Sampson talks about calls, rule breaking with CBS Sports

  • 09/26/2011 4:11 pm in

CBS Sports: Exiled Sampson admits mistakes, rues bad timing of offenses

I asked one high-ranking member of the NCAA where the illegal phone calls violation currently stacks up.

“We don’t even care about that anymore,” they said. “We aren’t even wasting our time and resources with it.”

So much so that the rules, in fact, are likely to change this year. There will almost certainly be more communication permitted between coaches and recruits, potentially even unlimited calls, and the NCAA is also set to allow text messaging in the recruiting process.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Sampson said of the proposed legislation regarding phone calls. “These days kids dictate the calls and they choose whether to talk to you or not. It’s good for coaches because it’s hard to build relationships with kids.”

“I’m glad the rule’s going to change because it’ll put a lot of coaches’ minds at ease about the phone-call rules,” he continued.

Sampson was hit with a five-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA, which basically means he can’t coach in college basketball until 2013. He was also accused of providing false information to the NCAA, a claim he continues to deny.

“Initially, we didn’t understand why it was at the level that it was,” Sampson said of the punishment. “But at the end of the day, I have to take responsibility. I broke the rule. There’s nobody else to blame.”

Filed to:

  • Tolly1

    blah blah blah , he makes me sick

  • Anonymous

    So we have gone through 3+ years of hell for NOTHING?

  • Whatever- he broke the rules and screwed up our program for years.

  • Anonymous

    No. There were rules in place and he REPEATEDLY, chose to circumvent those rules.

  • Anonymous

    Terrible on a lot of levels.  In all reality though he had our program in such bad shape it needed to be rebuilt from the ground up.  Our progam and its players had largely (not all by any stretch) strayed from the values and traditions of IU.  We have it back now.  I love our guys and albeit its been painful the past couple years, i am proud of our guys for how they have conducted themselves and competed.  The wins may not show up in the win column but they built a culture that will breed plenty of Ws down the road.

  • Anonymous

    Initially, we didn’t understand why it was at the level that it was,”
    Sampson said of the punishment. “But at the end of the day, I have to
    take responsibility. I broke the rule. There’s nobody else to blame.”

    Ah…DAH !!… YA THINK ?!?!

  • HoosierDadE

    I just love how IU is still building its program back while the TRIUMVIRATE OF STUPIDITY all have coaching jobs…

    1) Can you hear me now Sampson is asst. coach in the NBA
    2) Ray McCallum is head coach at UDM
    3) Rob Senderoff is head coach at Kent State

    I will now go take a cold shower for having to type their names

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Cold shower?  I suggest first-degree-burn hot.

  • I don’t consider it for nothing, it got rid of Sampson.

  • MillaRed

    In my world, the real failure for this loser was the reefer and the cumulative GPA. That is what truly embarrassed the program. Everyone gets hit with calls and other random crap.

    But to take the reigns of the program and lower the standards to an all-time high is simply unforgivable. Find a bridge and have it buddy.

  • jaywiz

    all im hearing is wah wah wah im a dirty whore.

  • Anonymous

    Agree 100%

  • Anonymous

    I put Sampson in the same category of Calipari: Lying, cheating, losers.  People like them make me sick.

  • Life Long Hoosier Fan

    I read this regularly but if you put his thoughts on here again – it will be my last!!!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I agree Hurrynhoosier.  I’ve always taken pride in the fact that IU has won their championships the right way without cheating! 

    We’re no pUKe and I would much rather lose the right way than win while cheating!

  • jacobdetroy

    You know what makes me absolutely sick. The NCAA. The outcome of the ruling on this situation was really severe. The combination of their ruling and the state of our program was crippling. Sampson had to go but this does not justify the hypocritical NCAA. How can you help dismantle an organization over a rule they say no longer applies – 3 1/2 years later. The NCAA is a joke and legitimately makes me mad. It should make all of us mad.

  • Casey B.

    I’ll take Crean, Zeller, the 2012 recruiting class, real student athletes, homage to tradition, a family environment and a perfect APR score over Sampson’s brand of basketball any day. No regrets here.

  • MillaRed

    I agree with that but honestly we have to take into account of what the kids were doing at at that point in time. If these “impermissible calls” were never made, KS would have continued to ignore the lack of class time and the drugs. Both of which over a longer period of time could have imposed even worse sanctions than we realized.

    I’m not saying the NCAA did us a favor. I’m just sayin………..

  • Anonymous

    When asked about the relevant bylaws and precedent in overseas kids who try to play DI ball after attending school and taking the only available avenues to improve their basketball game, the high-ranking member of the NCAA blinked and said, “Yeah, we don’t care about that anymore either.”

    The NCAA memeber declined to comment on the difference between AAU and international club competition.

  • Plane1972


    I was just thinking about this yesterday, but contrast the two styles of Crean to Sampson and Calipari. It would not surprise me if the first question Crean asked of most of his recruits are: “How are your classes going, what kind of grades do you make?” Can you even imagine that coming out of Sampson’s or Calipari’s mouth?

    I want a 6th banner as badly as the next guy, but if we have to do it by recruiting people who have no business wearing the uniform and attending our school, no thanks.

  • Drewcifer

    The comments here are quite myopic. Everyone is glad Sampson was tossed for violating rules about phone-calls, and that the ancillary benefit was that Crean would be hired and the program would “return to its roots.”

    Are those the same roots that involve a Hall of Fame head coach randomly chucking potted plants at secretaries? Or choking players? How about the Hall of Fame point guard that turned out to be a total a**hole off the court (though he did bring a national title to Bloomington)? Or the reigning team captain that was such a jerk to underclassmen that he drove off a future Hall of Fame forward (and that forward then led his college team, from the same state, to the national title game partially out of spite)?

    It comes down to this: tradition and culture matter only when you’re losing. When you’re winning, all that matters is that you keep the tradition of winning alive. If Sampson hadn’t been hit with the violations (which he deserved, though it is baffling that the NCAA now doesn’t care about them) and had kept Indiana in the top 5 – 10 on an annual basis, I doubt there would be much arguing about a loss of moral high ground. In the end, the thing that brought Knight down wasn’t his outright bullying and assaults on students and staff, it was that he started to lose, and suddenly these character issues mattered. [I mean, how can a coach throw a chair (that eventually hit a cheerleader) in a nationally televised game and _not_ lose his job. Woody Hayes, also a Hall of Fame coach, was summarily tossed immediately after hitting a player, and Knight was known to do this on occasion. You simply cannot talk about the tradition of the team and conveniently forget that the tradition includes the biggest bully of a coach from the past 40 years as the centerpiece.] Crean is the converse of this: his seemingly “right way” approach is what is keeping him in his job despite the constant losing.

    I wonder how long Hoosier fans will put up with the “but I’m doing it the right way” defense from Crean if he rolls off another lack-luster Big Ten season. At what point does “doing it the right way” give way to “we need results, and by results, I mean wins, wins, wins!” That is, after all, what brought Kelvim Sampson to Bloomington in the first place.

  • MillaRed

    Wow. You are lumping a whole lot of people into one basket. This post is over the top, 100% opinionated and reeks of major irritation on your own behalf.

    I was ready for RMK to go before the latest fiasco, never liked Sampson in the first place and am not willing to ignore any bad behavior to gather another W.

    The vast majority of IU fans, to include 99.9% of ITH readers would agree with me. This is not Kentucky. And you are what we bloggers refer to as a troll. Tell you what, cruise your team’s website and not ours. It stinks in here right now.

    By the way, in 2013, we are going to kick your teams ass.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    My thoughts:
    He was wrong and he is gone.
    We have paid the price to move forward.
    The phone calls weren’t the only issues he had.  Kids not going to classes, our GPA ave dropped, kids smoking pot, etc….just no class.
    I like the fact that CTC has rid the trash and started from the ground up.  Is it worth the price…only the future will tell.

  • Plane1972

    You make some fair points, Drewcifer. Our former HOF coach certainly had more than his fair share of inconsistencies; some might go so far as to say hypocrisy. Winning is important, but if Knight had a reputation of graduating no one, breaking established rules he had been previously found to have broken, and had a drug problem on his team, he would not have been able to keep his detractors at bay for as long as he did. I think your argument is a little ridiculous in that regard. You sound like Murray Sperber.
    Furthermore, Tom Crean is not standing on top of Assembly Hall screaming, “Look at me, I’m doing it the right way. Forget about the results.” He is simply doing it the right way and going about his business of recruiting the type of talent and character guys we need to get back.

  • Anonymous

    Drewcy, it’s gonna sound like i’m jumping to Coach Knight’s defense..maybe i am a little..but your “biggest bully of a coach” centerpiece argument is equally unbalanced.

    RMG’s military background was evident in the way he interacted with his players. No argument from me. Some people believe that strict discipline and building consistent patterns of behavior (like going to class, studying, wearing a shirt & tie while representing your institution during travel, etc) help create an environment for success. Success can be measured in different ways. Graduation rates are one way. Staying off the police blotter is another (like this has to be said?). Being good role models that young children can admire (and parents approve of) seems appropriate to mention. Having players go out in the post-college world and excel at their professions because of the work ethic they learned from a coach might make the list too. What about all the money RMK helped raise to fund IU libraries into some of the best in the nation?

    Ok, now let’s talk about measuring success in wins and losses. Before we do though, I want to ask if YOU assembled a team to participate in Hoosiers Outrun Cancer this year? Coach Crean and the players did. I chalk that up to an invisible “W” for our program. What are YOU doing to make your community (and the world) better?

    I vote to let Coach Crean rebuild our beloved team the way he’s doing it for as long as necessary. If certain parts of our program’s history are omitted from the history books (the chair, the choking, the phone calls, the drugs, the low GPA) that’s fine with me. If we’re “re-building” then let’s do it the right way now instead of doing it over later.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Two things:

    1) To echo what Milla said, a lot of your points about tradition are subjective. It is quite common in many families, and even moreso during that era, that corporal punishment is implemented, and to say that physical contact in discipline is morally wrong is to laugh in the face of the history of discipline. Unlike Woody Hayes, RMK never punched an opposing player in the face, then chased after him, having to be subdued by his staff and players. If someone hadn’t seen the video, the argument of hitting a cheerleader with a chair might not seem overblown. We all have seen the video, though. Being domineering is certainly a quality I wouldn’t care for in my boss, but I don’t have to work for any particular person. The door is always available. As for the basketball players, they knew exactly what they were in for, and almost all would tell you that they respect the Coach, what he did, and how he did it. Certainly his emphasis on academics and giving back to the community were top notch.

    2) Your wonder of Hoosiers “put[ting] up with” Coach Crean is somewhat unfounded. You argue that he is using the “‘doing it the right way’ defense,” but you fail to recognize that doing it the right way emphasizes that you are doing something. If Crean were not to deliver results, he would be doing nothing the right way. At a certain point, doing nothing the right way gets you fired. I believe that Coach Crean is doing something, and he is doing it the right way. If he is unable to deliver with the right kids on his team in 2012, then he will likely be a very good person that is not the head coach at IU. Again, there is a difference in doing it the right way and being a person with high character and no results.

    While some Hoosier fans are myopic in their characterization of RMK, I try not to be. He did a great job in the bulk of his career, though he sometimes did it in ways that I am not proud of. Like anyone, though, he is human and prone to fallacy. He is many things that I don’t strive to be, like bullheaded, domineering, unforgiving, and short-tempered, but that doesn’t mean he is somehow evil or morally bankrupt. We all have friends or family members with some of those same qualities. We know those aren’t their best qualities, but we also know their intentions are generally good.

    Myopia is a funny thing, because it often leads us focus on others, not ourselves. It appears that you have a certain viewpoint making you believe that the roots of Indiana basketball lie only in Bob Knight, but the tradition goes back further and encompasses a slew of people, traditions, and ideas outside the realm of Coach Knight. Returning to the roots of Indiana basketball means more to us, as Hoosier fans, than being what RMK was. It means remembering and celebrating our history, holding the players to a high academic and personal standard, being involved in the community, being competitive, and being dedicated to the game. The reason RMK was, and is, a celebrated coach is because he embodied many of those ideas. Myopia is forgetting everything that Coach Knight did in the game of basketball and focusing on everything you did not like about his personality.

  • Drewcifer

    First off, please don’t call me a troll. I’ve commented in this forum before, and (though I know this is a fan forum) I’ve always tried to be fair and show the other side of the argument. I grew up as an Indiana basketball, Notre Dame football, and a general Purdue fan (yes, a mortal sin to even say a nice thing about the OTHER university in the state–I like a little under-dog appetizer with my traditional powerhouse entree), so please don’t say I’m not a fan, because I am. So, unless we’re talking about an intra-squad game, or beating down Purdue, your team and my teams are the same (MillaRed).

    Also, please notice that I never said Knight never did good things, and he did a lot of good things. Rather, my point was that, when winning national titles, tradition and “the right way” is often lost. People shouldn’t wash over Knight’s mistakes, just like they shouldn’t forget Lou Holtz broke with Notre Dame over recruiting Randy Moss. Both coaches brought glory to their programs, as well as shame. I’m simply pointing out that “tradition” and “the right way” take a central role typically when winning is absent. As long as Knight was winning, his outbursts just showed how much he cared. Crean’s tweeting and interviews with (amongst others) Eammon show a nuanced understanding of how letting people know how he’s doing things helps with both recruiting and managing the fan base. And good for him, since it’s part of being a coach these days, but it shouldn’t distract us from honestly appraising the program.

    Regarding what Crean does for his community versus what I do for mine, may I ask a question: when did this get so personal? It’s great Crean is helping with the community (and how Knight did so before); it’s great that those upon whom we heap praise and riches show gratitude and give something back. Many coaches do this, with Joe Paterno coming first to mind. As for me, I don’t see how my personal involvement is relevant, but if you insist, here is a precis: I study the evolution of infectious disease, and seek to understand the causes of pathogen emergence, particularly in “third world” populations. I’d like to think I’m doing something, however small, to make the world a better place.

    Crean deserves a couple more years to figure things out, though his contract essentially guarantees that (so arguing is moot). It’s not easy to turn a program around, though I must admit I’m surprised it has been this slow. Sampson was no gem, nor was Mike Davis. However, let us not be blinded to the fact that nobody thought those coaches would be as mediocre (to bad) as they were. Most of our evaluation of Crean rests upon his recruiting and the belief that the future must be better than the present (or the Davis/Sampson past), though that need not be so (just ask Notre Dame and their string up much-heralded coaches).

    In sum, I suppose what I was attempting (and failing) to say was that we should be concerned when the comparison point is between the current coach and an obviously bad coach with disdain for rules and ethics. If being upstanding and of good character (most of the time) were sufficient credentials to be a well-regarded college basketball coach, it would not be so difficult to hire one. Not everyone can be Einstein, no matter how nice they are. Attention to rules and ethics are requirements for the job, but are not sufficient for successfully fulfilling the requirements of being a head basketball coach.

    [As a side-note: I’d like to think that anyone in a position of authority, especially one that is an obvious role model and teaches courses and is an employee of a major university, that throws a chair in anger in the middle of a public event would be fired. Can we at least agree on that? I can’t imagine a coach doing that today, and I’ve never heard of a coach doing that before. Are there any other examples? This feels like a sports trivia question.]

  • I appreciate everyone’s passion and opinions, but let’s try to keep things on topic here. Not replying to anyone specifically, just stating this in general.

  • You have a point.  However you have again missed the boat on RMK.  People are so focused on that one episode.  It happened.  it was indeed poor judgement on his part and yes he did have an anger management issue.  No one is perfect.  The full body of work tells us a different story about RMK.  He worked tirelessly to make students successful on and off the court.  I was at IU in the 70s and attended an anthropology class at 8 am. Scott May and Bobby Wilkerson attended every class and were there on time.  RMK was all about making the most of your potential.  He also happened to win more games than any other coach except for his student at Duke.  Thus, a thoughtful analysis would conclude that any university would have been lucky to have RMK.  I believe IU and its tradition are fortunate to have had him here and CTC and many other coaches can only aspire to the success – on and of the court of RMK.  Thus in response to your last rhetorical question – I would not have fired him.  I would have recognized his strengths and weaknesses and worked hard to manage his anger more appropriately. 

    I also work with many different egos and have met some impressive characters over the yrs.  For example,  Paul Carbone (at UW) developed the first cure for hogkin’s disease (previously a fatal cancer) and had many other acheivements – he was my mentor at WCCC.  RMK ranks up there with Paul.  Would I have felt good about UW firing Paul if he threw a chair in a fit of frustration – probably not but it would not have diminished my respect for the other 99% of his accomplishments.

    Finally, I like the way CTC has embraced the IU tradition – including the recognition of the RMK legacy.  A succesful program builds on a solid foundation – and as correctly noted by Milla and Dan we now need to move forward.  The Sampson episode was an aberration regardless of what the NCAA aka keystone cops think…

  • MillaRed

    Funny thing is, we are supporting Crean. Our record is terrible under his watch for obvious reasons. We are happy with the GPA, the condition and future of the program, the attitudes of the kids. Yet we are losing and are OK with that while we rebuild. What is the argument?

    The only way CTC could have given us instant gratification is to recruit the one and done and/or troublesome kids that Sampson grabbed in the first place.

    Bobby Knight is gone. He has nothing to do with anything regarding the current attitude or expectation of the common IU fan. I feel great about IU, CTC and the kids. If anyone feels otherwise, we really could care less.

  • CemDinc

    I see what Drewcifer is saying, to a point. Look at Tiger Woods. Guy by all accounts is a complete jerk, but no one really seemed to care or make too much of his character while he was winning all those majors. But, now the guy is a punching bag for everything — in part yes b/c of the scandal, but also because he doesn’t win anymore.

    Winning is everything. Sure, I think all fans want our players and coaches to do things the right way, but I also know that many of us are more willing to overlook a player or coach’s behavior / attitude / work ethic / character if the team is successful.

  • MillaRed

    Understood. But I personally wasn’t surfing his website and dumping on him when I really wasn’t a fan in the first place.

  • INUnivHoosier

    It has happened since then – just not with chairs. (Minor League baseball coach) Phil Wellman buried home plate, threw a base, crawled around in the field, threw his hat at the ump, and he didn’t get fired. (High school volleyball coach) Eric Maxwell threw a volleyball and hit a girl in the head, and he didn’t get fired. I’m pretty sure the hockey coach that stripped down and threw his clothes on the ice didn’t get fired, but that’s hockey, so it doesn’t count.