The Bobby Knight basketball empire continues to crumble.
Derek Holcomb, 6-foot-11 freshman heir apparent to NBA-bound Kent Benson at center, is "wrestling with a decision" whether to transfer out of the former West Point mentor's Indiana University bucket brigade - judging from some fellow players' reaction, better known as "this chicken outfit." If he leaves he will be the sixth IU varsity player to leave in a year's time.
"There's something to it," university spokesman Tom Miller said of the Holcomb case, "but if he's made a decision, he hasn't told us yet."
Holcomb, out of Peoria, Ill., has hampered most of last Big 10 season by a foot problem - "He has abnormally high arches," said Miller, causing soreness. "Our coaches made out an extensive program for him this summer, but he apparently is unwilling to commit himself to the program!"
Bad feet or not, Holcomb posted 23 points, 15 rebounds in the season closer vs. Ohio State when Benson was out hurt. If he goes, one of the departees he follows in the exodus that began short months after the Hoosiers' unbeaten, NCAA championship season of 1976-77 will be Mike Miday. That worthy originally transferred to Malone College (no, not named for Moses) in Ohio, now is being recruited by Louisville. The 6-8 Miday is credited, or blamed, depending on your viewpoint, with steering Kentucky highs player-of-the-year Jeff Lamp away from Indiana; Lamp signed this week with Virginia.
Now, says Miller, Indiana will not release Miday from his signed letter of intent - "What would you think . . . a kid bad-mouthing us, talking to another kid-we're trying to recruit. It's dirty pool" . . .
Meanwhile, Steve Krafcisin, a 6-9 Illinoisan who saw considerable service on the front line for North Carolina in the ACC season and recent NCAAs, is transfering away from Dean Smith. To the Big 10 - no, not Indiana; he says Iowa. Personal reasons, no rancor, says Krafcisin, a freshman - "I mainly just want to be closer to my home . . . If Carolina was in Chicago, I would never leave. But my family comes first to me and basketball second" . . .