Can You Hear Me Now?

February 13, 2008 – 3:41 pm by Matthew Glenesk


Scumbag. Sleaze. Cheat. All these words fit, but only one word truly describes Indiana University basketball coach Kelvin Sampson: Snake.

Hick Flick, McD, Phillips and myself all graduated from IU. Three of us covered the men’s basketball team and have a unique insight into what Indiana basketball means. We, as 80 percent of the alumni, love IU hoops.

Now, we live in fear of what the NCAA might do concerning the five major violations Sampson has brought onto the school. For a university that hasn’t had a major NCAA infraction in any sport since 1960, the news that Sampson has sullied the reputation of IU is quite disturbing. But there’s an old saying, “When you dance with the devil, you’re likely to get burned.” Sampson had a checkered past at Oklahoma. IU athletics director Rick Greenspan knew that and hired him anyways. “It was only phone calls,” Greenspan rationaled at the time.

Well, it looks like “only phone calls” might set the IU program back a few years. And to be honest whatever punishment the NCAA imposes on Indiana is justified. IU’s administration has until May to respond to the violations before a June hearing to determine the severity of the punishment. So a ban on this year’s postseason is out of the question. But next year and the following season are open game. And don’t expect the NCAA to go easy on IU.

Granted, Sampson got pinched for making phone calls, not paying players, not fixing tests. But a rule is a rule. And it’s especially important to follow when you’ve been caught violating it less than two years earlier, are on probation and know the NCAA is going to closely observe your actions.

Here’s a taste of what the NCAA sent IU this week:

“Sampson participated in the three-way telephone conversations despite being instructed not to do so by the institution’s compliance staff and despite received specific clarification from the Committee on Infractions that three-way class were prohibited.”

“Concerning Sampson’s provision of false or misleading information, Sampson repeatedly provided the institution and the enforcement staff false information regarding his involvement in violations of the Committee on Infractions’ recruiting restrictions.”

The NCAA sanctions schools for coaches unknowingly breaking rules. Here’s a coach, who had been caught in the past, placed on probation, sat down and told by the NCAA what could and couldn’t do and still broke the rules. And on top of that, he lied to IU administrators about it.

Already this season, Sampson has suspended A.J. Ratliff (no longer with the team) for a semester for academic reasons. He suspended Jordan Crawford and Armon Bassett a few games for violating team rules. So what should happen to their coach, who has been caught with five, count them, five “major” NCAA infractions. If I’m Greenspan, I suspend Sampson for tonight’s game against Wisconsin and for the foreseeable future at the least, if not fire him on the spot.

It is stipulated in Sampson’s contract that if he is caught violating his NCAA-sanctioned probation stemming from his missteps at Oklahoma, that the University will have “just cause” in terminating his contract immediately with no further financial implications. Hey Greenspan, make the call. Heck, your head should be on the chopping block too for bringing this snake to Bloomington in the first place.

Sampson should trade in his trademark blue denim shirt and red tie for an orange jump suit because he’s robbed a crown jewel of college basketball it’s integrity and given the school’s storied tradition a black eye.

If I’m at tonight’s game, I boo Sampson. I don’t boo the team. Only Sampson. It’s far less than what he deserves. He deserves a cell phone chucked from Section JJ to the head.

Sampson should do the honorable thing and step aside and let assistants Dan Dakich and Ray McCallum, the only two not mentioned in the NCAA report to assume control of the team for the rest of the season. But one thing we’ve learned from this (and perhaps already known) is that Sampson is far from honorable.

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  1. 16 Responses to “Can You Hear Me Now?”

  2. I’d probably throw a cell phone at your head you DOUCHE

    By Anonymous on Feb 13, 2008

  3. As a sort of IU fan thanks to knowing MCD and Phillips for far too long, (IU, along with Minnesota, are the only teams in the Big 10 I can stand to root for), this seems to be IU’s karma is a bitch moment. Kelvin was tainted coming in, he “stole” EJ from Illinois (save the EJ didn’t want to play for Davis argument, it’s still bad joo-joo), and now this is what IU gets, a big fat turd sandwich. Hopefully, Kelvin gets fired. R. Montgomery may have been a player choking/kicking, chair throwing, media hating asshole, but he sure as shit didn’t cheat. Good riddance to you Mr. Sampson, don’t let the flap hit you in the ass on the way out of the teepee.

    By MilwaukeeBooter on Feb 13, 2008

  4. Greenspan is just as culpable here. He took the risk of hiring Sampson, now he has to go down in the same flames. I know he’ll try to can Kelvin to save his own hide, but both of them deserve the boot. I was worried about the Sampson hiring from the word go. Unfortunately, my fears were well-founded.

    By Hick Flick on Feb 13, 2008

  5. “I’d probably throw a cell phone at your head you DOUCHE”

    Mom?

    By McD on Feb 13, 2008

  6. Perfect (nightmare) storm: Kelvin’s out–Robert Montgomery Knight comes out of “retirement”
    Getting queasy just thinking about that.

    By Anonymous on Feb 13, 2008

  7. And you fought all those Illinois fans who told you Sampson was a dirty, cheating, scumbag.

    I could tell you that this is but the tip of the iceberg as far as what this guy’s done, that it gets much worse than this. I could tell you why EJ really went to IU. I could tell you all about Meyer’s recruiting tactics. I could tell you when EJ really made up his mind to go to IU, and when he starting lying. I could tell you what his dad did during the summer of 2006. I could tell you why this isn’t really Greenspan’s fault, that it would have been different if it were up to him.

    But if you didn’t believe it then, why would you believe it now? IU will fire him after this season, and will try not to think about him, try not to think about how they sold out, for a berth in the Sweet 16.

    By j on Feb 13, 2008

  8. The people demand a return of the Kelvin-Wahoo photo.

    By Anonymous on Feb 14, 2008

  9. Does anyone know why they never hired Steve Alford?

    He’s the perfect guy to coach IU.

    By Dave H on Feb 14, 2008

  10. Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle is spitting the projection of R. Montgomery back at IU within the week. of course we who have followed his drivel consistently know he is full of crap….

    http://blogs.chron.com/sportsjustice/archives/2008/02/i_wonder_how_ba.html

    By Ball of Turk on Feb 14, 2008

  11. Finally, the Turk has returned to Rumors and Rants

    By MilwaukeeBooter on Feb 14, 2008

  12. They didn’t hire Steve Alford because he’s an average coach. He’s also not a good recruiter and pretty much pisses off everyone around him. He’s an incredibly arrogant guy. If he couldn’t hack it at Iowa, he certainly is not fit to take the Indiana job.

    By Phillips on Feb 14, 2008

  13. Oh and “J” I know you fancy yourself as some sort of “insider” and all, but if what you’re implying were even remotely true I just have this to say: People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Two names for you buddy – Arrelious Benn and Martez Wilson. Look into it. I’m sure you’ll love what you find.

    By Phillips on Feb 15, 2008

  14. Phillips –

    I’m not the one who claims he “broke” a story someone else reported months earlier (look up Brian Stinnette). As far as Benn and Wilson go, you’re going to have to do better than pull a John L. Smith. Truth is, Benn didn’t like being pressured into committing to ND. As for Tez, there’s not even innuendo about that one.

    By j on Feb 15, 2008

  15. If you don’t have blinders on and actually put your ear to the ground you’re right, there aren’t innuendos, there are shouts and screams. You really think Zook pulled those kids away from actual established major programs to come to play for a floundering one? You think he got them to attend school in a town like Champaign (it’s a dump) on an average campus with average facilities with no help on the side? You do huh? You’re FAR more naive than IU fans.

    By Phillips on Feb 18, 2008

  16. Like I thought. You haven’t heard any specific rumors. Just the “IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!” John L Smith whining. What I know is that Locksley has connections to DC/Maryland going way back, and that’s how he was able to get Benn. Benn was pressured into verballing to ND after his visit there. He then goes on the Illinois visit, at which point he tells Locks that he’d already verballed to ND, but didn’t want to go there. He then finds out that the ND coaches are lying about it and putting way too much pressure on him. It’s why Peter Vaas coaches football at Duke now.

    Seriously, you have nothing.

    By j on Feb 18, 2008

  17. Ha, no no I have heard plenty, just not going to spill it here. You want to email me through the site, feel free and we can talk there. Maybe then you could reveal the BS you think you have about Gordon too. If you want the truth look for it, you’ll find it.

    By Phillips on Feb 18, 2008

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