On the reality in Bloomington

  • 11/03/2014 11:20 pm in

This much we must remember: Tom Crean gets what’s expected in Bloomington.

You don’t toss up four straight perfect APR scores without getting it. You don’t chain your entire team to student housing this season without getting it.

But we’re still left with this recent mess in Bloomington under his watch, a grown man unable to keep his teenage players from chasing the night — no matter how hard he tries.

Think about it this way: Whom do the underclassmen have to lead them by example? There are no seniors, and the longest-tenured Hoosiers started the off-the-court drama. Hanner Mosquera-Perea drove his car into a curb he was so hammered; Yogi Ferrell used a fake ID at Sports on the weekend of Little 500, a foolish decision. Crean has lofted Nick Zeisloft into the leadership perch. It’s true he’s the oldest kid on the team. But the fact is this: Four months ago, nobody knew who he was.

So there’s a reason Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls and Verdell Jones and Derek Elston are pissed. They see a group of kids — some they played with, some they didn’t — not getting it, not passing along the blueprint. Bob Knight may be long gone, and though he didn’t live a life of sainthood in Bloomington, he drafted that blueprint. The “It’s Indiana” blueprint. It’s a privilege to wear the candy stripes. And with it comes responsibility, higher standards, round-the-clock commitments. It’s not easy. It’s not always fun. But it’s what’s expected.

It’s a culture those players all worked hard to bring back to Assembly Hall under Crean’s watch, and it’s slipped since they’ve left.

Still, it’s not hollow air that the likes of Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson, who, when they weren’t failing drug tests, were putting in the work and getting better. This much they seem to understand. But there’s more to the expectations of playing for Indiana than the extra hours in Cook Hall or the wins inside Assembly Hall — like it or not.

“They have to be respectable to everyone and everything,” Will Sheehey once said of this young group. “Someone’s always watching you around Bloomington. So they got to make sure they really represent the University well.”

Athletic director Fred Glass came out in support of Crean on Monday night.

“Tom talked to the guys for 30 minutes on Halloween about being straight and not screwing up and watching out for your teammates,” Glass told the Bloomington Herald-Times. “He talked about how we are our brothers’ keeper.”

Crean is here now.

The kids, barring an unforeseen defection, will forge onward this season. Crean’s not letting anyone go based off the news of the last few days.

They’re here now, too.

And so the season tips Thursday with Crean and this group of players married to each other — for better or for worse.

Filed to:

  • INUnivHoosier

    Mine are, as well. Not sure if it is basically everyone because of the volume of distasteful comments.

  • Ole Man

    I’m not turning on “one of our own”. He obviously isn’t, number one. Number two, I am simply defending our school against someone who is obviously turning against it.

  • mdtreat

    On the contrary, most rational people would see that a post on a blog has no chance of being a vehicle for change. The program and AD will make whatever decisions they make without reading pessimistic posts on ITH

  • calbert40

    Before I begin, I will state that Crean is certainly not blameless in this situation. However, I think assessing blame in situations like this is the easier way out. What is more important is to assess why the situations happen at all.

    All of the former, Crean era players that took to social media last night has a similar message: the players who have made these mistakes need to grow up. Being a Hoosier basketball player is a privilege. Thousands of young kids in Indiana have grown up wishing to be in their shoes, and when they act like this, it is a slap in the face to all of those who wanted their spot but were unable to attain it. Respect yourself and the university and the program. I couldn’t agree with them more.

    If you notice, these Crean era alums were solid leaders as well as great basketball players. Crean recruited them, coached them and mentored them. So, what is the variable between this team and the previous ones? The players.

    On top of this, our society is continually telling young people that they can do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it. It’s a part of growing up. It’s a part of youth. It’s your birthright to act impulsively as young person in college. Well, these types of situations are the results of that type of thinking.

    Regardless of your feelings about Crean, you know that he and the staff aren’t passing out joints and encouraging the players to get fake IDs, drink enough booze that their livers scream and get behind the wheel of a car. Much like it isn’t Stan’s parents fault he’s done these things, it isn’t Crean’s fault either. You are responsible for your own actions. Own up to them. We can’t continue to tell young people they can do whatever they want, but then get upset when they mess up like this. It’s one way or the other.

  • INUnivHoosier

    The Holier Than Thou Saints.

  • INUnivHoosier

    If this was a Fortune 500 company, they wouldn’t fire the CEO, subsidiary president, and subsidiary management over employee arrests.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Maybe we can get you in an SUV or minivan, today?

  • INUnivHoosier

    Is having a beer and driving everyone else home on Halloween an average college social life?

    I never did that in college, but I may not be average.

  • b_side

    Fair enough – this is a community to speak up and have your voice heard.

    But answer my first two questions. If the original commenter is so certain we won’t have a winning team, I’d like to have the lottery numbers while we’re at it.

  • dwdkc

    These aren’t “shenanigans” yet. They are kids doing normal kid stuff but not taking the proper care to represent the university, embarrassing themselves and the program. If they learn from this and this is the end of it, I would say we can move on. At least they are going to class and doing the academic work. With the broader perspective, I’d say I would have liked to see a stiffer punishment for Stan as a 2nd offense, but not kicked off the team. Crean’s ice is definitely getting thinner.

  • dwdkc

    I think the reason is that Yogi sets the tone. He’s the best player, has the most experience, is getting the publicity, so they look to him. Instead of holding himself and people accountable, he’s probably been more the normal good-times kid. Fine if you aren’t the leader of the most watched sports team in the state while getting a free ride. I don’t have any inside info, just extrapolating from the Little 500 weekend incident. Yogi–everyone in the bar recognizes you and knows you are underage. C’mon man

  • HoosierFan76

    Bulldog or Leprechaun?

  • INUnivHoosier

    A fighting Leprechaun?

  • HoosierFan76

    It’s good to be consistent. 😉

  • INUnivHoosier

    Mischief is shenanigans. I would say that fake IDs and underage drinking are shenanigans.

    Either way, replace the word shenanigans with whatever you want to call it (bad behavior, irresponsible behavior, behavior unbecoming a student athlete, mischief, embarrassing behavior, etc.) and my comment stands.

    If you can’t tolerate a behavior when you are losing, you shouldn’t tolerate it when you are winning.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Crean’s act is getting old. All the bible quoting and buzzwords always struck me as a way to deflect attention from his less-than -excellent coaching, and now we’re screwing up off the court too? And still not winning games?

    Not worth it anymore. It might not be financially doable in the near term, but I expect Crean will not be renewed failing an absolute miracle.

  • b_side

    Echo @oleman and his sentiments. Thanks for keeping it civil and constructive.

  • twarrior87

    Are you the same person that would complain a player got “Creaned” when they transferred to another program subsequently freeing up a scholly that is then taken by a top recruit? Just hope you’re not using the Fortune 500 company analysis only when it fits your argument, that’s all.

  • Speed

    First I heard of that so it’s not me and my Fortune 500 remark was “sarcasm”…obviously y’all take it too literally. Just so frustrating to live down south where UK has two starting five’s and we now barely have one.

  • HoosierFan76

    Exactly.

  • dwdkc

    Agreed. I was just making a distinction between stupid kid stuff–that does need to be disciplined–and program violations or things done by a coach (i.e. Sampson or assistants). The players need to be held accountable, with punishments befitting the offense, and Stan (and Hanner last year) were let off too easy. It is evident that the message wasn’t strong enough before. It better be this time.

  • dwdkc

    Good points, but there is a legit criticism that Crean has been too lenient. The Hanner DUI was a serious issue that, in retrospect, sent the wrong message with only a 2 game suspension. Yogi’s Little 500 misadventure should have been dealt with more strongly given that he is the leader of the team. Cody and the other players said it best, and it’s on Crean that the kids have not gotten the message. Indirectly, this is part of the price you pay by not managing to keep some players around longer than can provide the leadership. I’ve been a big supporter of Crean; my business partner is a close friend of his from Marquette and absolutely loves the guy, but he is now on very thin ice.

  • Michael Rizzo

    I preferred the kids who played their collective guts out and only won 6 games.
    Would love to win, but would rather be proud of my alma mater more.
    Don’t think we need a scorched earth approach, but these kids need to figure out what is really important on the court and off-and they need to figure it out quickly. Hopefully they see both the support and disappointment on these boards and something sinks in.

  • twarrior87

    sorry, maybe read too much into it

  • mdtreat

    Speak for yourself

  • mdtreat

    Who is defacing the program?

  • SCHoosier

    “Disrespect” is a word that resonates with young people today..especially those in urban cultures.. Annually,hundreds of kids commit violence against others who they perceive to have “disrespected them.” Yet..despite their coach personally asking that the players look out for one another and do the right things on Halloween..Crean got seriously disrespected by two of his players.. The Williams and Robinson issues are other example of disrespect…directed at the same coach..their team mates ,the program in general ,and the university that recruited them. Make all the excuses you want..but these young people have a character flaw..better to find out about it now. U can not put a high enuff value on the damage that disrespect has caused to IU, its season, its fans and future recruiting. This “story” will be a story all year. End of momentum in B-town.

  • Michael Yontz

    I’m speaking for myself and literally everyone I’ve spoken to or overheard about it and hundreds of tweets, facebook posts and yaks. People are pretty pissed off.

  • Michael Yontz

    I don’t know what it’s going to take to get some commentators here to take off their Crean colored glasses. Everything is not rosy in Indiana basketball and it hasn’t been for the better part of 20 years. What warrants getting rid of Crean? Terrible coaching decisions? Recruiting classes that don’t pan out? More losing seasons than tourney appearances, half a dozen off the court incidents in less than a year, a player getting hospitalized and maybe losing his career over those incidents?

  • Michael Yontz

    You can’t just say it’s on no one’s radar when it’s getting picked up by every outlet that covers CBB. On the reddit CBB board alone there were half a dozen posts about IUBB’s problems in 2-3 days with thousands of comments.

  • IUMIKE1

    and from the sound and tone of some of their comments, they graduated from there AND WITH HONORS !

  • IUMIKE1

    Your comment about EH only proves that I probably could have made a lot better use of my time than by replying to it.

  • IUMIKE1

    He may not be number one, but he makes me want to use those things at the end of my hand, especially the longest one, to show him that he’s number one in a round about way.

  • IUMIKE1

    BOOM ! Just like that. LOL

  • oldiugymnast

    Check this – I can do it several more times with just two words!

    Donald Trump – made his money by stiffing his contractors with bankruptcies.
    Karl iChan – has consistently for 9 years running performed worse than stock and fund indexes (he is hardly alone in the hedge fund world – but everybody knows his name).
    Carly Fiorini – Thought that buying struggling Compaq would help HP. Then she fired her whole R&D Department.
    Meg Whitman – Continuing with Meg’s mistakes at HP.
    Gil Amelio – Almost destroyed everything that Steve Jobs built, and then went to another company and failed again – Still a CEO in Silicon Valley and a big VC Fund president.

    It isn’t really hard to find captains of industry, CEOs, Hedge Fund gajillionaires, etc. that still have jobs, are still super wealthy and who have also failed over and over again. Anyone who believes that the guys skimming the most are people who deserve it based upon their own genetic and intellectual superiority and high productivity just isn’t paying attention.

  • OhioHoosier

    The two OhioHoosiers dilemma strikes again!

  • Don’t be sad.. be happy that were rid of that bum…lol..

  • Ole Man

    ROFL, Mike!!

  • Ole Man

    Again, you have me laughing out loud!

  • ScoopGeoff

    i’m not sure either. I’m not a Crean supporter by any stretch. I am a realist. I do see the big picture and don’t get swept up by each little incident. I do range from amused-to-irritated by “fans” who do.

    I guess the easy answer to your question is that he has now had sufficient time to turn the program around from a winning perspective and has ample opportunity to fill the roster with the types of people and players that he envisions for success. He is really only in year 2 of this phase. So now he doesn’t have any rope left to hang himself with… it’s win or be fired.

  • ScoopGeoff

    whoopty dooooo. Plus, I didn’t say “it’s on no ones radar”… I said “it’s barely even a blip on anyone’s radar not part of the IU community.” And I stand by that. I’m sure there are lot’s of IU fans commenting on various boards and social media outfits. There are probably some non-IU fan well wishers who are giving their thoughts to the Davis family. There are probably even some trolls who want to pile on. But for the average fan of college basketball – the Duke fan, the MSU fan, the Florida fan, the UCLA fan – they have other things to to worry about. They may be aware, but they aren’t laughing at IU or giving it a second thought. Sorry for your myopia – IU is important to you, and me, and a lot of people – but for those whom IU is not important to, this just is “barely even a blip on their radar.”

  • Barancy Peloma

    i wouldn’t mind if clappy was sent packing and glass too!

  • Barancy Peloma

    oh it’s on many radars. you can try and act like this is no big deal but the program is in genuine trouble.

  • Barancy Peloma

    i’d say that if everyone can stay healthy- this is perhaps a fringe ncaa team at best.
    i mean perea is like the only inside presence we got and he has shown nothing more than he is a good athlete who is very raw. live and die by the 3 this year i suppose.

  • ScoopGeoff

    not because of these recent off the court issue its not. If you want to make a case it’s in trouble for other reasons then I’ll listen… but with the exception of the severity of Davis’ injury, this stuff is small potatoes.