If this is it…

  • 02/19/2008 8:00 am in

kelvinclose2.JPGI’ve got two words for you, Kelvin Sampson: Beat Purdue.

Give us one last night to root for you, even if it makes us all a bit hypocritical. Give us another night like Saturday, a night where one long standing media member told me it was the loudest he’s ever heard Assembly Hall. And most importantly, leave us with a chance to control our own destiny in the race for the Big Ten title.

When PostmanE, PostmanR and myself started Inside the Hall back in June, we did so not only out of our love of the Indiana basketball program and its tradition, but also because of our excitement of where the program was heading.

IU was finally past the debacle known as Mike Davis and despite your problems at Oklahoma, last season gave us hope that you were the man for the job. You took an average team and got them to play inspired, hard-nosed basketball. They pushed UCLA to the limit in the NCAA Tournament and by most accounts, it was the first in line of many successful seasons.

The excitement for this season started minutes after the last one ended with thoughts of Eric Gordon arriving in Bloomington. For me, that excitement intensified in August at New Albany High School when I got a look at the recruiting haul you were bringing to town. All was well in Hoosierland and thoughts of a trip to San Antonio danced in my head.

October brought the first sniff of controversy as Indiana announced secondary violations as part of an investigation by its compliance department. Most of us gave the staff the benefit of the doubt and Rob Senderoff took the fall for his involvement. No big deal in the whole scheme of things, right?

This season had been going well for the most part. Despite a lack of consistency on defense, the Hoosiers were 20-3 after their win at Ohio State on Feb. 10 and seemed to be playing well at the right time.

And then … well you know … all hell broke loose. It’s all been well documented, so there’s no need to go over it again. It is what it is.

You’re likely coaching your last game at Indiana tonight. Most Hoosier fans will have mixed emotions as they watch the game, whether they’re watching from the bleachers in the north end of Assembly Hall or at home on the couch with family and friends.

We wanted to see you succeed and bring Indiana back to the success it has always enjoyed. You had all of the tools at your disposal: support from the fan base, new facilities on the way and players that wanted to win for you.

Despite this, you chose to break the rules, either out of arrogance or stupidity. We may never know which. Somehow, someway, excessive phone calls were worth the risk of ruining the best coaching opportunity of your life.

So tonight we say goodbye to you, Kelvin Sampson. But before you go, one final request …

Beat Purdue.

Filed to:

  • kelin

    Couldn't have said it better myself….Big A.
    Beating Kentucky was great, Beating Illinois twice was awesome, Beating MSU was inspiring…..Beating Purdue is personal…..

    KS tonight I will cheer you as I did before the allegations, I will cheer this team as I did as a kid watching them beat Syracuse for the national title. This game means more to IU fans than any other game in recent history….

    Just beat Purdue….

  • Jerry

    Nice , very nice and right on target

    I have now spent 6 hours reading the NCAA rules and proposals on recruiting. I wish I could see the report. I now feel that it is quite easy to see how a staff can mistakenly exceed limits by a couple of calls . Hopefully we complied w Contacts, VIsits, Evaluations, Materials and the 1000 other areas of rules, proposed rules and NCAA interpretations of rules.

    I also spent 3 hours looking at other violaters. I now think like Hubert Davis that this is maybe not as bad as blown up to be. Villanova for example took at least 1 recruit to an NBA coach and locker room during a visit …among a set of other violations. Rick Majerus free meal program at Utah etc

    I hope IU can find a way to support the coach if they have a basis so the new coach ,if we come to that , knows that the U is behind him and not intimidated into pulling the rug .

    I wan tIU to aim high in all things ,thus my drumbeat is for a nationally recognized Coach of the Year type……..the last 2 work for me, I've mentioned them before

  • Ben bic

    To Kevin Sampson: I am an IU fan that is for you (one of many I am sure.)
    To the IU fans that have treated Mike Davis and Kevin Sampson in such a rotten way: How can IU ever attract another good basketball coach?
    Why would a coach want to come to IU after seeing how fickle and rude (some) IU fans are???? Hang in there Kevin. I want to see you succeed!!!

  • It's going to be sad to see Kelvin go, knowing that John Calipari still has a job.

    Think he'll tell Memphis that IU is looking to hire him again, just so he can get a raise?

    I digress…just go out and beat Purdue and show your team how much you love them just like you did at the end of the MSU game. Go IU.

  • Chris

    Beat Purdue, Kelvin. Beat Purdue. Please.

  • Jerry

    I am one that has been critical of the play this year and wanted KS to resign. Now I have changed my mind to where I hope IU finds a way to fight the NCAA if they have a basis. This helps hire a new coach as well.

    I am praying for a win, promised god I would stop drinking and quit beating my wife if we win

  • Melissa


  • I seriously doubt you are an IU fan if you can't spell their oft-mentioned coach's name correctly.

  • Interesting choice, Big A, picking the chorus line from a Huey Lewis and the News song. Incidentally, starts with a phone call.

    Put me in the corner of not thinking this is as big of a deal as people are making it out to be. But…how can we punish Sampson more than we did when this happened the last time? We took away a raise and a scholarship…and I would hope to high heaven we gave him the “No, really, DON'T do that!” talk. There has to be some increase in penalty from the last time…not sure what else we could do but fire him.

    I've been phoning night and morning
    I heard you say “tell him I'm not home”
    Now you're confessing, But I'm still guessing
    I've been your fool for so so long
    Girl don't lie, just to save my feelings
    Girl don't cry, and tell me nothing's wrong
    Girl don't try to make up phony reasons
    I'd rather leave than never believe

    If this is it, Please let me know
    If this ain't love you'd better let me know
    If this is it, I want to know
    If this ain't love baby, just say so

    You've been thinking
    And I've been drinking
    We both know that it's just not right
    Now you're pretending
    That it's not ending
    You'll say anything to avoid a fight
    Girl don't lie, and tell me that you need me
    Girl don't cry, and tell me nothing's wrong
    I'll be alright one way or another
    So let me go, or make we want to stay

    If this is it , Please let me know
    If this ain't love you'd better let me know
    If this is it, I want to know
    If this ain't love baby, just say so

  • Excellent work on picking that up. Was waiting to see if anyone would bring it up.

  • BigT

    amen! hopefully the Hall will be as loud or louder than the duke game from a couple of years ago…..Go Hoosiers!!!

  • I would take Calipari in a heartbeat. He's not dumb enough to get caught.

    Plus, that dribble-drive motion offense … it's a thing of beauty.

  • Oh my god, that was a Huey Lewis song? In a headline on our site?

    I feel dirty.

  • I dunno. Calipari just drips sleeze and is one step ahead of the rules committee while Sampson is a nice guy who just isn't smart enough to avoid detection.

  • Embrace it.

  • He seems so dirty to me…dunno why.

  • Jerry

    Huey Lewis tunes played a role in the movie American Psycho. Somehow it seems even more fitting

  • Exactly, embrace it. Love it. In all honesty, I didn't map out the lyrics, but yes, the title was a reference of some sorts to the song.

  • T

    I don't know if i'd want a coach (Calapari) that was once threatened by John Cheney of Temple…There's still an outside chance Cheney backs up his threat and actually kills Clapari soon.

    And as for tonight…here's to hoping that they win by 30 points.

  • Jerry

    I think somebody said it that IU made dramtically fewer calls than anyone else such that if we blew it by a little there was still no “recruiting advantage” which happens to be the NCAA's published test of violation severity.

    BBUUTT , keep in mind Rick Majerus was severely punished 4 scholarships for hosting players at “home” for meals which is in fact allowed…..but what if you live in a hotel and your room has no kitchen ? Then the NCAA nails you

    W/o seeing the actual report its hard to get a sense of proportion here.

    I want a Coach of the Year type coach , you can check them out online, KS is not one of them, but I also donot like us being railroaded into a Jim O'Brien

  • Quincy

    Postman E said it all on ” the morning after Mich. State”
    ” Its hard to say goodbye to someone who knows he needs to leave. Its hard to force him out when you watch him hug his kids. He clings to life in face of certain failure and then you remember what he did in the first place.” Well said…
    Just beat PU.. KS. One more in the Hall. We hardly knew you.

  • 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.

  • That's the pa-pa-power of love

  • kelin

    I have a question for those who believe KS should be given another chance?
    Are you ok with another chance for KS and a post season ban next year and loss of scholarship?

  • ray


  • Ryan_Btown

    Was that guy serious? Kevin? That's pretty funny. And anyone that is a true IU fan knows that this university, with all its basketball history, had more than enough right to fire Mike Davis after he went 29-29 over two seasons.

  • Furthering the Huey Lewis chatter…Michael J. Fox was in “Back to the Future,” probably the most famous movie to feature “Power of Love.”

    Does that mean we're recruiting Teen Wolf? Do we have to take that fat PF from the team if we do?

  • ray

    MPMike…i agree with you that this whole thing has been completely blown out of proportion. kelvin sampson isn't buying kids automobiles or pulling their mothers off of wellfare and out of debt…he made a few extra phone calls. it was absolutely stupid to put himself in this position, but they were just phone calls.

    if you listen to dick vitale though, you would think kelvin sampson molested an eight year old or something…i don't know…i saw lots of double u's in iu's future with sampson at the helm. too bad he had to go out and do what he did…

    eight year olds dude…

  • ray

    no. but it shouldn't be that severe of a punishment. but then again, anyone who willingly breaks rules is either an idiot or believes he is above the rules…and i have a lot of disgust for people like that.

    kelvin sampson made some phone calls, and you would think by the amount of media coverage he has received that he knocked up one of the cheerleaders and then beat her baby to death on assembly hall's court in front of 17,000. it was a few phone calls people.

    i think he should be gone. breaking the rules is happening everywhere to some degree i'm sure, but if someone is caught and continues to break that same rule while being closely monitored…then they should be fired.

  • Brian

    He does but I'd take him also. This whole Sampson situation has just got my head spinning. On side note PostmanE on you rpic there on your post, you kinda look like the husband on Medium.

  • ALH_00

    For me, it's the lying to the University and the NCAA that pushes the situation over the line. IU sanctioned itself in the fall after the uncovered violations. At the time, it seemed like a fair deal…caught again for seeminly minor violations = loss of raise and one scholarship. Now the NCAA is saying that KS is a liar and unable to run a program with an atmosphere of compliance with NCAA rules. He is a two-time admitted cheat. Now he is accused of major violations…lying to the NCAA.

    Obviously, the NCAA allegations SHOULD be found to be true before the Hoosiers fire Sampson. But the NCAA is the judge of its own allegations. They have compiled a hefty record (so it seems) of evidence to show that KS lied to IU and the NCAA about his inability to follow the rules. IU is not even trying to come up with new information that would help exonerate KS.

    If IU stands behind Sampson (which it will not and should not), the NCAA, after finding that Sampson did, in fact, lie to the University and the NCAA, will come down with the hammer against IU. That puts IU in a worse position in June that it is now in Feb. Do they fire him then? In that scenario, IU loses two prime months for finding a replacement. Or, god forbid, do they continue to let this guy coach? What is going to stop KS from committing the same violations in the future? Obviously, University and NCAA imposed sanctions do not. Are we to believe that KS is serious about compliance “this time”. “no tolerance”…seriously?

    KS is to blame for this mess and he needs to take his medicine. While we will be losing a good basketball coach and good recruiter, we need to begin the process of healing the program from the wounds that KS has inflicted. You can't simply put a band-aid on this.

  • LRubes

    Does anyone else think Matt Painter looks like big hefty lefty Phil Mickelson?

  • Ryan_Btown

    Let's remember that KS isn't in trouble for phone calls. Phone calls are not a major violation. He's in trouble for breaking probation and not telling the truth to the NCAA and the university. To commit the same offense after you already know you are under a microscope is ridiculous. Is this all blown out of proportion? Yes. But it is what it is. If they prove he lied (which I'm not sure how easy that is to do, kinda like proving Clemens lied), and we keep him, we'll lose ANOTHER scholarship and probably get a post-season ban. All for one guy not telling the truth. I think we might have to dress 6 scholarship athletes soon. I'm gonna go post some fliers for walk ons.

  • Anonymous

    FINALLY, some sound legal advice.

    Jim Carrey's Fletcher Reede to Kelvin Sampson:

    “Stop breaking the law, a$$hole!!!”

  • Jerry

    Can we impose even more restrictions we can live with ? or is “fire the coach” the best tool we have left ? IU is crazy to take action now w/o negotiating w the NCAA what its got left to give.

    i would try to negotiate “fire the coach” in exchange for NCAA LIFTING all sanctions off the next coach. This means we cannot have a clear result this week other than to follow a defense strategy w the NCAA in order to get to the negotiation stage.

  • Nick

    I have to tell you for fun. I was ten years old when the Keith Smart dropped in that last second shot from the baseline and I suffered my first real injury because of that shot. My dad and I were jumping all around the living room and I came down on his foot and rolled my ankle. When we finally calmed down he took me to the emergency room and I had broken my ankle. I've broken the same ankle three more times since then (including once two years ago playing football in the backyard), but it was well worth it!!!

    KS can salvage a little bit of pride and respect from the Hoosier state if he can just lead his team to victory over Pur-who? tonight!!!

  • Joe

    Is it me or does Gene Keady's wife look like the cryptkeeper? I was talking to one of my Purdue friends, and he's never seen what she looks like. I tried to look her up on the net, and I seriously think her image is banned on the internet. I'm not complaining there.

  • Timmy

    I predict Sampson will not be fired. If he's fired I'll never leave another comment on this blog. If he's not fired, many of you turds need to post me an apology.

  • :''( = timmy

    lets hope he gets fired then..

  • Jerry

    I studied the NCAA rules yesterday for phone calls . You are allowed “n” calls per period of time based on the kids class inschool and an NCAA recruiting calander . In some cases a mere “hello” is counted as a call.

    It is therefore possible on a 3way call that KS does not know the kid is on the line, says “hello” ( a potential violation) and then tries gracefully to terminate the call. Accordign to rules If he does not act fast and fully to terminate the call the NCAA counts it as a call.

    Could this come down to KS believing he gracefully over say 2 minutes was acting to terminate the call and therefore he does not count it as a call and thus not lying about it? After the fact then I cannot see where this is NOT counted as 2 calls since 2 reps of IU were on the call at different times. If not counted as 2 calls this causes the next contact with the kid to be impermissable ?

    I think we need the facts of the report itself to ultimately know how we should feel.

    Personly he was not my choice for coach but it is possible to smell DUKE LACROSSE or JIM O'BRIEN here

  • Jerry

    What do you have against turds ?

  • Can we hold you to this? Ha.

  • Doesn't the name “Phil Mickelson” immediately imply “hefty”?

  • L rubes

    my bad, i guess i was being a little redundant there

  • Giving Timmy a point for him possibly (probably?) never leaving another comment.

  • Just kidding, Timmy, by the way.

  • bleeding crimson

    Jerry, I totally agree. I have yet to see one mention on this site as to what the rules are from the NCAA on phone calls made to recruits. How many, what time of day, what coaches, etc…but I have seen many comments though on how we hold higher standards for others than ourselves better yet quick to judge.

    KS may have issues and may have knowingly “cheated ” if so, then let him go and let's start looking for a coach today. I have a bigger beef, if he is guilty then he should have already left the day of the NCAA's ruling. But since he didn't then maybe he does know the truth. Maybe he made an honest mistake. But NONE of us know what KS did, or did not do, we just know what the NCAA claims. As mentioned by Jerry, these are “potential violations”. It is possilbe that he thought he was in accordance wiht the NCAA rules.

    Another thing, did anyone pay attention to the fact that the ruling did not come down from Miles Brand but the VP of the NCAA. This is a huge concern, if the NCAA really thinks KS is guilty as charged, then they can't have any mercy on IU. Maybe either we are going to get hammered anyway due to the fact that it might show favoritism by M Brand.

    Many of us didn't like the choice of KS when he was hired but embraced him once he succeeded as our coach. Now that we have decided for him to go… we are ready for him to be fired but PLEASE beat Purdue before you go…..just don't seem right.

    Lastly, I believe KS should have made damn sure that he didn't make the same mistake twice when he came to IU…and maybe he still thinks he didn't.

    Something to ponder.

  • johnnydakota

    classic. just classic.

  • johnnydakota

    Conventional wisdom would suggest the sooner, the better, as far as the NCAA is concerned. Holding on when you know he's wrong makes you look even more shady. The NCAA is waay too arrogant to negotiate anything. Also, don't forget who runs the NCAA. I can't see him doing us any favors either.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I thought Cheney retired so he could put his plan in to action.