18 -The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 4, 2002
Sapp goes after top golf talent
Knight settles lawsuit
with former assistant
By Matt Kramer
Daily Sports Writer
It's been an unusual summer for
After officially taking over as head
coach of the men's golf team on July 1,
the 31-year-old immediately hit the
recruiting trail hard over the next two
months scouting and recruiting high
As Sapp tried selling Michigan to the
nation's best high school golfers
throughout July and August, there was
one thing he had yet to do: Physically
meet everyone on this year's team.
"With all the NCAA rules in place we
can't start practicing until the first day of
school," said Sapp, who replaced the
recently retired Jim Carras. "We had our
first team meeting last Friday and,
although I've been calling all of our guys
over the summer, this was the first time I
was able to actually meet a few of them."
But make no mistake. Sapp's players
will be seeing a lot of him this year and
in the years to come. And if Sapp has his
way, so too will many of the country's
best collegiate golfers.
One of the first things Sapp has done
since coining to Michigan has been to
revamp the Wolverines' fairly soft
schedule. Instead of facing mostly teams
- from the Midwest with the occasional
tournament in California or Florida, the
Wolverines are now scheduled to face
16 of the nation's top 20 programs.
"I wanted to get our kidsato be playing
All-Americans, and that's who they are
a +ia t a+" C ~n au
If anyone knows about what it's like
to be around All-Americans, it's Sapp.
Between 1993 and 1998 Sapp helped
coach two All-Americans as an assistant
at his alma mater, North Carolina, and
coached four All-Americans over the
last four years as an associate coach at
Purdue. In nine years of assistant coach-
ing, Sapp's teams have been to eight
Michigan has only been to the NCAA
Championships once in the past 30
years (1997) and hasn't won a Big Ten
title in 50 years.
"We are going to continue to improve.
To guess where we stack up against
another team is difficult at this time,"
Sapp said. "This is a rebuilding year
because we don't have a lot of experi-
The Wolverines lost three starters
from last season's team including Andy
Matthews, who led the team with a 73.9
Andy Matthews was one senior starter
who left the team this past summer.
As for now, Sapp willtry to bring the
men's golf program up to the elite status
that many other Michigan sports have
"This is a real exciting time here,"
Sapp said. "There is so much to do here
academically and socially. If I were a
student I'd love to come here."
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Bob
Knight will pay $25,000 to a former
assistant coach after signing an agree-
ment in which he admitted to shoving
Ron Felling in anger, Felling's attorney
William Potter, Felling's attorney,
said Knight agreed to the conditions
Friday after coming to Indianapolis for
a mediation hearing.
"I think it was clear when we
walked out that we had called his
bluff," Potter said. "It harkens back to
the playground, and when we called
his bluff, he backed out."
A phone message left at the office
of Knight's attorney, Russell Yates in
Denver, was not immediately
returned. A Texas Tech spokeswoman
said neither Bob nor Pat Knight were
available and referred all questions
about the case to Yates.
Knight also has agreed to cooperate
with Felling in a lawsuit against Indi-
ana, Potter said. The suit, citing bat-
tery by Knight, alleges that the
university was negligent in supervis-
ing its former coach.
University spokesman Bill Stephan
said he was unaware of the details of the
settlement. A message left at the Baker
and Daniels law firm in Indianapolis,
which is representing the university
against Felling, was not returned.
"That lawsuit was in federal court
and ours is in state court, so we really
don't feel it's appropriate to comment
on that" Stephan said.
Felling, 60, was fired Dec. 1, 1999,
after claiming Knight overheard a con-
versation between him and Dan
Dakich. Both were Indiana assistant
coaches at the time.
Felling said Knight called him into
the basketball office and then berated
him in front of other assistants. When
Felling attempted to leave, Felling said
Knight shoved him into a television.
Potter said Knight referred to it as
Depositions were gathered from
Knight, his son, Pat, Steve Downing
and Felling last week, Potter said. Pat
Knight also was an assistant at Indiana
at the time, while Downing worked in
the university's athletic department.
Downing, one of Knight's former
players, and both Knights have since
gone to Texas Tech. Dakich is now the
head coach at Bowling Green.
Potters said Pat Knight testified he
believed Felling had been disloyal to his
Also deposed in the case were Mike
Davis, who succeeded Bob Knight as
the Indiana coach, and John Treloar, one
of Davis' assistants. Both also were
Knight's assistants when the incident
occurred, and Potter said both con-
firmed Felling's accusations.
Felling was seeking $1 million in
damages and has since retired to his
home in Arkansas.
Potter said Knight refused to settle
the case as recently as Friday afternoon.
But after he walked out of a meeting,
U.S. District Judge Tim Baker said
Knight agreed to pay the $25,000. Pot-
ter said he refused the deal until Knight
agreed to sign the admission.
"When it was clear we weren't going
to settle, he had to put something out,"
Potter said. "When the chips were
down, they folded. To my knowledge,
this is the first time he's admitted to
shoving someone in his career."
Potter said Felling isrelieved that the
case is over.
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