Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kelvin Sampson and Indiana's Prospects Without Him

With the Hoosiers victories the last two games, a blow out win over MSU and a solid win over Big Ten leader Purdue tonight, Indiana seems to be reacting to the latest Kelvin Sampson rules violations surprisingly well. In Eric Gordon and DJ White, Indiana has two all-americans and maybe the two best players in the Big Ten, so their solid play comes as no surprise.

What surprises me is that Kelvin Sampson, one of the best coachs in college basketball with 498 career wins, committed the same recruiting violations that got him fired from Oklahoma, especially at a school with a squeaky clean reputation of playing it by the book like Indiana.

With the Sooners from 2000-2004, Sampson made at least 577 illegal phone calls to prospects early in the recruiting process. Some of you might say it is ridiculous to fire someone over too many phone calls, but take a look at what the NCAA's Committee on Infractions said in their 2006 report on Sampson's Sooners:

"The committee has consistently heard that the key to successful recruiting is being able to develop relationships with prospects and their families. The obvious purpose of these violations was to be the first institution to make recruiting contact with prospects and then to build on the relationship by having multiple impermissible contacts with the prospects in the very important early stages of their recruitment. These calculated violations created a significant recruiting advantage over institutions abiding by the telephone contact limitations."

So what does Sampson do when he gets to Indiana? He goes out and repeats the exact some recruiting violations, while on probation, and then lies about the severity of them to Indiana and the NCAA. This is the part that boggles my mind. Sampson is a great coach and he is the coach of a school with as illustrious a basketball history as any school in the country in a state that is obsessed with the sport. Does he really need to cheat while recruiting in order to get kids to come to go to school there? Apparently, yes.....

Anyway, by all accounts is seems that Sampson's suspension-for-future-termination will be handed down on either Thursday or Friday, meaning that these last two wins were probably his last as a Hoosier coach. It may be he last two games coaching ever. How could a school trust him enough to hire him in the future?

Indiana's future is brighter. They have won three of their last four, with the loss coming at Wisconson on a banked in three, and are playing as well as they have all season. Eric Gordon is still a scoring machine, DJ White's knee seems to be a non-issue based on the 19 pts and 15 boards he had last night, and their role players (Armon Bassett, JaMarcus Ellis, Jordan Crawford) have all been playing superb ball. Keep an eye on this team come March.

1 comment:

Andy McKenzie said...

Recruiting is so weird. But I guess it's like; fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Er... something like that.