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Former Players Break Silence About Bobby Knight; Indianians Rally Around Coach

Aired March 15, 2000 - 10:00 p.m. ET


ANNOUNCER: It's Wednesday, March 15, 2000. Tonight on CNN NEWSSTAND: You've seen him like this before, but you might not have heard him like this.


BOBBY KNIGHT, COACH, INDIANA UNIVERSITY: This is absolute (EXPLETIVE DELETED) bullsh*t! Now I'll (EXPLETIVE DELETED) run your ass right into the ground.


ANNOUNCER: For the first time, some of Bob Knight's former players break their silence about their former coach.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had his hands around my throat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see him, he can be the greatest, friendliest, nicest guy, but then all of a sudden, he can be the craziest, meanest, just the last person you want to be around.



KNIGHT: Then my critics can kiss my ass.


ANNOUNCER: Tonight, an unflinching look at a basketball legend, a story that's gotten Knight to respond.


KNIGHT: I'm trying to teach this game and these kids in the best way that I know how.


ANNOUNCER: A new offensive in the war over guns.


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Once again the gun lobby and their allies in the leadership of the Congress are standing in the way of real progress.


ANNOUNCER: The real strategies in the White House gun battle with the NRA.

ANNOUNCER: They were college girls, in search of adventure.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We really would have preferred that she stayed back here, but she wanted to go and this was her semester fling.


ANNOUNCER: Far from home, in Costa Rica, their trip turned to tragedy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like a homicide, and here's no speculation about motive or other circumstances.


ANNOUNCER: A small college in shock, and the grim search for answers.

CNN NEWSSTAND, with anchors Judd Rose in New York and Judy Woodruff in Washington.

PERRI PELTZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to NEWSSTAND. Judd and Judy are off tonight. I'm Perri Peltz in New York.

Starting tomorrow, 64 men's college basketball teams will begin battle for the national championship, and nowhere is the passion for this game greater than in the state of Indiana. For nearly three decades, Coach Bobby Knight has been the constant. He is idolized throughout the state. But Knight is also known for more than winning championships. Bobby Knight has a style and temper that sometimes get him in big trouble. And lately, that has led to some of his best recruits leaving Indiana early. For the first time, some of Knight's former players have decided to break their silence and talk to television cameras about their former coach.

For nearly a year, CNN/"Sports Illustrated" producer Robert Abbott has looked into Indiana basketball and interviewed those in the know, and our report, which is narrated by Mike Galanos, today evoked a response from coach Knight. We'll have that in a few minutes. But first, a warning, this report contains a good deal of graphic language. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERT ABBOTT, CNN/"SPORTS ILLUSTRATED" CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): This is Bob Knight of Indiana University, the only active coach with three national titles; a man who in his 29 years at Indiana has seen seven of his former Hoosiers move on to Division I or NBA head coaching jobs and has been a mentor to hundreds of young men like Charlie Miller, who played four years for Knight and graduated in 1998.

CHARLIE MILLER, FORMER INDIANA PLAYER: Behind closed doors, Coach Knight is genuine. I mean, he jokes, he's a down-to-Earth person.

ABBOTT: And this is Bob Knight: Intimidating, temperamental, profane...

KNIGHT: My critics can kiss my ass.

ABBOTT: A coach who bullies referees, his players and the media.

KNIGHT: Then why doesn't he come to speak to me, too, if it's such a God damn offense?

Go find another way of living.

ABBOTT: This is Bob Knight: A full professor of health, physical education and recreation, a man who has helped to raise some $5 million for his university's library, the object of near-fanatical devotion from his former players and from citizens throughout the state of Indiana.

ALAN HENDERSON, FORMER INDIANA PLAYER: Last summer at a basketball camp at home where I raised money for boys and girls third to eighth-graders, I called him, like, maybe Wednesday. He came Thursday and spoke to my kinds at camp.

ABBOTT: And this is Bob Knight.

NEIL REED, FORMER INDIAN PLAYER: He had me by the throat. I would probably say that little situation lasted about five seconds. I grabbed his wrist and started walking back, and by this time people, coaches Dan Dakich, Felling, grabbed coach Knight and pulled him away.

ABBOTT: Neil Reed says it was his childhood dream to play basketball at Indiana for Bob Knight, and in 1994 he accepted a scholarship to play for the Hoosiers. Reed had been a high school All-American and a two-time state MVP playing for East Jefferson High School in a New Orleans suburb. The son of a coach, Reed was just the sort of gritty, mentally tough, hardworking player that Knight loves. But during his three years at Indiana, Reed says he saw a far different Bob Knight than the man he had idolized.

TERRY REED, NEIL REED'S FATHER: Each year there is a term that they use up there called "whipping boy." There's no question that Neil was the whipping boy based on the fact that everybody felt that Neil could take anything.

MILLER: Neil was a really tough-nosed guy, and coach Knight knew that about Neil.

REED: People will say, well, you knew what it was like. Well I didn't know that was going to happen. No one knows that's going to happen. No one's going to believe that that's going to happen. And that's fine, they don't have to. But it happened to me, and it's something I have to live with.

ABBOTT: Reed says that at a practice during his junior year in 1997, Knight confronted him for not shouting out teammate Larry Richardson's name after Reed had made a pass to him. Reed stood his ground with Knight, insisting that he had indeed yelled out Richardson's name. When Richardson sided with Reed, Reed says Knight attacked him.

REED: And at that point, the coach just thrust right at me, just came right at me, wasn't far away enough to where I couldn't see something coming, was close enough to just come at me, reach and put his hand around my throat. He came at me with two hands, but grabbed me with one hand.

MILLER: Did he actually choke him? I don't think he did, but he did put his hands around him. I thought that was too much. He shouldn't have done it, but he did.

REED: Call it whatever you want. And it doesn't matter what people call it, I call it choking. When you put your hands around someone else's throat, I mean, there is no other reason why you would.

MILLER: That's just his way of expressing himself. Some guys can put up with it and some guys can't.

REED: People came in to separate us like we were in a schoolyard in a fight, and that -- you know, I actually have respect for adults, and I certainly have respect for coaches, and that certainly wasn't the case, but I wasn't going to let him hold me by the throat long or squeeze hard.

ABBOTT: CNN/"Sports Illustrated" has corroborated Reed's account of the choking incident with three other people who were at practice that day. They declined to go on camera and asked that their names not be used, because they were afraid that speaking out against Bob Knight could damage their careers.

In describing the incident one said -- quote -- "If he touched me like that, it would have been all over the news. There would have been a fight. I would have ended up with a black eye, and he would have ended up in the hospital."

This is the first time that Reed has spoken publicly about the incident.

REED: I'm just trying to tell my story and put it behind me, because I don't want to live with this story for the rest of my life. It's too painful to me, and it's to painful to my parents.

PAT REED, NEIL REED'S MOTHER: The saddest part is seeing your child hurt. That's tough. That's real tough.


T. REED: I am not against Bobby Knight in the game of basketball. What he has done to my son is bad. What he has taken from my son is bad.

ABBOTT: Reed started 72 games and averaged just under 10 points a game during his three years at Indiana. He says now that he didn't have the courage to walk out at the time he says Knight choked him. But at the end of that season when Knight told him that he would not get to play his senior year, Reed took Knight at his word and transferred to Southern Mississippi.

ABBOTT: Less than a year later, another former high school All- America, 7-foot center Jason Collier, left Indiana just nine games into the season. Collier transferred to Georgia Tech, where he has just completed his college career. Collier also declined our request to be interviewed on camera, saying only "I don't want to talk about it." But when he left the program, Collier said he could no longer take Knight's relentless yelling and constant criticism.

This audio tape from a 1991 practice, which has been widely circulated on the Internet, shows just how volatile Knight can be.

KNIGHT: Then I'm leaving and you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) guys will run until you can't eat supper. Now I am tired of this shit. I'm sick and (EXPLETIVE DELETED) tired of an 8-10 record. I'm (EXPLETIVE DELETED) tired of losing to Purdue. I'm not here to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) around this week. Now you may be, but I'm not. Now I am going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) guarantee you, that if we don't play up there Monday night, you aren't going to believe the next four (EXPLETIVE DELETED) days. Now I am not here to get my ass beat on Monday. Now you better (EXPLETIVE DELETED) understand that right now. This is absolute (EXPLETIVE DELETED) bullshit. Now I'll (EXPLETIVE DELETED) run your ass right into the ground. I mean, I'll (EXPLETIVE DELETED) run you. You'll think last night was a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) picnic. I had to sit around for a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) year with an 8- 10 record in this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) league, and I mean you will not put me in that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) position again, or you will God damn pay for it like you can't (EXPLETIVE DELETED) believe.

ABBOTT (on camera): You've heard the tape on the Internet. How often is that what you hear during a year?

RICHARD MANDEVILLE, FORMER INDIANA PLAYER: That right there is what I wish everyone watching this could hear, so they could really understand what it is like playing there or when things are going bad there that take away from the enjoyment of the game. When you hear something like that, you get to the point where you're like screw this, it just turns you off.

ABBOTT (voice-over): Richard Mandeville spent five years playing Indiana basketball, and graduated in 1998.

MANDEVILLE: You see him, he can be the greatest, friendliest, nicest guy, but then all of a sudden, he can be the craziest, meanest, just the last person you would want to be around.

GARRY DONNA, PUBLISHER, "HOOSIER BASKETBALL": When they get there and they get in the isolated environment of their practices, then Dr. Jekyll's gone and Mr. Hyde appears, and it's not very pretty.

ABBOTT: Garry Donna has been covering basketball in the state of Indiana for 30 years.

DONNA: I think it is a demeaning, dehumanizing, debilitating type situation. I think you are constantly playing in fear. I think you are being intimidated. If you're being -- as things that I've heard, if you're being choked, if you're being grabbed, if you're being pushed, if you're being head-butted, if you're being kicked, if you're being spit on, or if you're being slapped, I think those are kind of things that are kind of beyond the ordinary realm of discipline in this day and age.

HENDERSON: He got on me sometimes like he got on everybody, but he knew I could take that, and I never let it get me down, and I just kept pushing through it, and now that I am done, we stay in touch. When I finished actually, he even wrote me a letter just letting me know how much he appreciated what I did for the program down there.

ABBOTT: Statistics provided by Indiana indicate that the number of early departures from Knight's program is no greater than that of other Division I schools. But over the last three years, the Hoosiers have seen three key starters leave a program that they seemed made for.

CNN/"Sports Illustrated" has learned that the year Jason Collier left the program, freshman Luke Recker, a former Mr. Indiana high school star, and the very ideal of a Knight athlete, met with Knight at the end of the season and told him he wanted to transfer. According to three sources, Knight blew up, threatened to resign, told his coaching staff to find new jobs, and told Recker it was all his fault.

MANDEVILLE: After he talked to coach Knight, he came to my house and was just a mess. He was like, oh my God. I mean, he felt like he was going to ruin all the assistant coaches' lives, the program, the whole state of Indiana. He thought if he left, he would probably never be welcomed back to Indiana, the state or anything.

ABBOTT: Recker also declined our interview request. The day after Knight's tirade, the coach met with Recker and told him he would change his ways. Recker made up his mind to stay another year. He led the Hoosiers in scoring, but at the end of his sophomore year, Recker faxed in his decision to transfer while Knight was out of the country.

On one level, Bob Knight has run a model program: a graduation rate that is among the best in the nation and not a single recruiting violation in nearly three decades. And Knight is well known for helping his players find jobs when their careers are over. His determination to run a clean program has enabled him to survive some notable public embarrassments: his being convicted in absentia of punching a policeman in Puerto Rico in 1979, throwing a chair during a 1985 game, and accidentally head-butting a player in 1994.

But former players who decided to speak to CNN/"Sports Illustrated" say similar episodes take place behind close doors.

MANDEVILLE: In our locker room, there is a bathroom right attached to it, and he came out, pants down around his ankles and just wiped his ass, and said, "This is how you guys are playing."

REED: And he just stuck his hand out with that toilet paper after he had wiped and kind of showed everyone and then walked back into the stall.

MILLER: That's just his way of, I guess, you know expressing himself. If I can't tell you, I have to show you. And what other way to show you rather than pull my pants down, wipe my ass and say you are playing like shit. You know, that's coach Knight.

ABBOTT (on camera): Is that acceptable for a professor at this university, a coach at Indiana University?

PROF. MURRAY SPERBER, INDIANA UNIVERSITY: Well, I don't think it's acceptable for an adult. In fact, I wouldn't accept it in a child.

ABBOTT (voice-over): Murray Sperber is a tenured professor of English and American studies at Indiana, and, during his 29 years in Bloomington, has become one of Knight's few vocal critics at the university. Sperber says that Knight's success on the court and his hero status throughout the state have created one set of rules for Bob Knight and one for the rest of the faculty.

SPERBER: It's grounds for losing your tenure. I know that if I did it in this classroom here at Indiana, I would probably lose my tenure by the time that I got back to my office on the fourth floor.

ABBOTT: CNN/"Sports Illustrated" has made several requests for interviews with the president of the university, Dr. Myles Brand, the athletic director, Clarence Donninger, Coach Knight, and four current players who were on the team when some of these incidents occurred. The athletic department said that it would not make coach Knight or the players available for interviews. The president's office said that if coach Knight would not agree to an interview, the president would not either.

According to Neil Reed, President Brand has deferred to Bob Knight before, allowing himself to be publicly thrown out of his own team's practice.

REED: Coach Knight could hear him and just stopped practice, and God Dammit, you know, quit that talking. I don't come into your office and talk while you're working. Get the Hell out of here. And the president kind of looked, grabbed his stuff, got up and walked out.

ABBOTT: Through his spokesman, President Brand denies ever having been thrown out of practice by Knight.

(on camera): Has he ever kicked the president out of practice?

MANDEVILLE: He's kicked him out, I know that. What he said to him, I'm not sure, but the president was always coming around, and he's not even kicked him out, he's kicked people out of practice, during practice if he's pissed off.

DONNA: I think that if you had professors, if you had teachers, if you had administrators, if you had office personnel, anybody that acted as he had done, and has done the things that he has done, I can't think of another person in a position there who would not have been terminated.

SPERBER: I'd call him the emperor of Indiana, and there is no one in this state really who will stand up to him, and certainly there is no one in this university who will, and so in a sense, if you are the emperor, you're allowed to do what you want. You want to wipe your ass in front of your team, have the toilet paper, Bob.

ABBOTT (voice-over): While Sperber is outspoken, he is not alone among Indiana faculty concerned about Knight's abusive behavior. As far back as 1987, after John Feinstein's book "A Season on the Brink" revealed Knight's coaching methods, the Bloomington faculty council adopted a statement of student athlete rights. It says "Athletes shall not be subjected to physically or verbally abusive, intimidating, coercive, humiliating, or degrading behavior." It goes on to say that "athletes shall also be encouraged to report any violations of these policies to the appropriate university authorities."

Garry Donna says some players may fear the consequences of speaking out.

DONNA: What are they going to win from it. You know, if someone is really angry and is out to get coach Knight, I don't know who that one person is that has the power that approaches his or has any means of making that happen. I mean, if it were the most vengeful person, I still think they would be whistling in the wind.

SPERBER: If you cross Bob Knight and you leave the program early and you're vilified, as most people who have left the program are, you got to make it on your own; life gets a little harder for you. "

P. REED: There are fewer of these young boys, that's the whole point, and they have no power, they have no forum to speak, they are no one, they are kids, they're kids, and they often don't get the chance to express reasons that they left or what's happened in their life. They're kids.

T. REED: That's Bob Knight University. He just loans it to the state on occasions. I don't know when it is going to end -- when somebody steps up in position of power and says enough, enough. ABBOTT: Neil Reed graduated from Southern Mississippi in May and played professionally in the Netherlands last year before deciding his heart was no longer in basketball. After leaving Indiana, Richard Mandeville played professionally in Australia last year and is currently working out in hopes of getting a tryout with an NBA team.

MANDEVILLE: The guys who leave that program make the best decisions ever. If I had to do it all over again, I would have left after my freshman year. I would have gotten out of there. You know, everyone who's going to be on this are the bad guys. We're the low- lifes. We're the guys who never worked hard. We were lazy. We didn't want to win. You know, we are going to be made out to be the bad guys in this whole thing.

REED: I am not out to get anyone. It seems so strange that the only weapon I have to fight this battle with is the truth, and it seems like such a small weapon, you know what I mean. You would think that the truth is what everyone wants to know and everyone wants to hear, but it's not what everyone wants to know.


PELTZ: Last night, Indiana University held a news conference at which two players defended coach Knight and his program. Today coach Knight talked about Reed's story.


KNIGHT: I might have grabbed the guy and moved him over. I mean, if you choke a guy, I would think that he would need hospitalization.


PETLZ: Knight had much more to say. We'll have that in just a minute. We'll also step back for a look at the larger picture, the win-at-all-cost attitude that seems so pervasive in athletics.

ANNOUNCER: Later on NEWSSTAND: a verbal shootout at the gun control corral.


CLINTON: Once again, we battle not just for the safety of our families, but for the soundness of our Democracy.


ANNOUNCER: The latest strategy behind the war of words, when CNN NEWSSTAND returns.


PELTZ: Bobby Knight and his Indiana Hoosiers leave tonight for Buffalo, New York, where they'll face Pepperdine on Friday in the NCAA basketball tournament. Today, Knight sat down with Mike Ahern of CNN/ Indianapolis affiliate WISH to talk about some of the allegations in the report we've just seen.


MIKE AHERN, WISH REPORTER: Did you grab Neel Reed.

KNIGHT: I probably have grabbed every player that's ever played for me one time or another. I grab guys. I put him in a portion. I put him down. I set him here. I block out the guy. I block out somebody. I mean, I've coached that way for 36 years.

AHERN: But by the neck?

KNIGHT: I might have grabbed by the back of the neck. I might have grabbed the guy and moved him over. I mean, if you choke a guy, I would think that he needs hospitalization, Mike.

AHERN: What about the most bizarre charge of all in that you produced a piece of toiler paper, you wiped yourself, presented it to the team, and said, this is the way you were playing.

KNIGHT: I'll just refer to Robbie Eggers, plus our trainer, plus all of the coaches that were hear during that time. Those coaches and that trainer are always in the locker room when I'm there. Robbie Eggers was there, and he said the scenario that was described absolutely, positively never happened. I asked people, because, Mikey, I've maybe done a thousand things in my career to motivate kids, to get them to be better players, to get teams to be better. And athletic competition is not forensic speaking. Athletic competition is tough. Athletic competition is tough, and it's sweat and it's guys out there pounding each other. I bet a great percentage of those thousand things I've done would not be something you'd really talk about at PTA, or a garden party or at the church social. I mean, this is athletic competition.

And I'm going to tell you something: I don't apologize in any way for what I've produced here the way we've gone with kids that have played for us, have graduated and gone on.


PELTZ: Robbie Eggers, whom coach Knight referred to during his answer, spoke with CNN/"SI" producer Robert Abbot several times. And on Monday night, Eggers confirmed the toilet paper incident as the three former players described it.

And now for the bigger picture. As Knight said, it's athletic competition, not a garden party. But athletes are human beings. And the price of winning at all costs, is often high.

Joining me now is "New York Times" sports columnist Robert Lipsyte.

Robert Lipsyte, thanks so much for being with us. We appreciate it.

ROBERT LIPSYTE, SPORTS COLUMNIST, "NEW YORK TIMES": Pleasure. PELTZ: In athletic competition, not a garden party?

LIPSYTE: He's absolutely right about that. The thing about Bobby Knight is, should he be in a psychiatric ward, or should he be coaching a professional team, so he and Latrell Sprewell, could choke each other and kind of even things out. But he's quite right. I mean, but the large picture is, why should colleges be in the service of this bloody athletic competition, these institutions of higher education. And two, what about the way that he's coaching, which he is not obviously the only coach in America who's doing it, this kind of way of humiliating and shaming young people so they become so fearful of coach, so fearful of being humiliated in front of friends, so afraid of shaming themselves that they'll do anything the coach tells them to do.

PELTZ: How pervasive do you think this coaching through shame and humiliation is throughout the United States.

LIPSYTE: I think it's starts in kindergarten.

Actually, there's a brilliant young psychiatrist out off Detroit. His name is Michael Militek (ph), who is doing a study of this. He calls it a kind of trauma, and he sees a coaching technique in which the coach creates this kind of trauma so that the young athlete focuses, sucks it up, reaches down, all the things that a young athlete is supposed to do, shuts down all other kinds of emotion, never shows fear, never feels pain, so that he -- and this is mostly he now -- can focus on the game. The downside of that, of course, is that this is probably we have such a cycle of violence, divorce and domestic abuse amongst athletes, because they've also shut down so many of their regular emotions.

PELTZ: This isn't the first time we've heard these types of stories about coach knight. In light of these allegations, are you surprised by the groundswell of support that we have seen for him?

LIPSYTE: Well, no. I mean, he's always been a hero. There are too many people who are financially invested in Bobby Knight, including the president of the university. What I am surprised at is the enormous courage of Neal Reed and his family and the other young men who spoke it, because they are going to be, obviously, pariahs in that jock culture.

The other thing that we really have to be a little smart about is Bobby Knight is just about over. It would have been very hard to get at this story 15, 20 years ago, when he was really important, when he was really winning. It's been a very long time since Bobby Knight has been a factor.

PELTZ: Very quickly, do you expect any substantive changes to happen in light of what has been brought out?

LIPSYTE: About Bobby Knight.

PELTZ: Yes. LIPSYTE: Yes, I think Bobby Knight will eventually lose his job. Somebody else will replace him, but unless there are really substantive changes, the basic philosophy of that kind of coaching is going to go on, because it wins.

PELTZ: "New York Times" columnist, Robert Lipsyte, we appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

LIPSYTE: Thank you.

PELTZ: And NEWSSTAND will be back in just a moment.

ANNOUNCER: Coming up from Washington, it's ready, aim, fire: the latest skirmish in the battle over guns, next on NEWSSTAND.


PELTZ: A day of more political salvos over gun control, as both a Democratic president and a Republican governor fire off new appeals for stricter handgun laws. And 12 female members of Congress urge colleagues to ignore party lines and NRA opposition that's bottled-up gun control legislation for months. Today, the House of Representatives passed a symbolic, nonbinding measure, urging negotiators to meet in two weeks.

Here's more as White House correspondent Major Garrett opens his "Reporter's Notebook."


MAJOR GARRETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Current law requires federally licensed firearms sellers -- and they can be firearm sellers who operate a retail shop or a pawnshop -- to run a background check of everyone who seeks to buy a firearm, whether it's a long gun or a hand gun. Now, the current law does not cover people who sell guns at gun shows. Those are unregulated. And the current controversy is over how to regulate those gun sales.

The NRA believes most people who buy guns at gun shows are law- abiding citizens, and that a waiting period of 72 hours, which is one of the ideas on the table, is far too burdensome for law-abiding citizens to have to deal with who want to buy a gun. The White House and the president believe that there are certainly some people who go to gun shows who stop going to retail outlets because they know there's going to be a background check there, go to gun shows because there is not going to be one, and maybe are getting weapons they shouldn't have.

The interesting fact is that 95 percent of all background checks carried out for retail gun sellers are cleared up in two hours, meaning the vast majority of customers are law-abiding citizens and they get their firearms. That 5 percent is an interesting statistic.

CLINTON: Why in the world would we not want to have an adequate check of these 5 percent that 20 times more likely to be problem people and hurt innocent children and other people? GARRETT: He says that when the gun lobby opposed the Brady law, passed nearly seven years ago, he said it would drastically reduce Second Amendment rights, but as the president said today, deer season is still going on in Arkansas. People haven't had their guns taken away from them.

Congress has not gone very far with this because it's deeply divided on this question of how to regulate gun sales at these weekend gun shows. Many members of Congress believe that if there's a 72-hour, or a three business day waiting period, these gun shows will simply disappear.

REP. BOB BARR (R), GEORGIA: Let's debate it and let's vote it down. We do it all the time when they try and infringe on the Second Amendment.

GARRETT: On the other hand, there are some members of Congress who say we've got close this loophole. The longer this loophole stays open, the more dangerous our society is going to be.

REP. CAROLYN MCCARTHY (D), NEW YORK: To have the NRA accuses us of playing politics with lives is an insult to every single one of us.

GARRETT: That's going to be the key question in the next few weeks: Does the rhetoric elevate, or does the rhetoric sort of calm down and let lawmakers try to work things out quietly among themselves?


PELTZ: The gun control debate had New York's Republican governor sounding most un-Republican today. Ignoring sentiments of many fellow party members, Governor George Pataki urged stronger measures to control handguns in the state. Among them is a unique system for tracing the distinctive marks bullets leave, and using that information to help solve crimes.

ANNOUNCER: Still to come, the adventure of a lifetime leads to death far from home.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She took a semester off school, and she was going to travel.


ANNOUNCER: An international tragedy, and now the search for answers. The full story when NEWSSTAND returns.


PELTZ: Emily Howell and Emily Eagen, two young women experiencing the culture of Central America. This week, their adventure ended in death. And tonight, authorities in Costa Rica say they are searching for a man who was seen with the teenagers the night they vanished. At the moment, little consolation, though, for family and friends.


PELTZ (voice-over): Sadness fills the air at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, as students and faculty mourn the deaths of classmate Emily Howell of Lexington, Kentucky and former classmate Emily Eagen of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a lot of sadness, because it's a person that I know.

SCOTT WARREN, DEAN OF STUDENTS, ANTIOCH COLLEGE: We have been focusing our energy and our efforts on trying to support the family and the friends and trying to respond as a community.

PELTZ: Emily Eagen was in Costa Rica visiting her friend, who was there since January working on a photography project.

SHIRLEY EAGEN, VICTIM'S MOTHER: We really would have preferred that she stayed back here, but she wanted to go, and this was her semester fling. She took a semester off school, and she was going to travel. She said it was beautiful down there.

PELTZ: On Monday, the bodies of the 19-year-old women were found along a highway, 90 miles outside the Costa Rican capital of San Jose.

JORGE ROJAS, DIRECTOR, JUDICIAL INVESTIGATION (through translator): One was totally naked, and she was shot in the back, the spine, the temple. The other girl was shot in the shoulder and in the temple.

PELTZ: Officials believe there was a sexual attack.

This young man discovered their bodies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I found the naked girl's bra. I showed it to my friend who was with me, and then further away was a condom.

PELTZ: Credit cards, clothing and other belongings were found nearby. Their burned-out sport utility vehicle was also found near San Jose.

Eagen's mother said her daughter had no fears for her safety in Costa Rica.

EAGEN: I know Emily had checked the background on this country, and she may not have pulled up the State Department report, but he said there wasn't anything in it, and Antioch was sending them down there, or sending the other two girls down there, and they usually don't send -- or they don't send to places that are dangerous.

PELTZ: Local officials and officials from the U.S. embassy are investigating the killings.

Howell's family held a private memorial Tuesday night, and Antioch College plans another for both students tomorrow.


PELTZ: And that service also will be private.

Antioch is a small liberal college with fewer than 750 undergraduates. It has been sending students overseas since 1957.

Earlier, I spoke more with the dean of students about the impact of this tragedy.


SCOTT WARREN, DEAN OF STUDENTS, ANTIOCH COLLEGE: It's been an extremely devastating and horrible experience for everybody in this community, for the families, for our students, faculty and staff to lose two precious and special lives. It's been hard to articulate how devastating that's been.

PELTZ: It's hard to imagine. I know, dean, you've been in touch with the families. Can you tell us how they're doing, sir?

WARREN: Well, I've been most -- I've been more in touch with the Howell family, but we have been hearing from the Eagen family. And they're -- they're going through enormous grief and pain, as you might imagine. Losing a young daughter has got to be one of the most horrible experiences anyone can experience. And as a parent myself, I have tremendous sympathy for the pain they're going through.

PELTZ: Your associate dean, is that correct, that he is now down in Costa Rica.

WARREN: Yes, my associate dean and another official of the college are actually in San Jose right now talking with our two remaining students there, talking about their plans for the future, helping to coordinate the returns of the remains with the State Department and simply being supportive on site for our students.

PELTZ: Given the escalating levels of crime in Costa Rica, did you have any safety concerns about having students in that area?

WARREN: When we sent our students there, we -- our cooperative education department that oversees that program was very thorough and very careful, as they always are, in orienting our students and preparing them from entering other cultures and other countries. They check with the State Department. They monitored alerts and warnings. There was no indication of any unusual significant danger to our students there, any more than there would be in any country or indeed in any city in this country.

So no, we were not -- we were not concerned about any exceptional patterns that would have alerted us not to send students there.

We have indeed prevented students from going to countries where we've had very clear warnings from the State Department about exceptional dangers. (END VIDEOTAPE)

PELTZ: And the area where the women were killed is popular with tourists. Reports indicate five other people have been killed there this month.

Coming up next on NEWSSTAND, the Dow soars past the magic number again. Also in our "MONEYLINE Update," the latest on a merger that could change the name of your corner filling station.


PELTZ: Stocks of the Dow are supercharged as investors choose a safer route.

Tony Guida is in New York with our "MONEYLINE Update."

TONY GUIDA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening. Wall Street was feverish today, turning ugly ducklings into elegant swans. The grizzled bricks and mortar companies rose and shined, and tonight, for a change, blue chips appear to be alive and well.

The Dow soared 300 points to close shop at 10,131. That's its fourth-biggest point-gain ever: 1.3 billion shares changed hands in the third-busiest trading day ever.

But tech stocks took a triple-digit hit for the third-straight day. The Nasdaq fell 124 points to close at 4,582. The composite is down more than 9 percent from its high of just last Friday.

And the 30-year Treasury bond gained more than a quarter point, the yield at 6.07 percent.

The biggest hurdle to the merger of BP Amoco and ARCO has been cleared. The companies today agreed to sell ARCO's Alaskan oil operations to Phillips for nearly $7 billion, and that seemed to satisfy government regulators.

Casey Wian has more.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Federal Trade Commission has withdrawn its legal challenge to the $27 billion merger of BP Amoco and ARCO, saying the companies have largely satisfied the commission's antitrust concerns.

ARCO has agreed to sell its Alaskan oil operations to Phillips Petroleum, likely clearing the way for the merger. Without the sale, BP Amoco and ARCO together would have controlled about 75 percent of Alaskan oil production.

(on camera): Government regulators were worried about the impact that would have had on motorists here on the West Coast, where refineries are heavily dependent on Alaskan crude and gas prices are already among the highest in the nation. (voice-over): BP Amoco and ARCO originally offered to reduce their share of the Alaskan market to 55 percent, which the FTC said was not enough.

FADEL GHEIT, FAHNESTOCK & CO.: The FTC wanted to extract the maximum concession from the two companies, and they succeeded in doing that. However, what the FTC thought wrongly that by eliminating Alaska from the deal BP will walk away. But they were surprised. BP said, OK, throw your biggest punch at me, and they're still standing. They say: OK, is that it? We're going to go ahead.

WIAN: The Phillips sale will cut the combined company's Alaskan share to less than 45 percent. But instead of heading to court on Monday, the FTC, BP Amoco and ARCO will head back to the negotiating table to work out minor details.

BP Amoco and ARCO first announced their deal nearly a year ago, largely, they said, because low crude oil prices were squeezing profits. Oil prices have more than doubled since then. By accepting the largest merger-related asset divestiture ever ordered by the FTC, BP Amoco and ARCO are showing they believe size, not oil prices, matters most.

Casey Wian, CNN Financial News, Los Angeles.


GUIDA: Economic news figures these to dominate Wall Street tomorrow. Investors will get a look at the latest wholesale price numbers. That's a key measure of inflation. We'll also see data on housing starts. There will be earnings reports from Nike and Barnes & Noble.

That's it for the "MONEYLINE Update." For a complete look at the day's business news, be sure to watch "MONEYLINE" weeknights at 6:30 Eastern, right here on CNN.

Now let's get back to Perri Peltz.

PELTZ: And coming up on NEWSSTAND, lost and found: a new twist to online shopping. A Web site that sells lost treasures of sorts. And guess what: Some of them could be yours.


PELTZ: Now, "Nothin' but Net," our weekly look at cool sites on the World Wide Web. Tonight's find could solve a mystery, the mystery of what happened to your long lost luggage.

As our James Hattori discovered, your loss could just turn out to be a Web surfer's dream.


JAMES HATTORI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's more like an archaeological dig than an online shopping experience. You just never know what you will find when you log onto It's lost treasure or junk from around the world, literally.

The unclaimed baggage center collects and refurbishes thousands of one-of-a-kind items all from unclaimed or lost luggage and cargo, and sells them at a fraction of their retail value.

The store, located in rural Alabama, takes up an entire block. In fact, it's become one of the state's main tourist attractions. And now it's possible to shop until you drop online.

KIM ZETTER, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, PC WORLD: It's a great site. You can satisfy two urges at once: voyeurism and bargain-hunting. Not only do you get to sift through other people's items and merchandise, but you also get to find really great deals.

HATTORI: New inventory arrives every day, and when it does, whether you're in the store or online, you'd better move quickly.

BROCK WARNER, DIRECTOR/BUSINESS DEVELOPER, UNCLAIMEDBAGGAGE.COM: They have to get here fast in order to get the goods that we're putting up online. And so it creates that frenzy that we're typing things in and they're buying it before we can even check our spelling.

HATTORI: You'll find rare jewels, like this 40-karat emerald, Versace dresses fresh off the runway, shoes, clothes, cameras, sports equipment, aliens, Waterford crystal, African drums, surf boards, firemen boots, beauty supplies, aroma therapy for pets -- you get the idea -- and of course, luggage, lots of luggage.

So for a truly unique shopping experience log onto And remember your mother's old warning about tattered underwear? Well, not only should you never wear it: You shouldn't pack it either. And that's this week's "Nothing but Net."

PELTZ: Recognize any of your things in there? Well, you can join James Hattori and me for, a program that looks at everything Internet-related. It airs Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, 9:30 a.m. Pacific, and Sunday afternoons at 4:30 Eastern, 1:30 Pacific.

"SPORTS TONIGHT" is coming up next and here's Vince Cellini from the CNN SPORTS ILLUSTRATED newsroom with a preview.

Hi, Vince.

VINCE CELLINI, CNN SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Hi, Perri. Coming up on "SPORTS TONIGHT:" more reaction from Indiana coach Bob Knight.

We'll also preview tomorrow's NCAA Tournament, including the story of one top seed losing their man in the middle.

And big numbers from the "Big Unit": Randy Johnson lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree.

It's the spring thing on CNN "SPORTS TONIGHT." It's coming up next -- Perri.

PELTZ: All right, Vince, thank you very much.

And coming up tomorrow on NEWSSTAND, a report that may make you worry. Small pox was wiped out years ago. We don't even give vaccinations against it anymore. But if allegations that the Soviet Union stockpiled tons of it prove true and if terrorists ever got their hands on it, we would be in for an international nightmare.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If a small pox virus release were to occur today at any mall in the world, if it were to occur in any airport, it would be two weeks before we'd have our first evidence that that was occurring and those people would be like dandelion seeds in the wind. They'd be all over.


PELTZ: New worries about a killer more dangerous than any bomb. That's tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

For now, I'm Perri Peltz and good night from the NEWSSTAND.



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