“I think the majority would want him to stay”

  • 02/18/2008 6:53 pm in

sampson.jpgNew York Times columnist William C. Rhoden offered up an alternative view this morning on Kelvin Sampson. Unlike countless mainstream media opinions we’ve read over the past six days, Rhoden offered support for the embattled Indiana coach. Here’s a piece of what Rhoden had to say:

Let me make the case for Sampson to remain at Indiana. One more chance. He has clearly blundered — maybe twice. Once at the University of Oklahoma and now, according to an N.C.A.A. report, at Indiana, which hired him in 2006. In pursuit of players, Sampson cannot seem to keep his fingers off speed dial.

But if McRobbie hasn’t made up his mind, he should step back, tap into a significant, mostly silent, number of faculty members and Indiana supporters who would like to see Sampson remain as the coach.

Before I continue any further, I must say that I seriously doubt that there is still a significant number of Indiana supporters who would like to see Sampson remain as the coach. There might be some, but to call the number significant is a stretch. Now, let’s continue with more of Rhoden’s column:

One of them is John A. McCluskey Jr., a professor of Afro-American studies at Indiana and an adjunct professor of English. McCluskey arrived at the Bloomington campus in 1977, a year after Indiana went 32-0 and won the national championship. A former football player at Harvard — he was the first African-American quarterback in the Ivy League’s modern era — McCluskey saw the great years at Indiana, then the mediocre ones, when the game seemed to have passed Knight by. He was a witness to the ordinary Davis teams.

“What I would like to see happen is that he stay on, he gets censured one more time, but he’s on that short leash again,” McCluskey said Sunday from Bloomington. “It’s a divided campus here. I think the majority would want him to stay, particularly after last night.”

If the latest poll we took here on Inside the Hall is any indication of the pulse of the fanbase, 83% of you say that Sampson should be fired. Nothing against Rhoden, he’s a great columnist for the best newspaper in the country, but I think he totally dropped the ball with this piece. He found one person willing to speak out in support of Sampson and transformed that into support that doesn’t exist.

Let’s wrap this up with a couple of questions:

1) Do you really believe there is a part of the fanbase that would like Sampson to stay? (His family and the players don’t count.) Particularly, if there are any of you that want to see him stay, please post a comment or if you think you’ll incite a riot, just drop me an email. I’d like to hear your logic.

2) And the crazy question to consider, what would be the reaction, if by some miracle, Sampson survived? (Not going to happen.)

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  • i'm not going to lie timmy, you are the worst poster on here.

    saying that IU fans that want sampson fired are anti-IU is like saying all people that hate President Bush are anti-American.

    i only wish i could live in your Sampson-loving communist world. tell me, will you stilll support IU when we have a new coach next season? Or will you follow Sampson to what ever junior college gives him a third chance to coach again?

  • eman

    Great Post! After seeing the joy on Ellis's face on TV the other night after the MS Game, I'm for recruiting jucos and guys like Gordon and Ebanks hurt grad rates as well, but I can live with that as well. I have Sampson's back and I think alot of this is NCAA madness.

  • Steve

    This is a very flawed argument. First, to think that all recruits will be lost because of a new coach? It is possible that a couple might leave, but they first have to get a release from IU and I am sure the new coach will attempt to convince them to stay. Armon Bassett and Xavier Keeling stuck around. Keeling leaving was more of a playing time and system issue I believe.

    I don't think Bassett will go anywhere, unless he just doesn't click with a new coach. Their is no logical explanation provided as to why McGee or Holman would leave based on a new coach coming in. With your argument it seems they would more likely stick around for a new coach with the hopes of more playing time (and no DJ or Mike White).

    Did EJ come specifically for Sampson or because he was not Mike Davis? I don't deny that the players have a relationship with KS. However Fife, Coverdale, Moye, etc. had the same relationship with Mike Davis. We saw the benefits of that for one season and then it led to the mess that the program finds itself in now.

    You fire Sampson now because you see how the NCAA is viewing the situation after they have reacted to the original investigation and gotten additional information that solidifies the infractions. Zero tolerance is zero tolerance. IU should learn from past mistakes and take a harder stand when they draw a line. If you think Sampson didn't know he was breaking special rules that were set for him, you are naive.

    While a love and respect what DJ White has done for the program over the last few years, I don't see how he could be a reason for the school to possibly mortgage their future. Also, as much as I want to see IU make a big run through March, I can't see them doing any better than the sweet 16. I don't believe that is a good enough reason to keep KS around when I think an interim coach could possibly do the same thing.

    Finally, the termination would be easily defended because the contract states that the school has the ability to fire Sampson if he is found to have broken any rules. If you believe the program will receive sanctions then you obviously believe rules have been broken.

    I apologize for the length of this post.

  • “first of all, these are NOT major violations”

    um, yeah they are. you know why they are? because sampson was on probation from the NCAA for breaking the same rules once but ignored that and tried to get away with it again.

    “sampson did not make these phone calls, his staff did.”

    yeah, you're right. in fact, i bet sampson had zero knowledge that any of these calls were illegal. i bet he had no idea that rob senderoff was patching him through to 3-way calls. i mean how could he know? it's not like he had ever been caught before doing the same….oh wait…

    “and we don’t know for sure that sampson is lying. maybe he just isn’t that bright.”

    best kelvin sampson excuse ever!

  • the best post from this entire week. excellent.

  • Sean

    This post is directed specifically to CoveyDale. I just wanted to thank you for being so wise as to know the exact reason why anyone supports Sampson at this point. Omnipotence is truly a blessing that few in life receive. It must be that all of us only care about making the final four. It could not possibly be the fact that some of us would like to see the NCAA allegations proven before we make any decisions. If only we were all so self-righteous as you and wanted Sampson fired as soon as IU initially self-reported the phone call violations! You did want that right? In the future, please refrain from making assumptions about the motivations of others. Some of us may even be intelligent enough to distinguish between allegations and proven facts. I am sure you are among the group of people who convicted the Duke lacrosse students (and many others who have been accused of breaking the rules or the law) without a trial. If Sampson is proven to be liar after given his due process we must fire him. Otherwise, everyone has a right to their personal opinions as long as they don't attack others or put words in their mouth. If you could quit doing so in the future it would be appreciated.

  • td

    I'm retired and worked in an industry that was considered a federal contractor by law. Without going into detail, let me say from experience these quasi-public bureacracies love to play “gotcha.” I feel as though the NCAA lies to congress everytime they go to the hill to beg extensions to their tax-free status. For some reason or other, lying on capital hill is no big deal, the politicians do it all the time.(That's another story for another time.) My gut feeling is Sampson is gone. However, one needs to realize the NCAA letter is written in allegation form. They state nothing as fact. They're leaving that up to IU and thankfully, Kent and Ted are not making that decision for the university. As taxpayers, students, potential students, etc., we should be thankful the university is going slow. Ohio State let the shadow of the NCAA stampede them into a hurried and unwise decision on a basketball coach that came back to bite them in the pocketbook. For those of you wanting a quick fix to this, please send your money donations to IU for that quick and unwise move. They will need it. The lawyers love this stuff. It lines their pockets at our expense. Why do you think it takes everyone envolved so long so say something. The clock is running and the bill just keeps rising. We lose a big law suit and you'll want someone else's head. Be patient and don't let the media or the websites incite you into foolishness. Understand the legal industry will work this for what it's worth and they don't need any further help from us.

  • Jerry

    I spent 6 hours yesterday reading the recruiting rules.

    AMen td Amen

  • I was just trying to paint a picture where everything Sampson does in his off-the-court management of the program has been solved. Indiana fans will never fully respect him if the team consistently has two-four jucos on it.

  • MPmike

    Yes, IU should keep him under a “No tolerance policy.” Any minor offense then he's gone. All of you people make this Phonegate allegations like it's the worst thing that has ever happened to basketball and the IU program. Most of you don't know or remember that IU has not always been the perfect program that you make it to be. IU was in trouble with the NCAA in the 60's. What if Sampson comes clean and said that he made a mistake and wants another chance to redeem himself? Why can't we forgive him like we forgave other stars and celebrities and people in higher positions? If we don't, then we are a bunch of hyprocrites.
    Kelvin Sampson never paid anyone or fixed student grades. Those are major violations and grounds for termination, but phone calls-please!! The thing that he is guilty of is doing something really dumb and being very careless.
    I can bet my house and tell you that most if not all head coaches break some type of violations that are never reported to the university or NCAA. That is why you won't hear a coach bad mouth another one for mistakes like that. Come on Hoosier Nation, give Kelvin Sampson- one more chance. Finally, either way if Sampson resigns or gets fired, I will always be a supporter for Kelvin Sampson.

  • Brian

    Look at teh reason IU was in trouble in the 60's it was a bit of a different circumstances also and it dealt with not only IU but other schools as well. Maybe we forgive people to much and don't just stop and say hey…that's enough …your gone. Yeah we keep forgiving forgiving celebs etc. Look how many times they go through rehab etc and either die or finally get it right. Maybe if we cut them loose didn't give them our money etc they'd straighten up quicker. Well we gave took KS in, knowingly under bad circumstances, and said “you know what..we know you did this and your already in trouble but we will give you another chance…not only another chance, but at one of the biggest basketball schools in the country….with one of the best histories in basketball. ” So actually for him already getting in trouble once I'd say we gave him a helluva chance already.

  • ray

    iu would probably fair well as a top-contending team if they kept sampson on. as for his firing i suppose he should go at this point. if he stays iu will receive plenty of negative criticism. these phone calls have been so blown out of proportion that iu can't afford to keep him. after hearing dick vitale make him out to be the biggest evil-doer since satan himself on national television i would say iu needs to go ahead and throw in the towel. at this point, even those who don't follow iu or ncaa basketball have heard how “utterly dispicable” his acts were (a few extra phone calls mind you…not all that dispicable). the entire sports world is up in arms over what? oh yeah, some phone calls. i don't understand it. i would like to say that he should continue as coach, but it wouldn't make the world of sports very happy with iu…so instead i say fire him…not because he did anything that i would consider devilish or because we should make everyone else happy, but because he was so foolish to place himself into this situation.

    i personally think that bruce weber did more harm allowing his players and the illinois fans to act like thugs on national television than what sampson did by making a few phone calls…but then i'm not the one who will be making any decisions…and not to mention most of you believe that sampson is a cold-hearted criminal as well. like i said before…i don't understand it.

  • ray

    i agree with your point exactly hoosiersmitty. iu needs to unleash sampson and bring in another body so that they can re-recruit some of the players coming to iu to play for sampson. some players are coming because it is iu, but most are coming because sampson is at the helm. we need to let these recruits know that iu basketball is still iu basketball and that a new coach is hired and ready to make another run at a national title.

  • ray

    after reading through the posts, i think sampson should be given a chance to make his case in front of the ncaa. we didn't fire him before, so why should we now? there is no new evidence!

    it is a tight rope that the university is walking on right now, but to let him go now just because the ncaa found the same faults which were already apparent makes iu look ridiculous. if iu thought that what sampson did was reason for termination, then they should have done it earlier in the season.

    iu had their chance to terminate him…now it should be left to the ncaa to decide iu and sampson's fate…and greenspan should suffer the consequences as well!