More IU Athletic Shenanigans: Book Rights, Rick Greenspan and Presidential Statements

July 1, 2008 – 12:06 am by admin

There were a few more interesting nuggets to come out of the Indiana University athletic department and the University’s administration yesterday in what looks like a never-ending run of fallout since Kelvin Sampson was unceremoniously relieved of his cheating duties in February.

The one I find most interesting is that in IU’s resignation agreement with Rick Greenspan, released yesterday, the soon-to-be-former athletic director “retains rights to any book he may wish to write and publish.”

The Indianapolis Star story says this is a clause unique to any such agreement IU has had with an official in the past.

It sounds to me like something Greenspan had negotiated into the agreement himself when he sat down at the table with IU officials to get it done, which leads me to believe he’s either already got a book deal in the works or is seriously thinking about it.

Given that Greenspan knows the machinations of the hiring and firing of Sampson, that would be a pretty damn interesting book. And, from his perspective, it would be a chance for him to clear his name — if that’s even possible at this point.

Greenspan announced he would resign effective at the end of the calendar year right after the NCAA added a charge of “failure to monitor” to IU’s already long list of alleged infractions.

Failure to monitor, basically a step short of the epically bad “lack of institutional control,” is what got Greenspan kicked out the door. It implies he didn’t have control of the situation over which he presided. What a surprise.

Writing a tell-all book would certainly give Greenspan the opportunity to air out any dirty laundry he thinks will help clear him of any wrongdoing.

Now, in the case of Sampson, it’s been pretty well known in IU circles that former University president Adam Herbert had more to do with hiring Sampson than Greenspan did. Since Herbert is no longer the president, it’s left Greenspan to take the lion’s share of the heat. That’s something he can’t be too happy about.

Aside: I thought Greenspan did an incredible job hiring coaches as a whole. The Sampson thing was bad, but if you’re inclined to believe that the decision to hire Sampson came from over Greenspan’s head, he had an incredible track record of hiring great coaches throughout the athletics department. He was also the catalyst behind a massive update of the University’s facilities that’s now underway. IU’s athletic facilities were woefully inadequate when Greenspan took over, and now the football stadium is in the midst of an expansion, as is a state-of-the-art basketball practice facility, and construction on new baseball and softball fields should get underway soon. That said, if the basketball coach screws up this badly, it’s going to get you fired, no matter what else you’ve done.

Back to the point, according to an Associated Press story, current IU president Michael McRobbie told the NCAA infractions committee in a closed session in mid-June that the hiring of Sampson was “a risk that should not have been taken.”

Fair enough, Aussie. And on some level it absolves the current administration. It doesn’t excuse the fact that they didn’t watch Sampson and his assistant Rob Senderoff more closely, but since it was a previous administration (which is no longer around to be held accountable) perhaps McRobbie thinks the NCAA will be more lenient with his university because the current leadership can clearly see hiring Sampson was a gigantic mistake.

Then again, we all know hindsight is 20/20. It’s easy for McRobbie to say hiring Sampson was a mistake. Everyone knows it was. The problem for McRobbie is his predecessor isn’t around to take the blame for something that happened on his watch.

All we can do for now is wait for Greenspan’s book. Perhaps he should consult Jose Canseco on how to write an effective tell-all.

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