Some agreement, some disagreement on what I wrote about IU this morning. That’s how it works. A few thoughts from readers who took the time to respond at some length:
I enjoyed the article and agreed with you until the paragraph that mentions the real loser as Kelvin Sampson. Please, you can’t honestly say you believe that statement. As always in these situations, the coach moves on after his huge and I mean huge buyout, and walks right into to another premium job. Sampson was at best a two time offender who still does not believe he did anything wrong and left a very honorable program in shambles. The players that he recruited obviously had the morals and ethics that Sampson displayed considering the fact that they did not honor their commitments to IU. Don’t get me wrong their is plenty of blame to go around starting with the former IU president (a Sampson friend) and the so called “tough” former AD who signed off on the hiring. I am far from convinced that Sampson is the big loser, if so I want to lose that bad, give me $500,000 and a job making lord knows how much with the Milwakee Bucks. The real loser is IU and their fans.
I see you are as liberal as your paper you work for. Why Sarah Palin’s turkey? Why not Obama’s turkey or was he really born in the USA. You should try to get a job with ABC and the View or at best with Oprah. You always throw UK under the bus every chance you get. IU was the one that lost here, make no mistake about it Sampson should never be allowed to coach college basketball, or for that matter nothing ever again in sports.
(I should include here my response to Jack: It wasn’t intended as a slap on Mrs. Palin, but did you see the video of her Turkey pardon from Alaska? A guy standing behind her was in the process of putting a dead turkey into a grinder or something, while she was doing the interview. No political statement here, just a comparison. Besides, almost all of us eat turkey, right?)
I generally enjoy reading your articles/commentary and have always felt like you were fair to the major basketball programs in the area but I feel like you crossed the line in your Indiana article that was published in today’s Courier-Journal. First off, there was no need to bring up what Kentucky did in paying Daniel Orton’s father to speak at the camps that were held in Lexington. That has nothing to do with what went on at Indiana, blatant rule breaking vs. acting totally within the rules. You don’t like the rules, that’s fine then do an article about the need for rule changes but don’t take Coach Gillispie to task for doing what others are doing. Kansas paid his father to speak at camps, Oklahoma did also. Do you really think Pitino has not taken advantage of this rule, or others very similar? Yes he has. By bringing Kentucky into the mix, you bring up the images of the rule breaking that has gone on in the past but not now. My second issue is with calling Sampson the real loser. How can he be considered a loser? He brought this all on himself and quite frankly does not deserve to coach in college basketball again. He knowingly and willingly broke the rules. The real losers in this mess are the fans at IU and the young men who are lacing up the sneakers for the IU program now. They are left trying to clean up the mess that Sampson left in his wake a mess I might add they had nothing to do with.
Normally I skip your columns due to the obvious nepotism that got you hired. But I wanted to read your take on the NCAA report on Indiana University basketball. I agree with your stance that the NCAA could be doing more in other areas such as perks for recruits. College basketball is a nasty business. Your statement that Kelvin Sampson is the real loser is asinine. He certainly is a real loser, but not in the context you put it. He seems to be doing just fine in Milwaukee, making good money. The college game does not need him wrecking another previously pristine program. Jesus man, your going to catch a bunch of heat over that Sampson remark from the IU crowd. But maybe that’s what you wanted. Give thanks for your father and your job tomorrow, loser.