Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight has been "strongly reprimanded" by the school's president and athletic director for pulling his team off the court Saturday night during an exhibition game against the touring Soviet Union national team, the university said yesterday in a statement.

Knight pulled the Hoosiers off the floor with 15:05 remaining in the game in Indianapolis after he was ejected following his third technical foul. The Soviet team was declared the winner, 66-43.

"Coach Knight said that he had made a serious mistake of judgment, and that he recognized it caused great embarrassment not only to himself and the basketball program, but also, and most importantly, to the entire university and its supporters," the university's statement said.

"The president {Thomas Ehrlich} and {athletic} director {Ralph} Floyd strongly reprimanded Coach Knight, who gave his assurance that such an incidence would not occur again.

"The university has apologized to the sponsor of the game, Amateur Basketball Association-USA, and -- through the sponsor -- to the Soviet team and coach," the statement read.

The university declined yesterday to specify what "strongly reprimanded" specifically means. "I am not at liberty to define what a reprimand is," said university spokesman Jim Green, whose office released the statement. He referred all calls to Floyd's office, but Floyd's secretary said the athletic director would not comment on Knight.

William Wall, executive director of ABA-USA, said, "I have no comment whatsoever."

Knight slapped a Puerto Rican policeman during an incident at the 1979 Pan American Games, and was disciplined after throwing a chair onto the court during the 1984-85 season.

Knight said earlier he deserved to be criticized over the most recent incident.

"I'm not so sure in this case it's not deserved," Knight was quoted as saying in a United Press International dispatch. "If people want to get critical with me, I don't have any comeback."

Knight, after protesting what he said was a lane violation that was ignored by officials during free throws taken by a Soviet player, told the officials if he had to go, his team would go, also.

Knight blamed referee Jim Burr, a Big Ten official, for giving him a technical foul for leaving the coach's box while the Soviet coach, Aleksandr Gomelsky, received no technical for similar violations. "Gomelsky came out of the coaching box four times and I said forget it. Then I get hit with the tech," Knight said. "Before I can say a word, the guy calls a tech on me, which is absurd."

Knight said he then should have returned to the bench. But he argued more and two more technicals were issued, resulting in his ejection from the game.

"I should have returned to the bench, but with my personality, that's kind of hard for me to do," said Knight. "I'm not saying this is right or wrong. It's probably more wrong than right."

In remarks taped after the game, Knight said, "I apologize to our fans for what should have been a good evening . . . a chance to see our players play . . . As far as taking the team off the floor -- there are things I wish I could do over again. That is one of them."