The bizarre decision to invite Bobby Knight to deliver a lecture at a U.S. spy agency appears to have backfired in staggering fashion.
Four women who worked at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency accused the retired former Indiana basketball coach of either groping them or touching them inappropriately before or after his July 10, 2015 speech, the Washington Post reported Friday.
The allegations against Knight include a wide range of inappropriate behavior, according to the Post.
One woman alleged that Knight greeted her by putting his hands on the side of her chest and hoisting her off the ground. Another woman told the Post that Knight suddenly put his arm around her shoulders and groped her buttocks. A third woman said Knight touched her on the shoulder while complimenting her on the attractiveness of her legs. The fourth said Knight smacked her on the buttocks when she arrived at the front of the line for an autograph after the speech.
The FBI investigated Knight for a year culminating with a July 2016 interview at his Montana home, the Post reported. Knight denied all wrongdoing and federal prosecutors in Virginia opted not to bring charges.
“There is absolutely no credible evidence to support … these allegations,” said James Voyles, an Indianapolis lawyer who represents Knight. “[The FBI agents] reported to their superiors that there was no basis for any further action, period.”
The spy agency incident only adds to Knight’s reputation for boorishness.
Knight has always been a polarizing figure, revered by some for leading Indiana to 661 wins and maintaining a near-perfect graduation rate and reviled by others for his chair-throwing antics and violent temper. He was forced out at Indiana in 2000 after a series of off-court incidents that included an Indiana freshman accusing Knight of grabbing him by the arm in response to being greeted by his last name and an ex-player alleging the iconic coach choked him during practice.
Knight also has a history of insensitive comments about sexual assault.
In 1988, Knight infamously told Connie Chung that, ”if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.” More recently, he invoked a sexual assault metaphor when speaking about the one-and-done rule in 2014, telling ESPN radio, “It’s as though they’ve raped college basketball in my opinion.”
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