Interesting day at the track.
Tom Crean, who has been slowed by pretty much nothing since become Indiana basketball coach, found something he couldn’t overcome: the rain.
Crean was supposed to be the honorary starter for practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, but rain washed out the session. Crean still made his way around the facility, meeting with old friends — his brother-in-law Jim Harbaugh once was part owner of Panther Racing — and making new ones.
He also took a few laps in the pace car with assistant coach Bennie Seltzer and video coordinator Brian Barone.
Then, as Crean has done about many of the issues confronting Indiana basketball, he spoke quite frankly about the departure of Eli Holman.
For background: Holman left unexpectedly last Thursday, and did so with an outburst that led to police being called (no charges were pressed.) Holman has since enrolled at Detroit Mercy and will play for the new coach there, Ray McCallum.
McCallum, of course, was an assistant for Indiana the past two years and was the choice of the players on the team to replace Kelvin Sampson.
Now, here’s the transcript of what Crean said today.
Question: How much did the Eli thing take you aback? Have you ever had anything happen quite like that?
Crean: No. Never had anything like that. It was disappointing on a lot of fronts and it, I wouldnâ€™t say it totally came out of nowhere, but he did a great job of portraying that he was pretty happy with the way things were. And then we were led to believe it was a family decision and (he) wanted to get closer to home and that doesnâ€™t look like thatâ€™s the way itâ€™s going to turn out. I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s any doubt that there was a certain amount of orchestrating going on. Itâ€™s disappointing. Itâ€™s very disappointing on a lot of fronts but thatâ€™s really all I have to say about that at this point.
Question: Can you say what prompted the outburst? Do you know?
I donâ€™t know. I would say not getting the answer that he probably would have liked. It was about taking some time to go through this, but, Iâ€™ve seen now, this was totally part of an orchestration. It just was. I donâ€™t have a lot of respect for that. I like Eli and I wish him well. I really do. In the short time we were with him, I liked him. But I donâ€™t have a lot of respect for the way that it turned out.
Question: Did you put any conditions on Eliâ€™s release?
No, not really. But itâ€™s all sort of starting to play out, isnâ€™t it?