The Date: Friday, June 13, 2008
The Place: Seattle, WA
The Time: uh, mid-morning-ish?
Friday is the most important day in the recent history of Indiana University Athletics. In Seattle, athletic director Rick Greenspan and other university reps will get to defend the athletic department against the NCAA in the wake of the Kelvin Sampson Charlie Foxtrot.
For the uninitiated, we’ve been covering this thing completely because we’re homers. But here’s a rundown anyway: Kelvin Sampson was Oklahoma’s head coach before he came to Indiana. At OU, he was grossly incompetent in his recruiting, including making a ton of impermissible phone calls. Then Indiana hired him, assumed his punishment from the NCAA because he was at a new location, and guess what: he cheated again. With the phone. Again. Then he was summarily fired by IU and it turns out the program was a huge mess and no one outside of the basketball program knew it. Or at least we didn’t want to know.
So basically on Friday, the University has to go before the NCAA and prove it has punished itself enough to not deserve further NCAA-sanctioned punishment. Keep in mind, anything the NCAA hands down would probably cripple the program for years to come. As if it isn’t already going to suck for a while anyway.
I would dearly love to go off about how IU doesn’t deserve any more sanctions, but I really don’t know if they do or not. Lack of oversight is a very hard thing to quantify. Maybe Kelvin Sampson was really, really good at cheating except when it came to phone calls. I will say that Greenspan is right: the system did work because the university caught itself.
But in truth, I just hate how, months after we canned him, and a couple of months after IU hired Tom Crean, we have to deal with Kelvin Sampson again. The guy is a liar and a cheater and I’m just happy he got caught early. God knows what would have happened within the program had he been in charge for a few more years. IU probably would have ended up with the death penalty from the NCAA.
I’m pissed that our beloved Hoosiers were ever run by such a worthless person. And the university is left to be punished while he gets a golden parachute and a cushy NBA gig in Milwaukee. Keep that in mind tomorrow and in late July or whenever the NCAA comes to a decision. Kelvin Sampson will not face any meaningful discipline whatsoever. Some system.
So Friday is D-Day for Indiana basketball. They simply must save themselves from the disaster that was Kelvin Sampson. They’ve already punished themselves. The oversight system works. Every Sampson recruit has left the program already under a cloud of academic failure and suspected drug use. And there’s a new boss in charge of the program. There’s nothing left for IU to do except get the NCAA to move on.
I hate Kelvin Sampson. I don’t want to hate being an IU fan anymore.