS broadcaster instead of USC basketball coach. Still, he’s new enough at the television game that perhaps he doesn’t yet have the clout you might imagine.

The media credential he wore around his neck at Friday’s practices identified him as “Mike Hassen” of Prime Ticket.

“Maybe I’ll make a name for myself here,” he joked.

“I’m having a lot of fun - I hope I can make a career out of it,” the former Washington State coach said of his new line.

The one that got away

UCLA assistant Lorenzo Romar was reported to be headed to Oregon State a few weeks ago to be the Beavers’ new coach - and the reports were right.

“I was gone to OSU,” said Romar. “My wife and I decided. We were about two or three days from putting the house up for sale, but when it came down to it, I couldn’t leave.

“I’ve never been in a situation consistently that’s been in a winning situation. I want to experience this a little while longer, and I want to experience what it takes to sustain that kind of success. I’ve only been here three years and there are guys who I recruited who are still young and I’d like to go through it with them. If I’d been here 10-12 years, it might have been easier to go.

“Working at UCLA is not like working at Peanut Butter College. It’s a good job in itself and they provided more of a stable situation for me to let me know they appreciated the work I’ve done. They made more of a commitment.”

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