It was a tough column to write on Wednesday, because I have all the respect in the world for Tom Crean. So much, in fact, that I thought IU should’ve hired him the last time its job was open. For that matter, I’ve pretty much thought everybody with an open job in the past four years should’ve hired him.
At any rate, my point was this — that the NCAA is likely going to feel compelled to do something more, because of these other issues that go beyond phone calls. And in my mind, that’s understandable. I don’t know how fair it is, but it’s understandable. And the other point is, and I mentioned this in the column, any other action the NCAA takes is not likely to make that big a difference, given what the program already has encountered.
Still, Steve Miller of Salem, Ind., was one of several readers who weighed in with thoughtful opinions on the subject, and he further asked to see what others have said. I’m happy to share. I don’t include names on all these because I didn’t have permission from the emailers. Here goes:
Steve Miller, Salem: Eric………. IU has already paid. Rick Greenspan hasn’t had to pay for anything. After IU hired Tom Crean, IU should have immediately dismissed Greenspan. It was he who got IU into this mess, and I think it would have shouted “IU is sorry” to the NCAA had they taken this action. No doubt, IU made a serious mistake. We have all believed in “second chances” sometime in our life for someone, if not for ourselves. I think IU saw coach Sampson as really good coach who promised he would never make this mistake again. IU took him for his word, and gave him a second chance. We should be looking at the positive side of this. If there is no longer room in the NCAA for second chances, let’s hope all the other prominent programs in this country learn from the mistake IU made, and vow to never hire a coach who has “rule breaking” history. I am certain IU has learned a valuable lesson. That alone should count big time, because IU’s 30 plus years of squeeky clean history, and self imposed sanctions deserves to count for total redemption.
Chuck McNiece: Mr. Crawford, I read with interest your column regarding the Indiana University’s response to the charges directed at the men’s basketball program by the NCAA. It occurs to me that you have neglected to mention that both the university AND Mr. Sampson were required to attend a “just cause” hearing after he was hired by IU. You also forget that IU had Mr. Samspon on a short (although not short enough) leash until May of 2007. Obviously, it now appears that Mr. Sampson could not and would not live up to his agreement with both the NCAA and IU. As a result, he will likely never coach at a major college program again. Several young men’s college years have been tainted, and IU will continue to endure a penalty for at least another year. I must ask, when is enough enough? Where is the outcry over the cash and goodies that continue to flow to recruits, while the NCAA does nothing? How about a column concerning Kentucky’s 23% men’s b-ball GSR, or Louisville’s 50% GSR? What I am sure of is this. Despite the self-righteous prattling of those who turn a blind eye to the real problems in collegiate sports, IU will survive and thrive. The men’s basketball program at IU is one of the elite programs that, like Kentucky, will recover and continue to be a force on the national scene, no matter how hard you and your kind try to bring it down.
Jim Clayton: Read your column today on IU. I also think the AD should have been sacked for hiring Sampson in the first place.
Jeff Tsiguloff: I enjoy your articles, but make a school pay more than IU already has and will is a bit overkill. How about make the person who is most responsible pay more. Ban Sampson from college for five years.
David Hertz: The more I read your stuff, the more you sound like Bozich. This is not a good thing.
From an emailer with the handle “Guninpocket:” Your a complete idiot, not half of one, your the whole nine yards. You don’t have a clue as to the spew that comes out of your mouth or how stupid it makes you look.
Stan Robison: I am disappointed in your article. As an Indiana Alum, I am
chagrinned and saddened by the hire of Sampson. Many of us were
vocal on this point before the hire, not after it was fashionable.
Amazingly, he who dropped the ball as to monitoring the cheater still
has his job. That is the real story. Your averment that IU should
be clamped upon because of a wayward coach who made too many phone
calls against the backdrop of your darling UK, and the current mess
at USC is ludicrous. Perhaps you should spotlight a program with
Indiana University has not handled one major problem correctly during
the last eight years. The political correctness atmosphere of the
school and its pseudo intellectual leaders provided a perfect storm
for the stupidity and negligence that has permeated not only the
Athletic Department, but academics as well.
Having written that, I find your posit repugnant that IU should be
severely punished in some manner without addressing the 116 other
schools which violated the same rules.
Gary Haub: I am a strong IU fan, and I agree with the article in today’s paper. There should be more people let go, including Greenspan, and a new compliance committee formed. However, even if the NCAA does give them a post season ban, in my opinion, IU won’t be good enough next year to even make the NCAA tourney. I do not feel they will be one of the top 64 teams in the nation. Now on the other hand, they might be invited to play in the NIT. Now Pre-Season ban might be another thing. Since they will be going to Hawaii.
Tom Anderson: Obviously UK should have had the death penalty at least 2-3 times and UCLA??? Come on man take of your blue hued shades and see that IU has paid. Or maybe you are a looserville fan why would Coach Knight not play Denny???? HE CHEATED! Also I hope when you need a second chance in life everyone treats you just like you say IU should have Sampson. Who in their right mind would EVER cheat again especially getting the IU job? I thought he was a terrible hire BUT to punish IU further would serve no purpose. Where is your column about USC! Make IU an example that is just B$ my boy. (Writer’s note: A column on USC appeared under my byline two days prior).
As always, thanks to everyone for reading and for writing.