Wetzel on NCAA, IU: Justice not served

  • 12/10/2008 4:44 pm in

OK: So, Alex sent over this Dan Wetzel column this morning, and then we got it e-mailed in, and you’ve all been talking about it in the comments. This one needs its own post. When I finally got to reading it just a bit ago, I was expecting some over-the-top “IU needs to be punished way more” bit that had little –if any –sound reasoning. This is what I garnered from how it was being discussed.

But I don’t know. That’s not what I got out of it. Though Wetzel did sort of skip out on the fact that Kelvin Sampson and Rob Senderoff got completely served with the show cause, and thus some people involved got hit pretty hard — unlike IU, who at the end of the day just got self-imposed sanctions (part of his argument) — it seemed to be more of a rant against the NCAA practices in disciplining large vs. small schools than against IU for not getting harshly penalized enough. He’s just looking for equal treatment. Also: He argues the NCAA using the fact that our program is in disarray for the moment should have nothing to do with how the sanctions played out.

The NCAA just didn’t have to base its satisfaction with IU on an illogical (and inaccurate) standard.

[ … ]

The statement spoke to the NCAA’s history of going easy on powerhouse programs while burying small schools.

Few places have more power than Indiana. Its basketball program is one of the NCAA’s top television draws. Its former campus leader is current NCAA president Myles Brand.

Maybe that’s why the NCAA feels bad for Indiana’s current condition.

[ … ]

If the NCAA had limited its explanation to praising the school’s efforts and noting its 50-year record of compliance, that would’ve been fine. But it didn’t.

Last thing I want to dig into is this: If you look at our program now, sure this year will be bad. (And Wetzel trying to say we could have very well had a good team this year was bunk. Dude, it’s not hard to see this team isn’t going to win many games this year, no matter what point in the season it is.)

But all and all, we are actually in very good shape. We have Tom Crean. We have a great recruiting class coming in. We have brand new basketball facilities going in. This year will be rough, and next year will be a little rocky too, but we have nowhere to go but up, and it will happen soon.

So, I think that Wetzel’s argument about the state of the program being OK and that everyone that left — besides Armon Bassett — was a Sampson product, is a pretty fair argument too. Sampson got the show clause, and all his guys are gone.

But I’m also an idiot. What do you all think?

Filed to:

  • Maybe the NCAA should of come down hard on Tim Garl…he's the only one left….

  • JerryCT

    He tries to make the case that :

    a. the NCAA was nice to IU – (anybody think that is true ?)

    b. that the program implosion was why even more penalties were not forthcoming – (IU's compelling case , self reporting and penalties were irrelevant )

    c. or that Myles Brand intervened exerting unsavory influence to spare his beloved IU – ( get your Brooklyn Bridge here )

    His article is like an Oliver Stone conspiracy theory ……..lite !

    The NCAA did good things to my surprise:

    1. directly penalizing those that knowingly broke the rules
    2. not penalizing the innocent ( new players, coaches, IU compliance staff )
    3. not further damaging an “important” school
    4. encouraging self reporting and self penalties

    He would have valid points about schools lIke USC getting soft treatment but he choose to use the self reporting , self penalizing, overly compliant IU as the example instead.

    A valid point he misses is that if IU can self monitor ALL calls( vs 18% of other schools ) then so can everyone else and NCAA compliance would be better

    He believes that IU was

  • JerryCT

    Sorry , I thought I had said enough so I just shut up

  • IU77

    Dan Wetzel is an idiot. You only has to look at what IU did after it discovered the infractions to understand why the NCAA did not hammer Indiana:

    1. It self reported it, it did not cover it up;
    2. It imposed tough sanctions on itself immediately;
    3. It fired two coaches, the top assistant and the head coach;
    4. It dismissed two players who were part of the bad atmosphere created by Sampson;
    5. Hired a coach with impeccable character and credentials;
    6. The new coach without worrying about the next basketball season, dismissed two more players who were not willing adhere to the rules; and
    7. The new coach recruited a bunch of young men that any university would be proud to say were part of its basketball program.

    IU hadn't violated NCAA rules for more than forty years. When a violation was discovered, IU took extraodinary steps to rectify the situation. That's why the Ncaa didn't hammer IU.

  • bz

    that article was disappointing. he gave a very one-sided argument. there was no mention of the fact that the “major” tag was questionable at best. we have been making the exact opposite argument of his – that iu was being picked on by the ncaa and myles brand.

    i thought that the article was a classic example of someone with a national readership taking advantage of the fact that most, if not all, of the readers outside of indiana don't know the specifics of the circumstances well enough to call him out on his half-truths and partial facts.

    if he really wanted to make the case of major programs getting away with major violations he would have talked about usc (reggie bush and oj mayo) and florida state (60 “student-athletes cheating through an online course of all things).

    his point that major programs should get the same treatment as small programs as small schools is admirable, but his examples are disappointing. a simple google search reveals that texas southern got busted for paying student-athletes and playing a player under a different name because they were ineligible to play under their own. that's a bit worse than making impermissible phone calls. st. augustine college was busted for playing 29 ineligible student-athletes over a four year span. again, more serious than impermissible phone calls. again, the point wetzel is trying to make is admirable, but he needs to come up with better examples before he publishes his accusations of unfair treatment.

  • NC Fat Boy

    IU didn't have a MAJOR infraction. I remember one when I was there. Alford posed for a Gamma Phi Beta Calendar. Even though the calendar proceeds were philanthropic, it was still a violation. IU reported the violation and Alford was suspended for a game and sat out, I think, the Kentucky game. If I recall correctly, he wasn't allowed to travel with the team.

  • NC Fat Boy

    I think, if you look at the overall picture, and the severity of the infractions, they were minor in comparison to other violations. Personally, I think this is blown out of proportion and the fire has been fueled by those who stand to gain the most. No proof of this, just what I think.

    The infractions were PHONE CALLS. It's obvious that there are some who are likening it to COMPENSATION, JOB w/pay for no work or FREE SHOES. It's still a violation and I think the NCAA response was appropriate, regardless as to the institution.

    That being said, it would be unfair for any NCAA ruling not to take into consideration the integrity of the institution, and as far as the basketball program goes, I think we know who built Indiana's Basketball program integrity.

    An institution's reputation should factor into the decision of the NCAA, whether it's a history of integrity and self-reporting or a record of non-compliance and cover-up. Fortunately, Indiana got the benefit of a record of integrity that includes self-reporting on violations, even some as benign as the Alford incident as well as this incident

    The NCAA has validated the belief that while the University may have been delinquent regarding some monitoring of compliance, once discovered, the violations were reported. To me, this further incriminates Sampson and Senderoff and hopefully sends a message to the coaching fraternity.

    This does not make Indiana University free from blame. They did hire the coach, and his history of violations was known and appropriate actions were obviously not taken to ensure the integrity of the University and we are paying for that now.

    As far as the phone calls, and I don't know the answer to this, so if you know, post it, which of the current and future crop of players were recruited with illegal calls by Sampson? How many of the illegal calls were illegal only because of the previous sanctions Indiana inherited when they hired Sampson?

    I am also unaware of what sanctions remained on the Oklahoma program in the wake of Sampson, anyone know?

  • NC Fat Boy

    I didn't mean validated the belief that the violations were self-reported, the belief that Sampson was the culprit and the athletic department did not condone the activities….

  • student

    Tim receives a gauze ban for the next two years.

  • IU77

    IU did not have a major infraction with the NCAA. Check the NCAA records.

  • NC Fat Boy

    Read before you post. You posted

    “IU hadn't violated NCCA rules”

    I posted

    “IU didn't have a MAJOR infraction”

    Check your post.

  • I agree with your arguments here. I had the same thoughts. Wetzel didn't report the self-imposed sanctions (limiting recruiting and scholarship losses) in the meat of the article, conveniently, so that he could strengthen and bolster his own arguments.

    Yahoo! sports was the first to report the Reggie Bush mess at USC. I was hoping that they'd do a little more due diligence on their other reporting. I understand the point Wetzel's trying to make, but I feel he's using spotty logic in order to get the point across.

  • Oh yeah, I remember that. And notice, Alford missed the Kentucky game, which is a pretty damned important game to have one of your better players for.

    These days, most places would have one of their big name players sit out for the home game against NJIT. My how times have changed.

  • I agree with your arguments here. I had the same thoughts. Wetzel didn't report the self-imposed sanctions (limiting recruiting and scholarship losses) in the meat of the article, conveniently, so that he could strengthen and bolster his own arguments.

    Yahoo! sports was the first to report the Reggie Bush mess at USC. I was hoping that they'd do a little more due diligence on their other reporting. I understand the point Wetzel's trying to make, but I feel he's using spotty logic in order to get the point across.

  • Oh yeah, I remember that. And notice, Alford missed the Kentucky game, which is a pretty damned important game to have one of your better players for.

    These days, most places would have one of their big name players sit out for the home game against NJIT. My how times have changed.

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