Kelvin Sampson Archive

The ghost of Kelvin Sampson continues to haunt IU basketball

The NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores this afternoon and the result was a public notice for IU baskeball in response to a score that, well, isn’t pretty. To put it into perspective how low the figure is, the other 23 athletic programs at IU all had scores well above the NCAA benchmark of 925. The men’s basketball program checked in at 866.

Here’s the reaction from athletic director Fred Glass:

“We take this public notice very seriously. The poor academic performance for which we’re being cited all occurred under two coaches who are no longer at IU.  We are confident that under Coach Tom Crean’s leadership and commitment to academics, responsibility, and character, we will soon be able to put our previous academic issues fully in the past. Coach Crean’s outstanding academic record at Marquette, including the graduating of all of his senior players, speaks for itself.”

I think Mr. Glass is pointing at you, Kelvin. For the record, Crean’s APR score from Marquette was also released this afternoon and it was 970. Because IU voluntarily forfeited two scholarships this past season in anticipation of a low APR, they’ll be able to utilize all 13 scholarships moving forward.

When There’s Nothing On The Horizon You’ve Got Nothing Left To Prove: Saying farewell to the 2008-09 Indiana Hoosiers

Some rambling postseason thoughts on a Monday morning …

So, we’re a few days removed from Indiana’s season-ending first round loss to Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament. Ho, hum. We all knew the Hoosiers were probably going to lose. Whatever hopes we had of an upset were minimal and fleeting. And so the season ends, and on we go, set for another offseason that will be far less angry, anxious, and uncertain than last season’s.

Comparing the two situations is almost funny. This time last year, we had just been destroyed by Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Sure, Arkansas was a good team, and it was a tough draw, talent-wise, but by that point it almost didn’t matter. A once-promising season with a lineup stocked full of players was derailed entirely when Kelvin Sampson was fired for being a naughty boy. The team lost most of the rest of its games, limped into the NCAAs, and were promptly spanked. But it wasn’t the loss that was disconcerting. It’s what came before it, and what was still ahead.

Cue the offseason: a series of ugly incidents and confusing decisions punctuated by a brief moment of optimism. That moment was Tom Crean’s hire. It’s the hire IU should have made two years ago, when they instead chose a coach under investigation for having the cell phone tendencies of a 13-year-old meth addict. Crean was a steadier, calmer, more reasonable choice with just as good of a coaching record and a history of recruiting well in Indiana and Chicago. Why he wasn’t originally chosen to succeed Mike Davis is a mystery that still confounds to this day. (Then-IU president Adam Herbert’s insistence on a minority hire is likely the answer, but oh well. Spilled milk, and all that.)


Around the Hall: Not this guy, again

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall crew.

+ Indy Star columnist Bob Kravitz discusses Kelvin Sampson’s unwillingness to take responsibility for what went down in Bloomington. As Kravitz notes, “Haven’t we gone through this already?” {Indianapolis Star}

+ Lance Stemler and Adam Ahlfeld confirmed that Sampson talked the players into finishing out the season after Stemler, Ahlfeld, D.J. White and Eric Gordon told Sampson they wouldn’t finish the season without him. {Indianapolis Star}

+ Former Indiana assistant Rob Senderoff has his penalty reduced by the NCAA — but only by a smidge. {The Sporting News}

+ Gary Parrish chronicles the story of Kellen Sampson and says the aspiring coach should be judged on his own merits and not by his last name. {CBS Sports}


“We were sitting there every day tearing through the rules and regulations of the NCAA, and I’m just like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ I felt like the biggest white elephant in the room, especially when we spent a week on the rules and regulations of phone calls. I told the professor, ‘I can probably teach this section.'” – Kellen Sampson on how he felt during the class he took at IU last year titled “NCAA rules and compliance.”

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Kelvin Sampson is still talking

Kelvin Sampson’s media tour just keeps getting lamer and lamer. The latest: A one-on-one interview with the Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy, wherein Sampson complains about the media and his punishment being unfair and he didn’t know he was cheating blah blah blah:

SN: Was the NCAA too harsh on you?

SAMPSON: I think so. I think they were unfair. I think they were unfair to IU, too. I don’t think anybody got treated fairly in this. This thing got hit in the media, it got sensationalized. It just took on a life of its own. When they start using the word unethical, when they describe you as unethical –somebody that’s unethical, to me, knows right from wrong and then does it anyway. There’s intent behind it.

That’s pretty much the gist of the whole interview. Kelvin believes he was treated unfairly, that he really didn’t do anything wrong, and that the NCAA’s mind was made up about him before he had the chance to prove himself innocent of all those charges. Blah. If it wasn’t obvious Sampson wants to coach college hoops again, it should be by now. Otherwise, he would go away. He would spare us the nonsense. He would make me forget he ever existed.

Instead, expect the media tour to roll on. Gee. Can’t wait.

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Kelvin Sampson, a year later, at ESPN the Mag

In the latest issue of ESPN the Mag — on newsstands now! — there’s a small bit on page 71 about five players affected by Kelvin Sampson’s Indiana hiring and subsequent resignation: Devin Ebanks, Terrell Holloway, Scottie Reynolds, Damion James and Tyshawn Taylor.

Today online, a few companion pieces ran along with it. Including two from me. The first is a column about what it meant for me to be a fan during Sampson’s reign of calling, and what Tom Crean has taught me. A sample:

I’d always heard about the Indiana Tradition or doing things the Indiana Way, but I’d usually roll my eyes at such pronouncements, thinking of them as nothing more but tired, clichéd statements from Bob Knight disciples. I’m a bit of a cynical guy.

Times had changed, I thought. It’s OK to bend the rules in recruiting, as long as you win, as long as you don’t get caught. It’s OK you don’t fit the Indiana mold, doing things the right way with dignity and class, as long as you win. It’s OK to bring in players of questionable character, as long as you win.

This is what the Kelvin Sampson era was at Indiana: win at all costs. And I was hooked, cast under his spell, because that’s all I wanted for my team, too. I wanted to win.

Second is four others affected by Sampson, but like the original piece in the actual print version, is behind ESPN’s Insider wall. Boo.

Lastly, Scott Powers wrote a tremendous story about all the guys who left last year, catching us up with their situations. He got a lot of quotes from Brandon McGee. That guy is behind the Insider wall too.

The moral of this post is that ESPN is putting a lot more of their stuff behind Insider’s wall this year. You’ve been warned, sports consumer.

Oh, and if you want another take on the whole Deadspin topic, Midwest Sports Fan has an indepth look at it today.

We’ve tried everything, but Kelvin Sampson won’t go quietly

I know you’re sick and tired of hearing about the lad pictured to the right, but the truth is, every time we think he’s out of our lives … BOOM … he reappears, much to our dismay.

If Eamonn’s post yesterday wasn’t enough to wet your Kelvin Sampson palate, I’ve got your fix. Speaking prior to tonight’s Bucks-Pacers game, where he likely heard obscenities thrown his way without discretion, Sampson tried to rationalize his appeal to the NCAA:

“I think they were wrong. They were wrong in every way. If I didn’t think they were wrong, I wouldn’t have appealed.”

Sampson acknowledged he and his staff had erred, though not deliberately.

“When someone makes a mistake, the first thing you have to ascertain is intent. There was no scheme or nobody sitting around trying to get away with something. A lot of people paid the price for those mistakes.”

This, my friends, is the same song and dance we’ve been hearing from day one. But apparently Sampson, who also said tonight that he’s enjoying the NBA and has no intent to come back to college, can’t just let it die and ride quietly into the night. He’s still fighting. He doesn’t really believe the NCAA is going to revisit this and determine they had it all wrong, does he?

Kelvin Sampson can’t leave well enough alone

Who remembers Kelvin Sampson? I don’t! I went through a very serious psychological process, like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, to have all memories of this “Sampson” guy erased from my brain. Actually, if that were true, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. I guess that construct works better for movies than for blog posts. Oh well.

In any case, The Star reported this morning that Sampson is appealing his NCAA penalty. Seriously. From Mark Alesia (thanks to Michael for the tip):

A source close to Sampson said the appeal is based on two points: The first is that the infractions committee misinterpreted testimony by former IU assistant Rob Senderoff, which led to a conclusion that Sampson knowingly placed impermissible recruiting phone calls, and thus was guilty of unethical conduct.

The second is that the NCAA enforcement staff, essentially the prosecutor in the case, was biased and showed a prejudgment of guilt by requesting a hearing before all of the interviews were complete.

I’m no legal expert. Nor am I well-versed in the judiciary procedures of the NCAA. So I don’t really have much in the way of comment to offer, except this: Go away, Kelvin. Go away. You got caught, dude. Your own school caught you. Maybe the NCAA will admit they “misinterpreted” Rob Senderoff’s testimony — and as someone who used to tell his ex-girlfriend she was “misinterpreting” me, let me tell you that’s nothing but a rude backhanded insult — but I doubt it. Your best option? Coach in the NBA, and go … away.

Now, about that memory procedure. There’s got to be something on the Internet somewhere here …