Media piling on Sampson in wake of sanctions

  • 10/15/2007 8:47 pm in

sampson-6.jpg(Editor’s Note: The Indianapolis Star has revealed secondary violations that have taken place in the last 15 months. You can read that report by clicking here.)

Updated, 10/16, 7:15 AM: Those of you hoping for a “this too shall pass” resolution to yesterday’s news regarding Kelvin Sampson’s latest sanctions for violating NCAA phone call rules are in for a rude awakening. It’s not happening, folks. Fan message boards are being overloaded, radio talk show lines are lighting up and talking heads from across the country are calling for, gasp, Sampson’s head.

A survey of prominent viewpoints from across the land revealed the following thoughts about Sampson:

Andy Katz, ESPN.com: Sampson has plenty of friends in the business. And when I say plenty, I would argue that the majority of coaches really do enjoy his company. But a number of them are perturbed by these latest violations. Some of his good friends even told me that they do think this will put a distinctive mark on the public perception of Sampson.

Will Leitch, Deadspin: The move is seen as a preemptive strike against any potential NCAA punishments. Indiana should be much better this year, thanks largely to recruit Eric Gordon (which Sampson swiped from Illinois, infuriating many of his fellow Big Ten coaches), but they’ve now officially wiped the regime of Bob Knight off the books. Say what you will about Knight, but this was never a problem with him. He was too busy strangling the players he already had.

Rick Bozich, Louisville Courier-Journal: Don’t fire up your search engine. Sampson committed similar violations at Oklahoma, then promised it would never happen in Bloomington. Sunday’s news suggests the man is either brash or careless. Doesn’t matter which side you pick. He’s still a repeat offender. IU uncovered the violations. IU reported them to the NCAA. IU is punishing the rule-breakers — Sampson and assistant Rob Senderoff. Sampson described the violations as “disappointing.” Losing to Purdue is disappointing. This is disturbing. Reckless also fits. So does ridiculous.

Mike DeCourcy, The Sporting News: The NCAA punished Sampson by confining him to his bedroom — but then opened the window and offered to help him shimmy down the tree. The sanctions dared Sampson to find a way around them and still involve himself in recruiting players for IU. That is not what discipline is supposed to be about. From the very start, Sampson was allowed to continue text-messaging recruits. One player I spoke with in July 2006 said he texted frequently with Sampson and got the chance to build a relationship with the coach. The player wound up signing elsewhere, but it was clear the sanctions were not having the necessary punitive impact.

Mike Lopresti, USA Today: Obviously, the basketball coach at Indiana University is a phone-aholic. Please, somebody stop Kelvin Sampson before he dials again. Sampson has not gotten the message, which is odd for a guy who apparently checks his cellphone every 45 seconds. The problem is how he keeps letting his fingers do the walking into trouble. The rash of recruiting call no-nos that landed him in the soup in Oklahoma should have been enough to get his full attention. Now, this new cloud emerges at Indiana.

And now, two of the more extreme takes:

Kent Benson, former IU player: Here we get rid of a legend (Bob Knight) who had a perfectly clean record in 30 years of coaching at Indiana University. We put a zero tolerance rule on him and he was gone. For the athletic director and trustees to allow this to happen, it’s an absolute travesty. It’s an embarrassment to the former players and the university. They need to do the right thing. If no tolerance means no tolerance, they should get rid of him. And (athletic director Rick Greenspan) should be right behind him.

Bob Kravitz, Indianapolis Star: At this point, Indiana University doesn’t just have the right to fire coach Kelvin Sampson for just cause. It has a moral imperative to close the book on his short and sordid stewardship of the school’s once-storied basketball program. And once Sampson is gone, send athletic director Rick Greenspan on his way, as well. Maybe they can carpool. Sampson was Greenspan’s signature hire after Mike Davis was sent packing, a signature hire who came here with an NCAA storm cloud hanging over his head and a dubious history with graduation rates. Now, IU and a local law firm have uncovered additional phone-related improprieties, some more major than others. And while the school’s grandstanding decision to self-report might assuage its institutional guilt, it will not alter the emerging view of IU as a sleazy operator.

Personally, I think calling for Sampson to be fired is a bit over the top, but that’s just me. Our current poll shows that some of you are ready to fire him and for those of you who voted that way, I’m interested in hearing your justification and rationale. I’m certainly not excusing his actions, but my detailed study of these violations doesn’t conclude that firing him is the solution. Instead, I’m going to give AD Rick Greenspan the benefit of the doubt and let this all play out. The punishment should fit the crime and I feel like it does. The unfortunate reality is that this news has already put a stain on a once promising season. Let’s hope that once the ball starts bouncing early next month, the focus shifts back onto the court.

Filed to:

  • j

    10 calls PLUS the 35 PLUS many that are undocumented. And it’s the same rules he already broke, so he can’t claim ignorance or negligence. And his story is BS (“I didn’t know”? Are you kidding me???). And it took an intern to catch it (who’s running compliance over there anyways?).

    Yeah, no big deal. Just win, right? Hell, who cares if he pays the players? Or falsifies transcripts? JUST WIN!

  • kelin

    J…I agree but these are secondary violations and you cannot discount all the good he has done and throw it away…..Were you complaining on Friday? Were you upset when Eric Gordon signed? Did you call for his firing when he made Deandre lose 57 pounds?

  • kelin

    J…I agree but these are secondary violations and you cannot discount all the good he has done and throw it away…..Were you complaining on Friday? Were you upset when Eric Gordon signed? Did you call for his firing when he made Deandre lose 57 pounds?

  • kelin

    J…I agree but these are secondary violations and you cannot discount all the good he has done and throw it away…..Were you complaining on Friday? Were you upset when Eric Gordon signed? Did you call for his firing when he made Deandre lose 57 pounds?

  • kelin

    J…I agree but these are secondary violations and you cannot discount all the good he has done and throw it away…..Were you complaining on Friday? Were you upset when Eric Gordon signed? Did you call for his firing when he made Deandre lose 57 pounds?

  • knasmiley

    First off the 10 3 way calls werent outlined in the original sanctions, Mrs. Green from Ice Miller had to get clarification on them to KNOW they were banned too. The funny part of that is the 10 calls there is only 1 that is in question, if there was no outline on them why didnt KS use that LOOP HOLE to smear the spirit of the sanctions, he didnt cause he was smart enough to know he needed to follow all rule and use common sense. I think this will be the biggest thing in his favor when the NCAA comes calling, nothing more will happen period, just doesnt add up to anything other that poor record keeping, NOTHING MORE………..

    I will address the 35 calls too, it was published that of the 35 calls atleast 2/3 of them will go down as messages being left with either answer machines, coach, aau coach or family, nothing to gain an advantage and the staff was compliant and PRO-active with the investigation. Even the independent law firm stated NO WAY did KS bend the rules or do things purposely to circumvent the rules or sanctions laid on him. He even went out of his way to NOT smear them by using the LOOP HOLE, that will speak volumes when like I stated above the NCAA comes calling…….

    That leaves us with 13 calls or so of OVER 1000 that are in question, anybody could make this mistake but by RG and the IU admn. putting the clamps on RS for a year with no raise and KS being ineligible for his 500.000 raise, this ensures to the NCAA that IU is policing itself with no favoritism and will allow for the NCAA imo to not even get involved……….

    So all you haters hate away,IF KS had stretched the rules or knowingly cheated he would be gone. read the transcripts and get back to me, show me anywhere it says the staff did anything but comply with that was asked of them up to and including their home phone records, there is NO cheating going on, just hard work with SLOPPY record keeping and that is something that wont be tolerated at IU, hence the severe penalties handed down………..

    Check the facts, it helps build your case and in this one the haters dont have one that is why they choose not to use the facts. I guess when you have been waiting for a year and half to POUNCE of KS the facts dont matter, but they do and that is why he is still in charge of the IU bball program………

  • knasmiley

    First off the 10 3 way calls werent outlined in the original sanctions, Mrs. Green from Ice Miller had to get clarification on them to KNOW they were banned too. The funny part of that is the 10 calls there is only 1 that is in question, if there was no outline on them why didnt KS use that LOOP HOLE to smear the spirit of the sanctions, he didnt cause he was smart enough to know he needed to follow all rule and use common sense. I think this will be the biggest thing in his favor when the NCAA comes calling, nothing more will happen period, just doesnt add up to anything other that poor record keeping, NOTHING MORE………..

    I will address the 35 calls too, it was published that of the 35 calls atleast 2/3 of them will go down as messages being left with either answer machines, coach, aau coach or family, nothing to gain an advantage and the staff was compliant and PRO-active with the investigation. Even the independent law firm stated NO WAY did KS bend the rules or do things purposely to circumvent the rules or sanctions laid on him. He even went out of his way to NOT smear them by using the LOOP HOLE, that will speak volumes when like I stated above the NCAA comes calling…….

    That leaves us with 13 calls or so of OVER 1000 that are in question, anybody could make this mistake but by RG and the IU admn. putting the clamps on RS for a year with no raise and KS being ineligible for his 500.000 raise, this ensures to the NCAA that IU is policing itself with no favoritism and will allow for the NCAA imo to not even get involved……….

    So all you haters hate away,IF KS had stretched the rules or knowingly cheated he would be gone. read the transcripts and get back to me, show me anywhere it says the staff did anything but comply with that was asked of them up to and including their home phone records, there is NO cheating going on, just hard work with SLOPPY record keeping and that is something that wont be tolerated at IU, hence the severe penalties handed down………..

    Check the facts, it helps build your case and in this one the haters dont have one that is why they choose not to use the facts. I guess when you have been waiting for a year and half to POUNCE of KS the facts dont matter, but they do and that is why he is still in charge of the IU bball program………

  • knasmiley

    First off the 10 3 way calls werent outlined in the original sanctions, Mrs. Green from Ice Miller had to get clarification on them to KNOW they were banned too. The funny part of that is the 10 calls there is only 1 that is in question, if there was no outline on them why didnt KS use that LOOP HOLE to smear the spirit of the sanctions, he didnt cause he was smart enough to know he needed to follow all rule and use common sense. I think this will be the biggest thing in his favor when the NCAA comes calling, nothing more will happen period, just doesnt add up to anything other that poor record keeping, NOTHING MORE………..

    I will address the 35 calls too, it was published that of the 35 calls atleast 2/3 of them will go down as messages being left with either answer machines, coach, aau coach or family, nothing to gain an advantage and the staff was compliant and PRO-active with the investigation. Even the independent law firm stated NO WAY did KS bend the rules or do things purposely to circumvent the rules or sanctions laid on him. He even went out of his way to NOT smear them by using the LOOP HOLE, that will speak volumes when like I stated above the NCAA comes calling…….

    That leaves us with 13 calls or so of OVER 1000 that are in question, anybody could make this mistake but by RG and the IU admn. putting the clamps on RS for a year with no raise and KS being ineligible for his 500.000 raise, this ensures to the NCAA that IU is policing itself with no favoritism and will allow for the NCAA imo to not even get involved……….

    So all you haters hate away,IF KS had stretched the rules or knowingly cheated he would be gone. read the transcripts and get back to me, show me anywhere it says the staff did anything but comply with that was asked of them up to and including their home phone records, there is NO cheating going on, just hard work with SLOPPY record keeping and that is something that wont be tolerated at IU, hence the severe penalties handed down………..

    Check the facts, it helps build your case and in this one the haters dont have one that is why they choose not to use the facts. I guess when you have been waiting for a year and half to POUNCE of KS the facts dont matter, but they do and that is why he is still in charge of the IU bball program………

  • kelin

    knasmiley-

    I just read the report in the indystar about more calls (100)and my college degree has served me right….KS didn’t make ANY of the calls in question nor did McCallum….and the report says..there are a lot of 1min. calls but they either didn’t patch through or no answeror to a parent who is also the coach. I know if you call on a cell phone if you are on there for 10 seconds it still equates to a minute….finally if I am reading this right..there is just ONE 3 way call in question by KS and he admitted to it but said it related to a kid wanting information about his visit.

    Screw this entire story and I forsee a pissed off team taking the floor in the next few weeks and you do not want a TEAM that is motivated to PLAY Harder for their coach. Nor do you want a more focused EJ or DJ……

  • kelin

    knasmiley-

    I just read the report in the indystar about more calls (100)and my college degree has served me right….KS didn’t make ANY of the calls in question nor did McCallum….and the report says..there are a lot of 1min. calls but they either didn’t patch through or no answeror to a parent who is also the coach. I know if you call on a cell phone if you are on there for 10 seconds it still equates to a minute….finally if I am reading this right..there is just ONE 3 way call in question by KS and he admitted to it but said it related to a kid wanting information about his visit.

    Screw this entire story and I forsee a pissed off team taking the floor in the next few weeks and you do not want a TEAM that is motivated to PLAY Harder for their coach. Nor do you want a more focused EJ or DJ……

  • kelin

    knasmiley-

    I just read the report in the indystar about more calls (100)and my college degree has served me right….KS didn’t make ANY of the calls in question nor did McCallum….and the report says..there are a lot of 1min. calls but they either didn’t patch through or no answeror to a parent who is also the coach. I know if you call on a cell phone if you are on there for 10 seconds it still equates to a minute….finally if I am reading this right..there is just ONE 3 way call in question by KS and he admitted to it but said it related to a kid wanting information about his visit.

    Screw this entire story and I forsee a pissed off team taking the floor in the next few weeks and you do not want a TEAM that is motivated to PLAY Harder for their coach. Nor do you want a more focused EJ or DJ……

  • kelin

    knasmiley-

    I just read the report in the indystar about more calls (100)and my college degree has served me right….KS didn’t make ANY of the calls in question nor did McCallum….and the report says..there are a lot of 1min. calls but they either didn’t patch through or no answeror to a parent who is also the coach. I know if you call on a cell phone if you are on there for 10 seconds it still equates to a minute….finally if I am reading this right..there is just ONE 3 way call in question by KS and he admitted to it but said it related to a kid wanting information about his visit.

    Screw this entire story and I forsee a pissed off team taking the floor in the next few weeks and you do not want a TEAM that is motivated to PLAY Harder for their coach. Nor do you want a more focused EJ or DJ……

  • j

    Uh, that’s if you believe KS when he says he didn’t know he was on a 3-way call. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you…

    Also, there’s absolutely no indication that those 1 minute calls were simply unanswered calls or to the coach. Those are possibilities. Also possible is that those calls were to recruits who were then told to call back.

    That would fit in a pattern of rule-breaking and trying to get around the rules.

    You either have ethics, or you don’t. Fact distortion and rationalization are not adequate substitutes.

  • j

    Uh, that’s if you believe KS when he says he didn’t know he was on a 3-way call. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you…

    Also, there’s absolutely no indication that those 1 minute calls were simply unanswered calls or to the coach. Those are possibilities. Also possible is that those calls were to recruits who were then told to call back.

    That would fit in a pattern of rule-breaking and trying to get around the rules.

    You either have ethics, or you don’t. Fact distortion and rationalization are not adequate substitutes.

  • kelin

    Also possible those calls were to President Bush asking for a tour of the White House…..YOu can add all the possiblities you want, I am only going on what has been said and reported. As I said before no one was questioning his ethics on Last Friday night!

  • kelin

    Also possible those calls were to President Bush asking for a tour of the White House…..YOu can add all the possiblities you want, I am only going on what has been said and reported. As I said before no one was questioning his ethics on Last Friday night!

  • Don

    Since the news broke of the phone calls I’ve also felt KS should be punished. $500,000 fine and one scholarship fits the bill. Firing the coach for a minor infraction does not the fit the crime. Many people discuss firing coach (especially Benson, Hillman and Kitchel) and I say Bob Knight is in their way. Wake up Bennie – Joe and TK. Bob was truly and embarrsement in his later days to IU. His coaching ability was nothing compared to KS. Look at Memphis State. I understand Derrick Rose requested things to go there. Clem Haskins assisted players with tutors who tooks tests for them. People we are talking about phone calls. Another former IU alum Bobby Wilkerson says we should stand by KS. Hang in there loyal IU fans.

  • Don

    Since the news broke of the phone calls I’ve also felt KS should be punished. $500,000 fine and one scholarship fits the bill. Firing the coach for a minor infraction does not the fit the crime. Many people discuss firing coach (especially Benson, Hillman and Kitchel) and I say Bob Knight is in their way. Wake up Bennie – Joe and TK. Bob was truly and embarrsement in his later days to IU. His coaching ability was nothing compared to KS. Look at Memphis State. I understand Derrick Rose requested things to go there. Clem Haskins assisted players with tutors who tooks tests for them. People we are talking about phone calls. Another former IU alum Bobby Wilkerson says we should stand by KS. Hang in there loyal IU fans.

  • Jack Schneider

    I was delighted when Kelvin Sampson was named IU coach. I was thrilled by his accomplishments since. I was overjoyed last Saturday after learning of Hoosier Hysteria’s wondrous events. My hopes for IU basketball had never been higher.

    Just a few hours later, on Sunday morning, I was heartsick and confused when I learned Kelvin Sampson, had broken his vow never again to break the rules for which he earlier was sanctioned.

    Kelvin Sampson obviously is highly intelligent and by many accounts a decent, even an outstanding human being. How could he have allowed this to happen? How could he have committed a few wreckless acts to potentially squander all the good he has done for IU basketball? How could he have betrayed the faith I and many others had built up in him and the program he is building?

    I wish I could come up with answers to those questions. Can anybody help?

  • Jack Schneider

    I was delighted when Kelvin Sampson was named IU coach. I was thrilled by his accomplishments since. I was overjoyed last Saturday after learning of Hoosier Hysteria’s wondrous events. My hopes for IU basketball had never been higher.

    Just a few hours later, on Sunday morning, I was heartsick and confused when I learned Kelvin Sampson, had broken his vow never again to break the rules for which he earlier was sanctioned.

    Kelvin Sampson obviously is highly intelligent and by many accounts a decent, even an outstanding human being. How could he have allowed this to happen? How could he have committed a few wreckless acts to potentially squander all the good he has done for IU basketball? How could he have betrayed the faith I and many others had built up in him and the program he is building?

    I wish I could come up with answers to those questions. Can anybody help?

  • Jack Schneider

    I was delighted when Kelvin Sampson was named IU coach. I was thrilled by his accomplishments since. I was overjoyed last Saturday after learning of Hoosier Hysteria’s wondrous events. My hopes for IU basketball had never been higher.

    Just a few hours later, on Sunday morning, I was heartsick and confused when I learned Kelvin Sampson, had broken his vow never again to break the rules for which he earlier was sanctioned.

    Kelvin Sampson obviously is highly intelligent and by many accounts a decent, even an outstanding human being. How could he have allowed this to happen? How could he have committed a few wreckless acts to potentially squander all the good he has done for IU basketball? How could he have betrayed the faith I and many others had built up in him and the program he is building?

    I wish I could come up with answers to those questions. Can anybody help?

  • Jack Schneider

    I was delighted when Kelvin Sampson was named IU coach. I was thrilled by his accomplishments since. I was overjoyed last Saturday after learning of Hoosier Hysteria’s wondrous events. My hopes for IU basketball had never been higher.

    Just a few hours later, on Sunday morning, I was heartsick and confused when I learned Kelvin Sampson, had broken his vow never again to break the rules for which he earlier was sanctioned.

    Kelvin Sampson obviously is highly intelligent and by many accounts a decent, even an outstanding human being. How could he have allowed this to happen? How could he have committed a few wreckless acts to potentially squander all the good he has done for IU basketball? How could he have betrayed the faith I and many others had built up in him and the program he is building?

    I wish I could come up with answers to those questions. Can anybody help?

  • dan

    I’m a boilermaker, but i’m not here to start any trouble. I can understand your loyalty to your coach, but what jack said makes since how can he let this happen after promising it wouldn’t. Sampson is a perfect fit for IU, high graduating rates and hard nose style. The only thing that doesn’t fit is the infractions. They may be small infractions, but there infractions. Thats not IU! The one thing that can be said about IU and Purdue is that we make the most out of nothing and we make sure they graduate and do everything else the right way. What if Bobby Knight and Gene Keady got the players north carolina and duke got back in the 80’s and 90’s.
    We would have killed everyone including eachother(literally). I loved the players Purdue had don’t get me wrong, but u know what i’m tryin to say. Anyways stand by Sampson till u get the facts and if he made any of the calls or ordered any of the calls he should be fired. Small infractions or big it doesn’t matter he gave u his word that it wouldn’t happen in bloomington but it did, and that isn’t what IU is about. U PROGRAM DESERVES RESPECT!!! If he is at fault in the slightest of ways he disrespected u. I hope things are gunna be ok cause i can’t wait for our rivalry to get heated again!

  • dan

    I’m a boilermaker, but i’m not here to start any trouble. I can understand your loyalty to your coach, but what jack said makes since how can he let this happen after promising it wouldn’t. Sampson is a perfect fit for IU, high graduating rates and hard nose style. The only thing that doesn’t fit is the infractions. They may be small infractions, but there infractions. Thats not IU! The one thing that can be said about IU and Purdue is that we make the most out of nothing and we make sure they graduate and do everything else the right way. What if Bobby Knight and Gene Keady got the players north carolina and duke got back in the 80’s and 90’s.
    We would have killed everyone including eachother(literally). I loved the players Purdue had don’t get me wrong, but u know what i’m tryin to say. Anyways stand by Sampson till u get the facts and if he made any of the calls or ordered any of the calls he should be fired. Small infractions or big it doesn’t matter he gave u his word that it wouldn’t happen in bloomington but it did, and that isn’t what IU is about. U PROGRAM DESERVES RESPECT!!! If he is at fault in the slightest of ways he disrespected u. I hope things are gunna be ok cause i can’t wait for our rivalry to get heated again!

  • dan

    I’m a boilermaker, but i’m not here to start any trouble. I can understand your loyalty to your coach, but what jack said makes since how can he let this happen after promising it wouldn’t. Sampson is a perfect fit for IU, high graduating rates and hard nose style. The only thing that doesn’t fit is the infractions. They may be small infractions, but there infractions. Thats not IU! The one thing that can be said about IU and Purdue is that we make the most out of nothing and we make sure they graduate and do everything else the right way. What if Bobby Knight and Gene Keady got the players north carolina and duke got back in the 80’s and 90’s.
    We would have killed everyone including eachother(literally). I loved the players Purdue had don’t get me wrong, but u know what i’m tryin to say. Anyways stand by Sampson till u get the facts and if he made any of the calls or ordered any of the calls he should be fired. Small infractions or big it doesn’t matter he gave u his word that it wouldn’t happen in bloomington but it did, and that isn’t what IU is about. U PROGRAM DESERVES RESPECT!!! If he is at fault in the slightest of ways he disrespected u. I hope things are gunna be ok cause i can’t wait for our rivalry to get heated again!