Hello again, friends

  • 09/20/2010 6:36 pm in

HAMPSTEAD, MD — I had expected the taunting texts from friends in the Indiana press corps, the ones remarking about the coincidence that as soon as I left the beat, news started happening. In my final days as the sports editor of The Herald-Times, Peter Jurkin committed to join the class of 2012. A few days later, Ron Patterson said he’d join the same class. James Blackmon Jr., one of the better players right now in the class of 2014, came a while later.

There’d been a spell of weeks without news. And while that sometimes means you don’t have to work as many hours in a week, it generally leaves reporters antsy.

A few of the Indiana fans I’d gotten to know during my four years in Bloomington had a different thought. They linked my leaving with the lifting of a curse. I’d covered, of course, all of the events that decimated the Indiana basketball program, as well as the death of football coach Terry Hoeppner and even the backslide of the men’s soccer team into mere above average-ness.

And maybe Tom Crean thought I was something of a jinx, too, as he mentioned to me that a few dominoes fell in conjunction with my departure.

So I’m sorry to say it, but I’m back. Sort of.

Here’s the thing: It’s hard enough to leave any beat you’ve covered thoroughly, even if the stories you wrote were fairly standard. It’s not that when you dive into a world and try to explain it to readers you become a part of it. You don’t. Not if you’re a journalist. But you do everything you can to understand all the people you’re dealing with — the administrators and coaches and players and recruits and fans. You’ve got to report about what happens, sure. But the best reporters and columnists explain what it means. They work to put things in context and assure people that those in power are doing what they say they’re doing.

As with many jobs, you invest a lot of yourself. So it’s never easy to let that go.

Imagine, then, covering Indiana athletics from the span of summer 2006 to summer 2010.

When I arrived, Kelvin Sampson had swept into town to bring Indiana basketball back to its rightful spot among the nation’s elite. Terry Hoeppner had proven himself to be as charismatic as any football coach in the school’s history, and that approach toward fixing IU’s century-long problem in that sport appeared to be working. Athletic Director Rick Greenspan was a shrewd businessman who’d balanced the budget. The then-university president, Adam Herbert, was as sports-friendly as could be.

You know what happened next. Sampson’s original sanctions were stricter than most — including those who approved his hire — had anticipated, and proved to be too difficult for him to abide by. The brain surgery Hoeppner had undergone — and dubbed a success — after his first year ended up extending his life for too short a time. Greenspan mishandled the Sampson mess and had to step down. Herbert slipped away without ever explaining to anyone why he was so enamored with bringing a coach who’d had compliance troubles to Indiana, of all places.

I was there, too, for the first days of Bill Lynch’s turn as head football coach. And I remember so clearly that night we crowded outside the Monroe County Airport and waited for Crean to drop from the sky.

Less than a month into my new job at The Baltimore Sun, where I’m a sports content editor, I know that I can’t just walk away from how I spent that last four years of my life.

Luckily, I was privileged enough to get to know Mr. Bozich pretty well during that time. (And, yeah, I’m pretty well-acquainted with the Ginger, too.) So I asked Alex if I could scribble here every now and then, and he was amiable to the idea. So that’s what I’ll do. My goal is to write weekly, but I imagine there will be times I do more than that and times I do less.

There were legitimate reasons for me to leave Bloomington, not the least of which was the opportunity to grow as a journalist. I could not pass that up.

But I also can’t let this story go, not with where it stands now. There’s still too much to say. Like anybody else, I want to see how it progresses.

Now I’m lucky enough to have a place to offer my thoughts as it does.

Filed to:

  • GFDave

    Hello and welcome Chris. This space is different than the Scoop, as you well know. Looking forward to your visits.

    How is it going in Balmer?

  • LTTelamon

    Very happy to hear.

  • I’m looking for your outsider-turned-insider-turned-outsider’s viewpoint. I’m guessing not too many people are as familiar with the program’s last five years as you, so, indeed, welcome. It’s a shame you won’t be covering our first postseason play in a few years (or the mania that will ensue when Zeller signs his LOI to attend IU). 🙂

  • Cmarksbe

    Stay away until Zeller announces!

    Kidding Chris, glad to have you around again.

  • This might be the best news I’ve heard all summer

  • It’s awesome to see Korman back again writing about Hoosier athletics. It’s too bad he won’t be the writer when IU wins the 2015 NCAA title with a starting line-up of Lyles, Zeller, Hollowell, Buss, and Yogi (you heard it hear first)! vbg

  • Craig in Honolulu

    Aloha God Bless and Welcome Back Chris! BEST wishes to you and yours in Baltimore and with the exciting new assignment. Great to hear you’ll be writing here from time to time-going through a season of Indiana Basketball w/o getting your input or sense of things would’ve seemed strange indeed. And I’m sure your comrades Dustin and Co. at the HT will be very glad to know you’re still around, in a manner of speaking. You could tell on many different levels how your Moving on to the Baltimore Sun affected each of them deeply and how Sorry they were to lose a great colleague and moreso a great Friend. Good to know you’ll be around for a bit longer-and I tell you what Chris, fwiw I think we have some very Good things to look forward to with this 3rd year edition of TC’s Basketball Hoosiers. And better still-Best is yet to come. Framing’s in and the drywall is going Up on this huge rebuild vbg.

    *Hey you also have a “six degrees” story in Charm City with TC’s brother in law John Harbaugh and his Baltimore Ravens, who despite a tough loss at surprising Cincinnatti this weekend, I think have a Huge season ahead. Once the Ravens Offense fully incorporates their 2 new WR’s Boldin and Houzmandzadeh and get Dante Stallworth off of suspension and Ed Reed back off the DL, they’re going to be very Tough. Harbaugh has proven himself to be one of the top young up and coming NFL Head Coaches, and the Ravens are really putting together something special I think. *And the Redskins are also proving to be a nice story so far with the resurgence of Donovan McNabb in D.C., in stark comparison to the Debacle that Jerry Jones is making of my Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East. Anyway….

    Congratulations and welcome back Chris. I’m sure the next time the 8 minute TV timeout takes place on Branch McCracken Court at IU somewhere out East covering a Ravens practice, you’ll know about it. Love them Flags! Aloha and God Bless from Honolulu.
    Craig in Honolulu

  • Could you not have waited until a) I finally posted your exit interview, b) Zeller makes his decision? Now I look like an ass for dragging my feet for the past 37 days & will have to blame the Korman Curse in the event Cody shuns us. It’s just not fair, pretty awesome to have you back, but still not fair.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t read many of your articles, but I’m very excited to read them in the future!

  • Matt

    Welcome Chris! This is great news for one of the best college b-ball sites out there. Look forward to reading your work.

  • HoosierNshaker

    Stay away until Zeller commit!

  • 11th and Done (Dunn)

    new name, new address. all is well on tailgate days, especially beating kids at drinking games that i have a decade of experience on. (i’m 31, no minors)

  • Gregmquinn

    Nothing personal here, but I never understood media members who think they’re the story. The media and it’s members are not the reason we tune in. I’m not any more interested in Chris’ journey as an IU fan / beat writer than that of anyone else who comments on this site. This posting is arrogant and self serving.

  • Anonymous

    There are a dozen people above you who think it serves them. Chris provides unique insight into the rebuilding process. Though he’s now technically just a fan of IU basketball and not reporting on them in any official capacity, he is a gifted writer and his posts are a great contribution to the site. If you just want box scores and recruiting notes, go somewhere else. ITH has always been about providing a higher level of discussion and commentary that includes things like Chris’s journey as an IU fan.

  • JerryCT

    If I understand him correctly it appears Chris’ journey is on the level of ….. well, a fart in a crowded elevator ………….. woops …….I guess I am not elevating the discussion Sallad

    Ok for my second effort then I wonder when the journey comes out on IBOOKS.

    ( nice post by the way )

  • Anonymous

    Hahaha I’d like to give Chris more credit than a fart in an elevator, but I’m afraid of sound too hoity-toity at this point in terms of “elevating the discussion.” I certainly don’t watch IU basketball with a pair of white gloves and a monocle on, though that may be something to try. Yesterday I was taking a trip back down memory lane trying to find the first post I had originally read on ITH–it was something about Bud Mackey–and I saw all of the game preview posts were necessarily accompanied by pictures of IU cheerleaders. ITH, you’ve come a long way, baby.

  • BFowler

    Welcome back, er, here, er, whatever, glad to have you still contributing without me having to find the Baltimore Sun website or subscribe or anything like that. I have always enjoyed your work.

  • Old Sports Dude

    Welcome back Chris. After the dues you have paid it is only fitting that you be along to ride back to greatness. We will hang another banner at IU in the next ten years. Count on it!

  • Luke72

    Having Korman add his outlook is a real plus. Have alot of respect for his insightful opinions and reporting! Welcome back! You deserve to see the Hoosiers rise again! It’s go’na happen!!

  • Anonymous

    I think I know what you’re trying to say… that the articles should be about IU Basketball (in this case) and not about the beat writer. I agree. Having said that, a guy like Chris can offer us all incredible insight that we’ll never get elsewhere. As you know, these guys do this for a living and the countless hours they spend on the job gives them a more valued perspective on things in my opinion… but I think your overall point is well taken, we all need need to eat Humble Pie.

  • PB

    Welcome back Chris. Looking forward to your thoughts as this season progresses. Tell Flacco to lay off the picks. He’s killing me in fantasy.

  • MillaRed

    Ya know I wrote a complete paragraph in response to this and just wiped it out. After reading your post again I realized its not worth it.

    This respresents nothing that is ITH. If Alex is welcoming Chris back, that’s all I need to support him.

  • MillaRed

    Ya know I wrote a complete paragraph in response to this and just wiped it out. After reading your post again I realized its not worth it.

    This respresents nothing that is ITH. If Alex is welcoming Chris back, that’s all I need to support him.

  • I’ve got three monocles if you’d like to borrow one. I refuse to watch a game without a monocle, a dinner jacket, and a $300 bottle of scotch (I let my butler wear the white gloves).

  • I also have my limo driver pick up Gus Johnson so he can announce the games IN MY LIVING ROOM.

  • I also have my limo driver pick up Gus Johnson so he can announce the games IN MY LIVING ROOM.

  • Diesel

    Well said. You also have to understand there are thousands (OK, maybe hundreds) of people in Baltimore reading what Korman just wrote wondering why in the hell their new sports editor is still posting about IU basketball. And the answer is (and all of ITH said): “It’s Indiana”

    Welcome aboard Korman.

  • Anonymous

    Great, now you’ve got me seriously contemplating getting a pair of opera glasses for the first game my seats are in the balcony this year. You know, just to class up “Club Crean.”

  • Anonymous

    Just be careful if the door to your box seats opens behind you during the performance and a distinguished southern actor bursts through–he’s there to shoot you in your stovepipe hat.

  • Ba Gua Phil

    Glad to hear from you again. Always enjoyed your writing. Go IU.

  • bc

    Being an “outsider” now, you’ll get better info than being here.

  • Jmcfarland1721

    Welcome back to where “the city game” and “the country game” merge into the IU game.