Another day has passed and more digging into the NCAA case summary is complete. This time, it’s excerpt from an interview with Kelvin Sampson where he denies ever being on a three-way call where he and Rob Senderoff talked simultaneously.
Here’s what Sampson said on November 13, 2007: “There was never, there was never an instance where I was on the phone with a kid where Rob Senderoff talked.”
However, interviews conducted by Mark Neyland of the NCAA enforcement staff with Yvonne Jackson (mother of Devin Ebanks), Will Buford, DeJuan Blair, Yancey Gates and Demetri McCamey tell a different story.
Transcripts of those conversations after the jump.
The most interesting part of my first glance through the NCAA case summary was Kelvin Sampson’s explanation of his practices for checking caller ID. There are a lot of “uh’s” and contradictions. What’s that you say? You’re not surprised? Me either.
November 13, 2007
Mark Neyland, NCAA assistant director of enforcement Mike Glazier, Sampson’s legal counsel Kelvin Sampson, former head men’s basketball coach
Neyland: And what about in terms of caller ID? Were there numbers popping up on your phone?
Neyland: You could actually see the numbers?
Sampson: Sometimes, sometimes it wouldn’t matter. If it was a number that wasn’t plugged in, uh, as, uh, I would answer the phone not knowing who it was and, like, take my sheet and see if that, uh, corresponded.
Glazier: And make sure you’re clear on, on between cell phone and home phone, too.
Sampson: Yeah, The home phone, the caller ID didn’t show up until after the second or third ring. It only showed incoming call. There was no caller ID on my home phone.
With all of the NCAA allegations/recruiting news going on in Bloomington over the past month, we haven’t had a chance to update you on Eric Gordon and his NBA Draft stock. Gordon is down in Orlando participating in the “combine” portion of the pre-draft camp. Rather than working out, he’s being tested for strength, agility, speed and size.
He’s also going through some interviews and here’s what he told Jeff Rabjohns of The Indianapolis Star about his old buddy Kelvin Sampson:
“We had a real good relationship. After all the stuff I’ve been through in college with Illinois and Indiana and all that and for me to play for him my first year of college, we got pretty close. It’d be neat (to play for him in the NBA), but there’s a lot of other good coaches out there. I don’t want to just be specific on playing for him.”
Let me translate. Since I’m a really nice kid and don’t want to throw Kelvin under the bus, I’m going to say that I enjoyed playing for him, but I’m really looking forward to a fresh start. If I was Gordon, the last thing I’d want during my rookie season is to answer questions about IU and Sampson.
Meanwhile, ESPN draft guru Chad Ford has the latest on Gordon’s wrist and a list of teams that are interested in his services:
Gordon said his wrist is totally healed and he’s back to being a dead-eye behind the arc. The thing that stuck out to me about Gordon was his size. He is so wide for a guard. He looks like a 6-foot-4 power forward. Given his athleticism and quickness, that size will serve him well in the pros. He’s significantly bigger than Mayo or Jerryd Bayless.
Sources say that Gordon will likely fall to either Seattle at No. 4, the Knicks at No. 6 or the Clippers at No. 7. On potential, he could be the third- or fourth-best player in this draft. If his jumper is falling in workouts, his stock will be quickly repaired.
If Gordon shows that his wrist is 100% and has the range he exhibited early in the season, I see no reason why O.J. Mayo or Jerryd Bayless would go ahead of him. Gordon might be the best pure scorer in the draft and his body is more than NBA ready. Let’s just hope he doesn’t go to the disaster also known as the Knicks.
Tom Crean visited the Louisville/Southern Indiana area on Wednesday for a press conference at Louisville Slugger Field and a gathering for the IU Varsity Club at Huber’s in Starlight, Indiana. Here are links to coverage from Crean’s trip along with a couple of other IU related stories:
Kelvin Sampson was introduced by the Milwaukee Bucks yesterday as an assistant coach and as expected, he refused to answer any questions about what went down at IU. He did, however, offer his thoughts on Tom Crean, who also happens to be his close friend:
“Tom will do great. He’s an outstanding person, excellent coach. I think it’s a great fit. Tom would do well anywhere, though. He’s just really good at what he does, he’s very conscientious, will get kids to compete and play.”
— Dan Dakich talked to Terry Hutchens of The Indianapolis Star and the former interim coach addresses Kelvin Sampson, Armon Bassett, Jamarcus Ellis and the overall state of Indiana basketball. Dakich will get $180,000 promised to him by the university and hopes to coach somewhere next season. Dakich was criticized for kicking Bassett and Ellis to the curb, but ultimately, we’re all finding out that he was just looking out for a program in desperate need of discipline.
Let’s not engage in selective amnesia: former coach Kelvin Sampson was hired by Greenspan. Now, were former school president Adam Herbert and trustee Jeff Cohen the people who most strongly supported Sampson’s hiring? Sure. Greenspan had his own favorite — sources tell me it was former West Virginia and current Michigan coach John Beilein — but Sampson was among the three candidates Greenspan sent to the trustees.
Ultimately, Greenspan signed off on this terrible hire, and on the day Sampson was introduced, Greenspan happily stood out front and sang Sampson’s praises.
— And finally, Terry Hutchens has an update on IU’s self-imposed sanctions. Tom Crean has seven days of off-campus recruiting to use in July, IU has added two paid official visits and the staff will lower its frequency of correspondence with Derek Elston (who was named in the NCAA’s report) from seven times to six times for the upcoming school year.
When I arrived at Indiana University, I hired an experienced staff and made my expectation of strict compliance with NCAA rules and with the restrictions imposed upon our staff very clear. As set forth in detail in the body of my Response, each member of my staff confirms that my expectations were made clear. I endorsed and cooperated fully with the monitoring systems set in place by Indiana’s athletics compliance staff. I relied upon the monitoring program that was set in place. Again, the statements of my staff as set forth in my Response confirm this. I told my staff repeatedly that I never again wanted to go through an experience like I had in the Oklahoma case and that we as a staff needed to completely buy into the monitoring systems implemented by Indiana’s compliance program.
[ … ]
Accordingly, I cannot adequately describe in words how stunned I was to learn from Mr. Greenspan later that summer that the compliance office’s review of my staff’s phone records had revealed possible violations. First, I could not believe that if in fact the records showed violations, some since my staff’s earliest days at the University, the matters had not been detected and brought to the attention of Mr. Greenspan and myself much earlier so they could have been addressed in a timely fashion. And second, given how strongly and frequently I had communicated to my staff that I expected 100 percent compliance – I could not believe that NCAA rules and Committee on Infractions’ imposed restrictions had apparently been disregarded.
Look: Kelvin could very well be right here. (Not likely, though.) But knowing what we know, for him to have the audacity to try and pin this on the compliance staff, that he “relied” on them to do their job, that there was really nothing wrong from his end, well, that’s just some weird logic.
When this stuff originally hit, he said he didn’t “knowingly” violate any rules. And in this letter, again, he didn’t really place anything on himself. At some point — especially when you’ve been caught for this stuff before — you have to at least place some of this on yourself. Even if you didn’t think you were doing anything wrong, you were still doing something wrong.
Or I guess you can take a buyout, get a job in the NBA and peace out of the college game for good. That works pretty well, too.
Andy Katz of ESPN.com is reporting that Indiana agrees with the NCAA’s five allegations and will release its response to the NCAA publicly as soon as tomorrow:
Indiana University essentially agreed with all five violations that the NCAA cited against the men’s basketball program in a Feb. 8 major notice of allegations sent to the school, ESPN.com has learned from multiple sources.
The school is expected to formally release its response to the public as early as Tuesday. Representatives of Indiana are due to meet in Seattle with the committee on infractions on June 14. A final result on any possible penalties likely won’t be known until later in the summer.
The five allegations are outlined here and when you look at what happened this past weekend at USC with O.J. Mayo, you have to stop and ask yourself how serious phone calls really are. However, the NCAA will look at this more from the perspective that IU knowingly hired a cheater and that is a big part of why this investigation is right in the middle of their radar.
The athletic department, on the other hand, is hoping that getting rid of the said cheater, Kelvin Sampson, cleaning house with certain parts of the roster and bringing in a coach with a pristine image will help lessen the blow in June. The self-imposed sanctions should help as well.
Forgive the delay in getting to this, it was a busy day of travel for yours truly, but Chris Korman of the H-T/Hoosier Scoop is reporting that IU has amended its self-imposed sanctions and is allowing Tom Crean to go on the road recruiting for 10 days.
Indiana University has amended the sanctions it imposed on the men’s basketball program, according to a source close to the athletic department. The school has granted new coach Tom Crean ten days to go on the road and recruit.
When Indiana put the punishment in place last fall, it limited Kelvin Sampson to 10 recruiting days from Oct. 5 2007 through July 31, 2008. Sampson used most of those days. Dan Dakich used the rest of them.
This is a bit surprising to me simply because one has to believe that IU is doing everything in its power to stay in line leading up the NCAA hearing in June. I’m not suggesting that this is specifically “out of line,” but it does go against what IU put in place last fall.
Perhaps the idea was “floated” to NCAA officials and got a favorable response from the powers that be. Whatever the case may be, if Tom Crean can pull three recruits from his office in B-town, he’s going to be really dangerous for the next 10 days.
First, it was a guy that people talked about for the Indiana job, and who most fans were happy to see stay in the pros. Then it was a guy who had the Indiana job, and who most people were happy to see go. Funny how that works out.
Kelvin Sampson is close to finding his first full-time gig since getting the big boot out of Bloomington. The job: help Scott Skiles condescend to NBA players. Milwaukee Bucks players, specifically.
While I won’t spend too much time analyzing the state of the Bucks, or what these hires do for them, I will say quickly that the organization must really think they need regimented player development above all else. Skiles’ demeanor is far closer to the traditional college coach’s — he’s more the tyrant who can run all aspects of a program than he is the Phil Jackson-esque, philosophizing nuts and bolts NBA strategist. Sampson is pretty much the same thing, though he does seem to get along with players better.
Anyway, enough about this. Godspeed, Kelvin. May the wind always be at your back, and may your Palm Treo always be buzzing.