Parrish: Sampson not bowing out gracefully; Players threaten to quit

  • 02/22/2008 10:57 am in

greenspan3.jpgAt this point, it’s tough to separate fact from fiction after all the stuff that was being tossed around yesterday about the ongoing — but not for long! — saga that is Kelvin Sampson’s Farewell Tour. But Gary Parrish of CBS Sportsline had something that caught our collective eye today: Sampson would not bow out gracefully yesterday. And if and when Sampson gets removed as head coach today, a good lot of players are threatening not to finish out the season.

To wit (pardon the heavy blockquote):

According to the sources, after Greenspan informed five selected players — namely D.J. White, Eric Gordon, Kyle Taber, Lance Stemler and Adam Ahlfeld — of his decision to replace Sampson he called a meeting with the entire team in an attempt to “prepare” them for Friday’s official announcement that Sampson would either be suspended or terminated in time for the Hoosiers’ weekend game at Northwestern. But before Greenspan finished his speech, the sources said an unidentified player stood up and insisted “if Sampson ain’t coaching, we ain’t playing” and that Greenspan responded with what he thought was a rhetorical question.

“Greenspan asked if he should just cancel the whole season,” one source said. “And the player told him ‘We don’t care what you do. But if Sampson ain’t coaching, we ain’t playing.’ And then they just walked out.”

[ … ]

According to the sources, Greenspan asked Sampson to resign Thursday night but Sampson — who was alleged in a report released last week to have committed five major NCAA rules violations — rejected the request. The sources said it now appears Sampson is daring the school to fire him and that such a move would almost certainly lead to a lawsuit …

A few things here: it’s nice to see the players sticking up for their coach; I can respect that. But in a season that I still very much think can have life post-Sampson, this would be dreadful for us fans if their threats ring true. And as far as Sampson is concerned? Of course he’s going to fight this to the bitter end. Why would he not? This is how the man rolls.

Lastly, from the typewriter of Andy Katz: IU did not make a decision on Sampson until this morning and Greenspan is talking it over with Michael McRobbie and crew presumably now. A statement — not a presser — is expected later today.

Filed to:

  • tberry

    If that is what it take, let them walk. We saw what happened last time the AD let the players make the decision, we got Mike Davis. They wear the IU uniform not a Kelvin Sampson uniform.

    Here is how i hope most IU fans feel:;_ylt=AgEyux6

  • deedubbadoo

    If they are willing to ruin this season, possibly their careers, and further sully the name of Indiana University let them walk. Every last one of them if they feel inclined. Sticking up for a coach that gets a raw deal is one thing, sticking up for a habitual offender is another. And if they would go as far as to tank the game at Northwestern just to prove a point, cancel the rest of the season, revoke all of their scholarships, end of story.

  • eman

    or…let them have their coach and win a national championship!

  • Sherron Wilkerson

    I allegedly heard a story about a guy who heard from another guy that he talked to a source who told him that another source said that Sampson was going to coach womens basketball at Minnesota, allegedly. I'm glad to see this site has turned into the New York times, or at least thats what my sources told me.

  • Sherron Wilkerson

    Little different situation there bro, Dakich will not be our coach next season

  • dyedinthewool

    So MM and RG are in a meeting this morning discussing KS. The link provided ,further proves no one knows what the hell is going on.,

  • HoosierSmitty

    You know Ahlfeld is just sitting there thinking “sweet…playing time” if this happens.

  • Didn't Ahlfeld threaten to walk?

  • hoosier45

    i like the throw back to Sherron (even though he was a thug). anyways, sampon's true character is shining through. i hope once this is over, he never gets a big time job, ever again.

  • I'm very glad that ESPN didn't get a chance to suck up Yahoo! sports.

  • td

    How many on this site work under a contract. They're written to go both ways. That's why you have lawyers and reprsentatives involved on both sides. Sampson is not doing anything on his own at this point without coaching from his legal team. That's why you hire them, for advice when the crap hits the fan. Do you know of any coach who works without a contract? Guess who draws those things up? It's not the school AD or the coach. Both sides are now working their side of the contract as their legal people sit and advise.

  • Let them play! Let them play!

    Zero tolerance from here on out is the way to go, he's gotta coach the rest of the season.

  • hoosierdave

    I agree. I would hate to see the accomplishments go up in smoke but I believe the players are just angry (justified) and venting. I can't believe they would forfeit their scholarships and possibly their amateur careers by doing something this insane.

    As far as KS, I was supporting him but his true colors are coming out. Has he ever expressed even the slightest bit of remorse over what he has put the players and the university through with his blatant disregard of rules? He has to go regardless of what the players threaten to do.

  • kelin

    HoosierSmitty that was a nice Ahfeld line……
    We went through this with Bob and Mike D. They all threaten to walk…I am sure as HELL DJ, EJ, Lance….would not do this given the position they are in. They DJ and EJ have too much to lose. If KS wants to sue, he would turn himself into the new Nolan Richardson…..won't get another JOB anywhere, doing anything with basketball..

    If some of these guys want to walk away from 17K in the stands, NCAA tourney, and everything else that comes with it fine…..SW Idaho State University College Prep Community School Tigers will kindly take them…AFTER they sit out a season…Please, refuse to play…..I really don't believe this story at all.

    I think the entire delay right now in the decision is figuring out how many anytime minutes KS have left cause he wants to keep them as a souvenir.

  • Jerry

    Katz at ESPN reports that an “official” told him the story of players quitting is “science fiction” and no decision was made yesterday.

    The worst thing in the article is that we did not practice Wed or Thu.

    I for one am tired of this whole business and the fixation on it so I am going to shut myself up about KS and focus on the remaining games .

    Maybe study 2-3 zone defesne and 1-3-1 zone trap

  • Timmy

    Hate to say I told you so but y'all should get ready to post your apology to me.

  • Greg

    We did not practice the last couple of days because we are required by NCAA rules to give an additional day off when the team plays 3 games in 7 days. Just FYI, it had nothing to do with what is going on.

  • Chuck

    The program is bigger than any player (or players), if they don't want to play the rest of the season, so be it. I cannot imagine White doing this. It would not be good for Gordon's carreer if he did this either. I am just ready for a new coach and to put this behind us.

  • td

    I know everyone would like to see this thing be past history, however the university people have had a chance to fix this thing going back through Coach Knight's firing, Mike Davis' leaving and now this. One would think the experience (costing the school millions), past and present would kick in at some point. Even the inept should learn after a while. The NCAA and IU historically have said this is about the “student/athletes.” If true, why do they become involved only after decisions have been made. Without them the money tree begins to rot. Do you think the Big-Ten network is interested in an intramural team showing up representing IU. They have a contract you know.

  • kelin

    Just heard on CH.13 Indy……2pm statement….
    Henry also talked with DJ and DJ confirmed the threat of some of the players….
    He asked him is it true some players are threatning NOT to play tomorrow….
    According to Henry….DJ said I won't say it isn't true….

    He said DJ seemed very emotional. Also KS was at the gym in street clothes with his wife……NOT ready to practice.

    DJ….listen kid, let the emotions take its course but don't let the emotions ruin your career. Get pissed at the University, AD, and also…KS…but rally YOUR team and get it done. IU fans will cheer you even more…..not playing and threats won't help KS keep his job…..

  • td

    There is no program without players. Their careers will be just fine if they're good enough. Understand Pierre Pierce is currently working with the development league and, if good enough, you'll see him in the NBA some day. With all the problems Pacer players have had, one would think they hurt they're careers, however the money tree just keeps growing. If character was a prerequisite rather than characters, there would be no NBA the fans would want to see.

  • Corey

    DJ and EJ are going to play….they have NBA aspirations and if they want to keep them, they will play. Bottom line. Yes, they both would still go to the NBA if they didn't play the rest of the season, but could possibly sacrifice a few spots in the draft, which can be the difference in millions of dollars. They are playing.

  • hysteric

    as long as the players werent dj or ej they players are going to play…they have to out of respect for them

    the obvious candidates are bassett and ellis…they will play…if not, good riddance

    the last decade of iu bball has been largely a disappointment…it is now time to make a long-term decision to ensure that the next decade wont be the same

  • the other steve

    Agree, I am sick of kids running these programs because of their talent or reputation. I am sick of athletes making more money than the people that run this country. Athletics is out of our control due to our own agenda.

  • tommy pickles

    This is one of the more entertaining stories I've read about the situation. Part of me hopes its true, but come on guys. Do you really believe this?

    Secondly, I'm really disappointed in a lot of people in a lot of places saying “fine let them walk.” That's just sad that you take the “irresponsible kids who don't think of the university” line. They aren't under contract, they are not pros, and they came here to play for coach Sampson. If they want some say in if he stays, they deserve some say. They also deserve some say between Dakich and McCallum. To totally ignore them and to tell them to just deal with the situation that we hand them is bs. Have some respect for the team you claim to support and let them have a say. Otherwise i say we let you walk.

  • Jerry

    Amen Tommy Amen WHAT KIND OF FAN TRASHES THE INNOCENT PLAYERS. These type comments make me sicker than KS does

  • HoosierSmitty

    He might have been in the meeting, but I doubt he would threaten to walk! Who would care?

  • True enough. I just re-read the article and I must have misinterpreted it. I wondered how much clout he'd have with a threat to leave if things didn't go the way he wanted them to.

  • ray


    my opinion with the players leaving is simple…

    ahfield and taber wouldn't leave…they are walk-ons who are playing without scholarships because it was a dream!

    dj white wouldn't leave…he's stuck it out this long and this is his season to do something spectacular on a personal level…like win a big ten p.o.y. or more.

    eric gordon wouldn't leave…he's already thinking about the nba and i doubt he'll be willing to wait two more years to see this happen…he needs to play one year of college basketball and if he transfers he'll be sitting idle on a bench for one year before he can complete this one-year commitment.

    lance stemler may leave…sampson gave him more playing time than he deserved, so he probably loves the man.

    either way, if any of these players leave i know what the university should do…


  • Ray

    These players play for INDIANA UNIVERSITY. Tommy says, “They aren't under contract” and he is right, they aren't. But, they are under Scholarship and we pay for them to go to school here to play basketball.

    No player is bigger than Indiana University or it's basketball program. If they don't want to play that's fine, if they want to sit out the game tomorrow that's fine, but I say suspend them immediately. This University should not ever be held hostage by it's student athletes no matter the circumstances.

    They do NOT deserve some say in the decision and they do NOT deserve some say in the choice between Dakich and Macullum. They are simply players. If they don't want to play for the coach then do not play but this university can ill afford to make any more coaching decisions based on the views and emotions of it's players and our current situation is evidence of that fact.

    The University needs to do what is right for Indiana University and the future of it's Basketball program and athletic department. If we have to throw away one season out of 107 then so be it! Decisions now need to be based on how to reclaim our clean and honest name and set us back on the right path.

  • ray

    my comment as well as many others was a matter of…if they decide to leave. if they decide to leave then all of these fans have every right to say good riddance, just as you are suggesting that players have every right to voice their opinions.

    i for one, think that losing any of the players could be detrimental to the team. i would hate to see it happen, but like i stated earlier…i highly doubt it happens. if it does it won't be on the grand scale that the media is describing.

  • ray

    well hello ray with “caps”…your sign in name briefly threw me for a loop!

  • Raymond

    Hahaha, I apologize. I will try and make an adjustment to avoid confusion.

  • Hoosiers07

    I hate the negativity on message boards, so I deliberately leave this comment after anyone will read it. I hate everything about what would cause you to leave say something like this. This makes me a diehard liberal deserving of the worst hatred you know, but I welcome that hatred because you're delusional, ignorant, and downright stupid.

  • Hoosiers07

    I hate the negativity on message boards, so I deliberately leave this comment after anyone will read it. I hate everything about what would cause you to leave say something like this. This makes me a diehard liberal deserving of the worst hatred you know, but I welcome that hatred because you're delusional, ignorant, and downright stupid.