INDIANA — An Indianapolis newspaper filed a lawsuit in Octoberagainst Indiana University, claiming that the school violated the state’sopen-records law by refusing to release detailed information related tothe firing of longtime basketball coach Bob Knight.
In Marion Superior Court, The Indianapolis Star argued that becauseIndiana University is a public institution it should be required to discloseall information leading to Knight’s dismissal, which was provoked by whatthe university called “a pattern of unacceptable behavior.”
Knight, who won three NCAA men’s basketball championships during histenure at Indiana University, has been the subject of criticism for hislegendary temper both on and off the court.
University officials said they withheld information relating to hisdismissal on the advice of the state’s public access counselor.
“We’ve complied with the law in all respects,” said Susan Dillman, auniversity spokeswoman. “We plan to defend this lawsuit vigorously.”
The Star’s lawsuit is not the first filed against the universityfor holding back information. A group of alumni and citizens also suedthe trustees for violating Indianaís open-meetings law in October.
That lawsuit claims the trustees purposely avoided having meetings largeenough to be deemed “meetings” when discussing Knight’s dismissal in orderto subvert the open-meetings law.
The trustees had two four-person conversations, which allowed them tokeep it behind closed doors. Under the law, meetings with five or moreofficials must be open to the public.