Kelvin Sampson would like you to know he’s innocent

sampson.jpgThe NCAA finally let IU respond back to its allegations. And well, the university didn’t agree with that whole “failure to monitor” bit. IU says Kelvin Sampson held back on just when, where and how he was going about his phone calls.

Kelvin Sampson don’t agree:

“In no way did I ever hide or withhold information from Indiana University’s compliance department,” Sampson, now an assistant coach with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, said in a statement released by his agent.

“I vehemently deny the inference that I made and concealed impermissible calls. The NCAA has never alleged that I initiated any illegal phone calls to recruits while serving as the head coach at Indiana. I always provided Indiana with everything they requested, including all documents and phone records.”

Oh, what a nice little game of he said, she said we have going on here, huh? Ugh. Alex has already said this, but can we get this nice sordid mess behind us already? At this point, I really don’t care who is right and who is wrong. I just want it done and over and whatever penalties are laid upon us to be laid upon us. Let’s move onwards and upwards.

After all, we have the 2009 class to look foward to.

A quick read of IU’s NCAA response

So, doing my offseason Dagger due diligence, I tried to summarize today the logical arguments at the core of Indiana’s response to the NCAA about the Kelvin Sampson allegations. I wrote:

Indiana’s main arguments are, simply, that the “failure to monitor” charge brought against it by the NCAA can’t be true. Why? because former coach Kelvin Sampson and his staff intentionally misled the school about their use of cellphones, particularly in the case of Sampson’s infamous party-line maneuver. (If you’ll remember, he would have assistant Rob Senderoff three-way call from a recruit into Sampson’s cell phone; this was very much against the rules.)Also, according to the school, the “failure to monitor” can’t be true because the University reported all of these violations itself. And lastly, Indiana is making a similar argument to Mad Men’s Freddy Rumsen Sunday night — isn’t the embarrassment punishment enough?

I think I’ve got most of it there, and if those are indeed the main arguments at hand, I’ve gotta say: I am pretty impressed by them. They at least make sense, right? Do I think the NCAA will immediately raise its hands in defeat, admitting IU’s rhetorical genius and ceding the case, Perry Mason-style, in one fell swoop? No. But at the very least, IU’s administration didn’t turn in a gomer of a report. They made it clear why this was Sampson’s fault. Because it was.

Anyway, thoughts? Anyone get a different read?

Indiana responds to NCAA allegations

rgreen.jpgVia The Hoosier Scoop, Inside the Hall has obtained IU’s response to the NCAA as well as a statement from Athletic Director Rick Greenspan. Here is the statement from Greenspan:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University has submitted a written response to the NCAA Committee on Infractions regarding Allegation 6 which charges the University with “Failure to Monitor” in the Association’s ongoing investigation regarding the men’s basketball program.

“We have submitted our response as instructed by the NCAA,” said Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan.  “President McRobbie has consistently stated his strong belief that the IU athletic department met or exceeded standards in the area of monitoring, and we hope for a successful adjudication of this allegation.”

The Athletic Department has also released three documents that include the complete detailed response sent to the NCAA Infractions Committee:

Obviously, there’s a lot of information to dig through in these documents, but let’s hope this is the last significant development in this whole ordeal and the NCAA reaches a verdict before the season tips off. The last thing Tom Crean needs is the uncertainty of a fiasco he had no involvement in hanging over his first season in Bloomington.

Hoosiers looking forward to Hysteria on October 17

October is almost here and that means it’s just about time for the season to kick off with Hoosier Hysteria. Tom Crean’s club will take the floor for the first time in front of the Indiana faithful on October 17 at Assembly Hall along with the women’s basketball team and the volleyball team. Here’s the official release from IU media relations:

Bloomington, Indiana – The Indiana University Athletics Department will hold its annual Hoosier Hysteria on Friday, October 17 in Assembly Hall. The event will feature the IU men’s and women’s basketball teams and the IU volleyball program.

“Our players and coaches are really looking forward to this event.,” said IU men’s basketball coach Tom Crean. “It will be a great way for the fans to get to know us and for our kids to understand just how important Indiana basketball is to those who support our program. Our hope is to have as many former players back as possible to also be a part of this special night.”

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the cost of admission is three canned goods or a cash donation both of which will benefit the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. The evening will begin with an autograph session at 6 p.m. Then the Hoosier volleyball squad hosts Ohio State in a 7 p.m. match. Following the match both the men’s and women’s team and then each squad will take the floor for their first official practice session of the season.

“Hoosier Hysteria is an excellent way to put our program in front of the Hoosier faithful and a fun night not only for our players, but for our coaches,” IU women’s basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. “It also officially marks the beginning of the season and we are excited to get on the court and continue our pursuit of championships here at Indiana.”

A detailed schedule of events for the night will be released prior to the event. For ticket and event information, call 1-866-IUSPORTS or visit IUHoosiers.com.

“Volleyball is very excited to be partnering with basketball for Hoosier Hysteria once again, said IU women’s volleyball coach Sherry Dunbar. “Last year we played in front one of the largest crowds in the country for our match against Michigan State and this year we hope to play in front of a full Assembly Hall when we play Ohio State. We’re excited for the fans to see competitive Big Ten Volleyball and help us in our quest to beat the Buckeyes.”

Nothing against volleyball — it’s tolerable in small doses if Misty May-Treanor is involved — but am I the only one who thinks it’s ridiculous that fans have to show up at 5:30 and sit through a match before watching the team practice for the first time? Also, the idea of former players being included in the festivities is an excellent one. I’m not holding my breath for any of the Knight apologists to show up, but it’ll be nice to see guys like Calbert Cheaney at Assembly Hall.

Bawa Muniru now a Hoosier, so sayeth Scout.com

Rejoice, Hoosier fans. According to Scout.com (via the Hoosier Scoop), this man is now an Indiana Hoosier:

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Despite what he told Jody Demling about wanting to go on other visits and that his mind was far from made up, looks like Tom Crean and company (as well as four lovely coeds) wooed this young man from Ghana.

Sound the trumpets, we’ve got a big man with some upside.

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare your questions for Tom Crean

In what should be viewed as a breath of fresh air for the Indiana basketball program, Tom Crean will address the student body on October 6th and then participate in a Q & A session. Here is an excerpt from the release sent out earlier today by IU media relations:

Bloomington, IN – On Wednesday, the Indiana Memorial Union Board announced that Coach Tom Crean will give his first public address to the Indiana University student body on Monday, October 6 at 7 pm at the IU Auditorium. The lecture will be free to the public and will conclude with an extended question and answer session.

“For years, Union Board invited the men’s basketball coach to speak to students and preview the upcoming season,” Andrew Dahlen, Union Board Lectures Director, said. “Union Board is proud to revive this tradition as Coach Crean begins a new era in IU Men’s Basketball. The lecture will give Coach Crean the opportunity to address the team’s most passionate fan base. Students will get direct answers about where he wants to take the program and how he plans to rebuild it.”

In his remarks, Crean will discuss his vision for the IU Men’s Basketball program, recruiting highlights, his expectations for the upcoming season, and transitioning into his new position. He will also give his thoughts on leadership and what it means to be a Hoosier. At the end of his prepared remarks, Crean will take questions from students in attendance.

So rather than a tyrant who regularly berated the media or a man who refused to answer tough questions posed by student reporters (I’m pointing at you, Kelvin), Tom Crean is diving into his opportunity as basketball coach at Indiana and spreading positive energy around the program at every chance he gets.

Is Bawa Muniru the final piece to the 2009 puzzle?

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So, I think if there’s anything we’ve asked for, it’s a legit big man in the 2009 class. Or any class, really. (Perhaps it’s just me that’s asking for that. But outside of D.J., we’ve struggled up front in recent years.)

Well, with 6-11 center Bawa Muniru (far left) on campus this weekend for a visit (a visit it appears he had fun on from the looks of this picture sent via a tipster), perhaps we’ve found our man — though he does have the “project” tag labeled on him. He’s only been playing ball a few years, but is ranked in the Rivals Top 150. And then there’s this little nugget:

He played last season in Alabama, but enrolled this fall in Charis Prep in North Carolina. Charis is not certified by the NCAA, but if his academics are in order for the previous three years, he could do enough work on his own to be eligible in 2009 or he could spend a year in prep school.

A bit curious, but hopefully his grades are in order if he agrees to come play for IU.

And really from this picture, how can you not like this dude already?

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