You mean they’re not at home watching film?

Apparently, some of the Hoosiers aren’t taking Western Carolina all that seriously.

Either that or they just wanted to celebrate the end of exams.

Ran into Jamarcus Ellis and DeAndre Thomas last night at Kilroy’s (a campus bar for those of you not in the loop). Talked to Jamarcus for a bit, and he confirmed what Sampson had said earlier in the day: Eric Gordon would play Saturday. I asked him if E.J. would start and he said he didn’t think so, which contradicts what Kelvin Sampson said in his weekly press conference Thursday.

For those of you wondering, neither had a drink in their hands.

This got me thinking though. Should they be out past midnight two nights before a game? Granted, it’s a coast game against a team ranked below 200th in the nation by the RPI. Apparently Sampson doesn’t have a curfew on his players. I still think there needs to be some restrictions on these athletes, especially in the midst of a season where they could make a legitimate run to San Antonio for the Final Four.

This whole thing made me remember my freshman year, when I lived next door to D.J. White and Robert Vaden in the dorms. We would get games of poker going with a bunch of guys, and one night it came down to me and Vaden and we stayed up until 5 a.m. to finish the tournament. It was two nights before a must-win vs. Michigan State game.

So, what do all of you think? Should these guys be out that late two nights before a game? Or am I just making this a bigger deal than it really is?

59 comments

  1. This sounds like a post someone would make over on the Peegs free board. I find nothing wrong with them being at Roys on a Thursday with a game on Saturday evening.

    Now, if they’re underage, pull an all-nighter at a strip club (ala Varsity Blues) and come out sluggish, then we have a problem. But you’re making too much out of this, in my opinion.

  2. Mike P,

    It was 5 a.m. Saturday when we finished and the game was Sunday at noon.

    Jeff,

    Thanks for your input, liked the Varsity Blues reference. If I ever run into these guys at Night Moves (not that I’m a regular customer there) the night before Illinois or Michigan State come to town, I’ll let you guys know.

    Zak

  3. Two nights before a game?

    Probably nothing to worry about.

    The night before?

    Yes, there should be a curfew.

  4. I think you are trying to create a stir. They are human beings…are they supposed to live their lives in a vacuum during the entire college basketball season? It’s 48 hours before a game…not a big deal AT ALL…let the kids have a life.

  5. Sounds like they were nice enough to speak to you and then you turn around and call them out on your blog for being out two days before a game. Pretty weak. They probably just finished finals and were going out to have a little fun — without even drinking, apparently. Relax. This is not the night before the Final Four.

  6. Intern,

    Gotta agree with Mike. What were you doing out past midnight when you could have been completing a detailed scouting report of the Catamounts instead?

    Priorities, young man, priorities.

    I, for one, am glad those guys got out and mingled with the student body. Hate to think it’s all basketball all the time.

    Chris

  7. you’re weak, this is why i left, because of stupid foolz like u. the playaz should give you a knuckle sammy next time they see you.

  8. I think it’s pretty ridiculous for you to ‘taddle’ on them for being out. It’s not something that should be posted on a blog if you are with the HT in my opinion. They’re college students…and whether they’re athletes or not they are going to have some fun. I lived next to a bunch of guys on the football team within the last few years, and they drink like it’s their job and I don’t have a problem with it, as long as they’re not stumbling hammered the night before a game. Other than that, they should be able to do what they like…(legally).

  9. Zak, you need to watch Old School again and check out the scene where Craig Kilborn gets busted cheating on his girlfriend by Luke Wilson and he explains Guy Code.

  10. I hope you identified yourself as an employee of the Herald Times before you began interviewing them. Did they know they were on the record? I don’t think this is a big deal. If they are done with exams, that means that there is no reason they could not sleep in today. A couple of college students unwinding at the end of the semester. BFD.

  11. Zak, you love controversy. You knew this one would bring some heat. Most historians (old folks) know the stories of Buckner’s antics. They are legend of many such tales about b-ball players. I could tell you a few but I respect the old players too much to share. I fondly remember sharing a few brews with the late (and great person) Jason Collier. Players are people and last I checked, most are kids. I do think coach should have a somewhat curfew before game nights. Would be hard to monitor tho. BTW….are you of age?

  12. Was that the game IU won in 2005? That was the last game I went to the Hall as a student, and I remember storming the court afterwards. That was a happy memory.

    Then again, I guess I subscribe to the idea that if we’re a big time school, we don’t storm the court for anything less than a national title. So that makes that moment a relatively low point in IU history, considering that MSU was only a top 15 team at the time (right?).

  13. Karl Malone say you need to let ol Kelvin run his program. Karl Malone gettin tired of people complainin. I may come down and give you a big ol elbow or two!

    Karl Malone

  14. Larry Richardson was at his best one Sunday Noon game after we spotted him out at 2am the night before

    2 nights before – big deal

  15. What if they were not supposed to be out? Kelvin finds out and suspends them for 3 games each.If that were to happen, you boys better move out of town cuz something wicked your way cometh.

  16. Hee Hee TDW. Larry Richardson was one of my stories. A good boy. Zak……..could you follow my wife around and report what she is up to?

  17. Who cares if they were out two nights before the game? Two nights before an 8 pm game on Saturday…..What’s the problem? They’re students, let them have some fun.

  18. Wow, can’t say I expected this kind of backlash.

    To those of you asking why I was at the bars, well, I’m a college student who finished up finals just like DeAndre and Jamarcus.

    I never thought that I was following them around or “tattle-telling” on them either. I see players out at the bars all the time, this time particularly stuck out to me because it was two nights before a game. That’s all. I wasn’t criticizing them for being out, I was simply asking what everyone’s thoughts were.

    So, everyone made it clear that I was making a bigger deal of it than it really was. Fair enough.

  19. ZACH! YOU HAD BETTER NOT BE OUT AT THE BARS LATE AT NIGHT! FIRST YOU WERE UP ALL NIGHT LOSING YOUR TUITION REIMBURSMENT CHECK TO 2 BASKETBALL PLAYERS AND NOW THIS NONSENSE?

  20. Honey, the least you could do is get our son’s name right in your post. It’s Zak not Zach. Have you been out drinking yourself hun?

  21. Dad………..”hun” is better described as “hon”. Unless of course she is a Hun. Pot calling the Kettle black on that spelling thing. BTW hon……did you stop and get the milk and bread for the big snow tomorrow?

  22. Zak……..take it easy on yourself. You did good. I like the muck that you stirred. Keep up the good questions.

  23. For a school that boasts its number 1 party status, its surprising that you would hold a double standard on your school’s biggest stars. If you are out celebrating after finals, why can’t they?

  24. WW,

    Thanks for the support. It was much needed.

    Big10Fan,

    I have nothing against the basketball players going out to celebrate after finals are over. I saw Lance Stemler out last Saturday after the Kentucky win and congratulated him on a great game. But in my defense, I would argue that I’m not a Division 1 athlete who’s tuition is covered because of my talent on the basketball court. This isn’t to take anything away from the players; they work very hard and it shows in their 8-1 record. Once again, I wasn’t saying they were wrong to go out, I was just seeing what everyone thought about it. Thanks for your input.

    Zak

  25. There ya go Zakskie. You were just throwing it out there. Even more with today’s media coverage, we tend to hold these young athletes in celebrity status, when in fact, they are just 18-21 year old kids enjoying a gift. Some handle it better than others. Unfortunately, some cannot handle it appropriately. (Bud Mackey, Sherron Wilkerson (from days of old)). Most others fall somewhere in between. I enjoy the question and it obviously strikes a nerve. These are the times when I appreciate my somewhat boring, average life.

  26. If I was a player, I would never speak to Zak again. That’s absolutely ridiculous to run to a blog with a good reputation and post that kind of nonsense. You either have absolutely terrible judgment in posting this, or you wanted to stir up controversy.

  27. I couldn’t agree more. If you want to brag about running into
    players, then leave out the facts that it was late, in a bar, naming
    who it was!
    If they do get in trouble it is in YOU.

  28. Chris’s mom wants to know if he was home writing a story or or was he out after midnight checking on interns.

  29. Who are you calling a “hun” ya filthy slob. Our son wouldn’t be out selling himself at the bars if it wasn’t for your short comings as a father. You still owe the final 3 months of child support.

  30. Austin,

    They’re not going to get in trouble because they weren’t doing anything wrong. They’re allowed to go out, and I never said that they shouldn’t go out. I just wanted to see everyone’s thoughts.

    Zak

  31. Wow, so the media is now tracking the late night habits of college kids to stir things up and get people talking. Zak, I wish you were Dick Schapp’s kid so I could tell you you’ve got a long way to go to be as good as your old man.

  32. Sucks for you that you are an intern, b/c with your crappy amateur journalism I doubt you will be offered a job. That is, unless a certain half a$$ writer from the IndyStar (Kravitz) decides to take you under his wing. Writing about seeing some players in a bar? Ridiculous

  33. I really don’t think that my son’s post deserves the really harsh criticism. Did he make an error in posting it in the fashion that he did? I think so. I would rather him vaguely ask the question, “I know it happens everywhere…but what are your opinions on players being out late a few days before a game?” Without throwing names out and such. Just my opinion…and WW, keep your jibberish to yourself when it comes to the names that I call my wife. If I prefer to call her “Hun” I will do so without thinking twice about your unnecessary criticism on the matter. Now, if I come to your house and refer to your wife as “hun” or “hon” then you can confront me, otherwise don’t holla at me.

  34. Zak,
    I think the backlash towards you is deserved. You go up and chat with them and then come back to your computer and post on your blog that they were up past midnight two days before a game. It sure sounds like you’re trying to increase the hits on your blog to me.

    Exactly how many hours before a game must there be for it to be considered “ok” for an IU basketball player to be out past midnight? When I was in college, I hardly ever went to bed before midnight. No, I wasn’t an athlete but as long as they’re not doing it the night before a game, who cares.

  35. Adam,

    Fair enough. I understand the criticism of the blog, but I want to emphasize the fact that I wasn’t necessarily criticizing them for being out that late. I was simply trying to see what everyone’s opinions were on the topic. I’m not here to propose a set number of hours for each player two or even three nights before a game; I just wanted to see where everyone stood on the issue. Hope this clears up my stance, if even a little.

    Zak

  36. Zak – you are missing the main point. Most of us don’t care if you are criticizing their behavior or not, but this blog is part of the real media and don’t you think you are crossing the line in posting the players’ personal business? If you found Crawford’s report card laying on the street would you post his grades? If you saw a player kissing a man on in a bar would you make a post about it? At what point is it enough? How do you know their families aren’t super religious and don’t know they go to bars? I’m actually surprised this mess hasn’t been taken down already.

  37. I’m sure the families of the playazz from the Chicago Public League, with out of wedlock babies would be incredibly more upset with their little boys being in a bar thank knocking up girls and leaving the babies to the welfare line.

    “Taddle?”

  38. I think you have a big mouth, and if I were one of the players, and found out you’d been running your mouth, I wouldn’t give you the time of day next time I saw you.

  39. The title of your blog means, “You mean they’re not at home watching film?”

    Well, let me tell you something: no college basketball player sits at home on a Thursday night to watch film of WESTERN CAROLINA.

  40. This whole discussion points out some of the challenges and pitfalls of reporting through sports blogs. In an unedited environment, we often don’t get the questions from editors that help us present a report exactly as we’d want to. As an older reporter with more experience than Zak, I’ve still on some occasions have posted reports here that in hindsight I would have worded a little differently.

    I think that might be the case with this post from Zak that has caused so much discussion. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Zak reporting that he saw players in bars – it is the truth and that’s what we make every effort to deal with – but I think now that he’s gotten feedback from others he would re-write his post differently.

    A couple of points I’d like to make. If players don’t want everybody to know they’re in the bars, they shouldn’t go. If they’re of age, it’s certainly not wrong for them to go, but they are highly recognized people and people are going to notice. It’s not our job to protect them by not reporting things that their parents or others might not like. Our job is to report the facts, good and bad.

    I agree that some facts about players are private and aren’t particularly newsworthy, but there’s nothing ethically wrong with reporting that players were at a bar and we shouldn’t avoid reporting something just because our sources won’t like it. I don’t personally think it’s a problem for players to go to a bar a couple of nights before a game, but if the players happened to get in trouble at the bar – and I’ve had to write a number of stories like that over the years – we definitely would report that. We want to be as fair, honest and comprehensive as we can be in reporting about IU basketball players and that does include their off-the-court activities.

    If I ran into Jordan Crawford working in a soup kitchen or a senior citizen center, I’d report it. If I found his report card, as one person suggested here, that’s more difficult. His grades aren’t public business unless they show that he’s academically ineligible or something like that. If he had all Fs, that would become a story. And if he had all As that probably would be a story as well, with a guy coming from a prep school and then doing that well academically.

    I’d like to point out that Zak is about the same age as the players in question and is still learning. In fact, we’re all learning to report in a 24-7 up-to-the-minute news environment. Zak is an unpaid college intern who will soon be done with his internship, so he doesn’t really have much incentive to stir things up to bring attention to this blog, as has been suggested here. I think he’s done a really good job of working to bring readers interesting news and to stimulate discussion about IU basketball.

  41. Doug, you make a lot of good points, and I also think that it is important to remember that this isn’t a veteran writer that everyone is hammering with their comments. He is learning and trying to improve himself through an internship.

    Doug, one thing that stuck out to me is “If players don’t want everybody to know they’re in the bars, they shouldn’t go.” I don’t think it has to do with everyone knowing their at a bar or not, it’s that a person in the media is there and then reporting about it. I’ve known of many players out at bars last year and the year before. I could name half our roster that was at ‘Sports’ on a regular basis, but I never once saw people discussing it on the internet. That’s because it was never on a blog for discussion. I don’t think college athletes should have to worry about being seen by the media and reported on while out enjoying the college atmosphere.

  42. Jared, as long as the players are behaving appropriately while they’re out enjoying the college atmosphere, I don’t think they need to worry about being at bars becoming a problem for them, whether or not a reporter sees them and reports that they were out. Zak questioned whether the players should be there when they were, yet everybody leaving comments here – including me – seems to think it was OK for them to be at a bar.

    Just my thoughts. Have a good one. Hopefully, you’re someplace dry and warm, and you’ll get to see the game tonight.

  43. Good Lord, I can’t believe people made such a fuss about Zak reporting this. Maybe it’s because I’m a journalist too, and I tend to be very defensive when people start bashing other journalists (who I believe are doing a good job), but I think it was very fair what Zak said. I also think the title of the post was sarcastic, clearly. He was simply stating a question to start a discussion, not judging the players. Everyone needs to calm down!!

  44. My objection is NAMING who you saw, making a player who
    may not want that reported hesitant to be seen the next time.
    Unless something they are doing is newsworthy, they should
    be allowed to be anonymous while out socializing, like any other
    student.

  45. Is it ok? Yes

    Was Zak’s post wrong? NO

    Come on people. Do you really think that Zak’s story will get these kids in trouble? Do you not think there is someone there that had reported back to Coach before Zak could get to his keyboard?

  46. jared s. – sorry, I wrote that when I was about 1/2 asleep. It should have read,

    “Do you not think there is someone there that would have reproted back to Coach before Zak could get to his keyboard if they were doing wrong.”

    I know what I was thinking, but a late night at Nick’s, I just couldn’t get the words right.

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