Source: Knight will wait before signing extension

Updated: June 17, 2004, 11:15 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Ohio State has yet to contact Texas Tech coach Bob Knight about its basketball opening, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com's Andy Katz.

People close to Knight are certain that if Buckeyes officials call to offer him the job, he will leave the Red Raiders. However, others at Texas Tech are just as certain that he's going to sign a three-year extension offer and remain in Lubbock.

A source close to Knight told Katz that Knight will not sign the extension until he hears from Ohio State. But "there hasn't been any talk about it not getting done," Tech athletic director Gerald Myers told The Dallas Morning News.

As of Thursday, Knight hadn't heard from his alma mater. The Buckeyes aren't expected to start the process of replacing Jim O'Brien until next week at the earliest, multiple sources told Katz.

The Texas Tech athletic department and coaching staff remain eager to see what will transpire, especially with a running camp scheduled next week and the program on the verge of potentially receiving a few commitments from its 2005 recruiting class.

Myers said he would expect a call from Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger if the Buckeyes were interested in pursuing Knight. "I think he's an ethical guy," Myers told the Morning News. "I think he'd call me."

It's unclear whether Ohio State is interested in Knight. Knight continues to receive positive vibes from influential friends around the country who have called Ohio State on his behalf, not at his request, a source told Katz.

Knight's coaching staff, a source said, is hearing that there is a groundswell behind Knight's being hired so that he can finish his career where it began as a player -- in Columbus. But the source said Ohio State athletic officials will not act until they have the necessary support by the university to hire Knight. This apparently is a developing process.

Marquette's Tom Crean, Rutgers' Gary Waters, DePaul's Dave Leitao and Rice's Willis Wilson also are viable candidates to replace Jim O'Brien, who was fired June 8 because he admitted to giving a recruit $6,000 five years ago.

Other coaches mentioned as possibilities to replace O'Brien -- former NBA coach George Karl, Lakers assistant Jimmy Cleamons, N.C. State's Herb Sendek, Xavier's Thad Matta, and Clemson's Oliver Purnell -- might not have as much momentum this week as Knight, multiple sources told Katz.

Knight was hired by Texas Tech in 2001, six months after he was fired by Indiana for what then-school president Myles Brand called his "pattern of unacceptable behavior." Earlier this month, he agreed to a three-year contract extension that would keep him in Lubbock through 2009. Knight has yet to sign the extension.

Knight needs 48 victories to overtake Dean Smith (879) as the winningest coach in Division I.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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