Barnett responds to A-HOPE story; Glass, NCAA offer no-comments

Finally connected with Mike Barnett, one of Indiana Elite’s directors and Kory Barnett’s father today. He spoke to the Indy Star’s Kyle Neddenriep yesterday and was on Dan Dakich’s radio show today, so many of you have likely heard his response to ESPN’s investigative piece on Indiana Elite and the A-HOPE program, but here are his responses to some of the accusations in the article.

Like Indiana Elite coach and A-HOPE founder Mark Adams, he said that the NCAA and Indiana’s compliance department were very aware of A-HOPE’s actions and told the organization was not in violation of NCAA rules. Barnett said that Adams met with the NCAA multiple times, and that there was a meeting that included Adams, an official from IU’s compliance department, legal counsel from the university, and an NCAA official who was participating via teleconference.

“They know everything Mark’s done, every dime, every dollar,” Barnett said. “He’s been as transparent as transparent can be.”

Barnett also said that his relationship with Kentucky’s DeAndre Liggins was grossly misrepresented. The ESPN story said that Barnett raised the issue of adopting Liggins and was trying to use it to leverage Liggins to go to Kansas or Memphis.

The only reason Barnett even spoke of the idea of adopting Liggins, he said, was that Liggins suffered a foot injury during an open gym, needed surgery and didn’t have insurance. Barnett said family members asked if there was a way he could put Liggins on his insurance. Barnett said the only way would be for him to legally adopt Liggins, but he soon realized that because Liggins was 19 at the time, it was a moot point. Liggins eventually enrolled in Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, and the school paid for his surgery.

Barnett admitted he was upset at Kentucky’s recruitment of Liggins, but said it was because a Kentucky assistant got Liggins’ mother, who Barnett said was not around much at that time, a free airplaine flight and a free hotel stay for Liggins’ visit to Kentucky. Barnett admitted he “went ballistic,” because he thought it would affect Liggins’ eligibility.

In the end, Barnett said, it did. Liggins began the 2009-10 season on a nine-game suspension that was not initially explained by Kentucky. Barnett said the extra benefits were the reason for the suspension.

Barnett said his relationship with Liggins has changed, but that the two keep in touch, and that Kory Barnett is still very close with Liggins.

Barnett said he discussed all of this with ESPN, but much of the information was not presented in the story.

“I guess the best way to put it is they left a lot of facts out,” he said.

Attempts to obtain confirmation from Indiana on its understanding of the activities of the A-HOPE program and Indiana Elite have been unsuccessful. Indiana athletic director Fred Glass said he could not confirm or deny any meeting with Adams, or even say whether or not he was concerned with the findings of the investigation.

“I understand your need to ask the question and I’m not trying to be coy or anything like that,” Indiana athletic director Fred Glass said. “Because these kind of questions, in my view, are so tightly related with the potential eligibility of prospective student athletes and because we’re prescribed from commenting on that by NCAA rules, I just don’t want to get close to that edge.”

The NCAA, as a policy, does not comment on specific issues concerning its members. The organization was asked for a rule clarification regarding the permissible role of non-profit organizations in the lives of prospective student athletes. The organizations public relations department responded with an e-mail that essentially reiterated that extra benefits are impermissible, but did not address non-profit organizations. The response follows.

We cannot speak to a specific situation, but I can share general information regarding NCAA rules that you may find helpful. In an effort to keep the recruiting process free from undue influence, the intent of men’s basketball recruiting rules are to prohibit the provision of money, employment or benefits to prospects or those associated with prospects. NCAA rules also state that student-athletes cannot receive preferential treatment due to their athletics reputation. When determining whether certain benefits are violations of this rules, schools and the NCAA must consider a number of factors. These include whether the relationship developed as a result of the young person’s athletic participation, whether the relationship and benefits predate the young person’s status as a prospective student-athlete, among others.



  1. It all sounds just chipper. Drew Adams’ quick escape to New Mexico suggests a man with nearly as impeccable timing a corporate inside trader dumping stock options just days before detrimental company news goes public.

    While I’m not a fan of allowing outside organizations or a local high school(e.g. Indiana Elite, A-Hope, BSHS) having disproportionate influence on recruiting decisions/staffing/basketball operations at IU, I still believe this is just another attempt by the ‘media establishment’ to recklessly single-out our university, create the appearance of cheating, and railroad Indiana in their anticipated return a top basketball program (Cody is coming..pieces the puzzle are being completed…the competition is nervous).

    Where is the ESPN story questioning the many possible ethical and manipulative tactics of the Christ School pulling pools of recruits out of Indiana and other states to serve programs like Duke and NC? Why solely go after Indiana Elite and A-Hope? Are there not numerous academies littered throughout the country using ‘Christian values’ or ‘better education’ as a front to draw kids into the backyards a favored college basketball program? There are far too many hands in the cookie jars of amateur athletics. They come with many different masks covering true intentions the exploitive attempts to use young athletes for self-serving purposes. Why in hell just target IU? Answer: Continue to siphon our abundance of homegrown talent and keep the candy-stripes down. Remember the ‘milkshake scene’ in There Will Be Blood?

  2. To Cupcake… Listen I am an IU fan living in Maine. I read these blogs, the responses, get alerts and dig around for any IU basketball news I can get. Your little rant was very well written and articulated, but extremely paranoid. No one outside of Indiana and a couple border states could give a rats ass right now about keeping us down… LEAST OF ALL ESPN. Give one plausible reason that sportswriters in Bristol, CT want to keep a traditional basketball powerhouse that has the potential to garner big ratings if they get back to prominence down. Further evidence of my point is that outside of a couple of web articles this story has gotten no play. No one cares… until we get back on top. If this happened with a Duke or UNC recruit, or Kansas, even OSU or another current perenial power it would be national news. Much like what the media has done with Memphis and Kentucky lately. Chill and get a little perspective dude. We will matter soon enough and then maybe outsiders will care enough for your paranoia to be justified.

  3. Give me one reason I should answer your question when you fail to address any my own? I had a few in my post if you didn’t notice. Did Hoosier Scoop not just inform me that a respected ESPN journalist dedicated six months to looking up our anal canal in hopes to find seedy relationships between our basketball program and Indiana Elite/A-Hope? And they tackled this momentous investigative task while being fully aware no one will care what they write because Indiana is irrelevant compared to the perenial(check spelling) basketball powerhouses of “Duke, UNC, Kansas, even OSU”? What a little dude wart I am…I must admit, with the amount of corruption swept under rug in the world of recruiting, I should just accept the honorable intentions the proctologist at typewriter searching for something deep up Indiana’s colon but refusing to see piles of crap before their very eyes. It must have been my paranoia all along..I must have been imagining the many times during March Madness I heard(I mean, ‘thought’ I heard) a broadcaster from ESPN give glowing compliments to the wonderful coaching abilities of guys like John Calipari and Jim Calhoun.. I must have been in another one of my many delusion episodes when I fooled myself into thinking I heard Bobby Knight go on for ten minutes, hoarding ESPN airtime during a college basketball game, to make sure we all the viewers knew what a straight-shooter his friend Jim Tressel.

    Piles and piles of recruiting excrement before their very ESPN eyes and the helplessly bored journalist working for his media giant decides print space the ugliness the whole mess is better served spending six months to find a microscopic dingleberry at Indiana? Call me paranoid? With the total absurdity a lack of objectivity, where slanderous tactics used in journalism rarely match the public harm a reputation with severity the offense, I’ll happily take a any label you can throw removed the blindness to hypocrisy enveloping the naivety yourself(and few ranting dudes that work for “little” ESPN).

  4. The last line in the NCAA response clears A-HOPE. the kids werent stars before they got to america, and they got to america through a-hope.

  5. Seems every since the Big Ten Network launch ESPN gets a dig in on the Big Ten teams every chance it get’s and sometimes just makes things up to make them look bad. The ACC gets the praises because they signed on the dotted line! Look for Texas to vault in their ratings as well now that they have a contract with them too! The NCAA needs to investigate ESPN’s influence in NCAA sports, it’s about time!

  6. The NCAA needs to investigate ESPN’s influence in NCAA sports, it’s about time!

    Great point Luke72!

  7. Paranoia is what a lot of IU fans feel right now, and is somewhat justifiable given the circumstances. There is no questioning the fact that the NCAA did not like Bob Knight. Bob Knight had been slapping kids around for decades (he was called the general for a reason), and then all of a sudden he gets fired. I’m not saying that I agree with slapping around students, but it was quite interesting that a year or so after miles brand fires knight, he becomes the president of the NCAA. The BigTen network probably does factor into alot of this, and the NCAA does not gain anything from IU doing well. A traditional program doing well does not mean better ratings. UConn, Kentucky, UNC, Duke all have larger national followings as well as bigger national brands. IU only has the undying support from its fellow hoosier and IU alumni. Just as the fellow hoosier in Maine said – nobody gives a rats ass. Go to NYC or LA or really anywhere and I bet you will see a UNC jersey well before you ever see an IU jersey. Any bad issues that are happening with A-Hope or Indiana Elite are happening absolutely everywhere that has a decent basketball program. To be so incendiary towards IU alone (especially after a year where their students scored a perfect academic score) is not fair to the program or the students who have decided to go there. Remember, IU has historically and currently done well at graduating their athletes and putting education above all else. The same cannot be said about most of the top-tier schools. Also, this article was missing many facts and was simply wrong on others. This kind of sensationalist journalism is just ethically wrong. And the last point that really gets me is how Fish tries to tie IU to Indiana Elite. OF COURSE COACH CREAN IS GOING TO RECRUIT FIRST AND FOREMOST IN BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA!!! Mike Davis didn’t and that is the main reason he got fired. UNC definitely benefited from that faux pas! This is the first year in a very long time or even ever that most of the top high school students in Indiana all decided to go to IU, and already they are getting blasted for it.

  8. DD- (or Mr. Adams or anyone who may know with certainty). Please, an answer! I have a question and it is critical to the entire argument. I’ve read (somewhere)that Mr. Adams (senior) has guardianship over Perea. Is this true? Is the guardianship court established?

    If so, there is no argument at all and the NCAA can not interfere in the relationship between Perea and his guardian (Mr. Adams), period.

    Here’s part of the Indiana law (I thought about attaching the entire law, but it is too lengthy. It can, however, be ‘googled’ by any enterprising reporter interested in complete information or anyone else who would like to discuss the issue with facts:

    Share |
    IC 29-3-8
    Chapter 8. Responsibilities and Powers of a Guardian

    IC 29-3-8-1
    Enumerated responsibilities of guardian
    Sec. 1. (a) The guardian of a minor (other than a temporary guardian) has all of the responsibilities and authority of a parent and, unless otherwise ordered by the court, is responsible for the preservation of all the minor’s property regardless of where the property is located. In addition and without limitation, the guardian:
    (1) must be or shall become sufficiently acquainted with the minor and maintain sufficient contact with the minor to know of the minor’s capabilities, disabilities, limitations, needs, opportunities, and physical and mental health;
    (2) shall, upon termination of the guardianship, comply with the applicable provisions of IC 29-3-12;
    (3) to the extent the available parental income and property are insufficient to fulfill the parental obligation of support to the minor, shall apply the guardianship income and, to the extent the guardianship income is insufficient, the principal of the guardianship property to the minor’s current needs for support, and protect and conserve that portion of the minor’s property that is in excess of the minor’s current needs;…


  9. Mr. Glass…your attitude is helping nothing and it may be contributing to the view that Indiana has something to hide.
    You have a right to refrain from voicing your opinions or views. But you have been asked questions ‘of fact’. Did you meet or speak with Mr. Adams? did you meet or speak with the NCAA?

    You are a public employee. As such you have an obligation to transparency and, probably a duty under Indiana ‘freedom of information’. Best to open a minimum demanded by legitimate questions from whatever legitimate source than be faced on Tuesday with a ‘Freedom of Information’ request for your calendars, Mr. Crean’s calendars, your telephone logs, Mr. Crean’s telephone logs, your secretary’s scheduling books, her telephone logs…get the idea? It is called investigative reporting and you do not need to ask Glass for permission…you merely file it and wait (usually two weeks…maybe an extention… and there is usually a monetary penalty for slow compliance).

    Mr. Glass, you sure you want to open this can of worms? Ask university counsel. Besides, once people figure i- out how open, open is,- it can be such a pain in…
    So…the best thing is…transparency is transparent.

  10. TsaoTsuG…

    Why are you ragging on Mr. Glass for using his right to not answer questions. Which would just be providing fuel to the fire that was started by an arsonist and not in his campground.

    Mr. Glass was a lawyer first and then a business man second. Look at his track record that has led him to AD and you will see he has nothing to hide.

    His actions to me show how he wants this bs to go away and him commenting would only lead to a can of worms left out in the sun.

    Now, I will listen to your rambling once the NCAA comes down on Hanner being able to play at IU. Which, to me should start an investigation on all the of the other players involved with A-Hope. So does the NCAA want to take down 10 top programs?

  11. Mr. Glass is forbidden by the NCAA from speaking about undercallmen recruits. Doing so would be an NCAA violation.

  12. Ok Cupcake… here are your answers. We don’t have any proof that ESPN didn’t allocate resources to investigate similar feeder-type situations with the schools you mentioned. We simply have a story (that took a full 6 months to find something this minute) about Hanner and A-Hope program. This story doesn’t accuse IU or Crean of recruiting violations. Read between whatever lines you feel like and come to whatever conclusions you want. The truth is there isn’t much of a story here and outside of the IU community no one cares or is talking about it.

    I could sit here for 5 hours citing all the ESPN stories and national news stories regarding Kentucky, Memphis, UConn and other programs. When IU and Sampson F’ed up it got the coverage it deserved as well. Stop pretending like other programs aren’t investigated and don’t get ink when they deserve it. No one is naive… At what point did I make a statement saying IU or any other program was clean. Recruiting gray areas and violations literally happen every day by probably every school… Tressel didn’t get away with anything in the end. And that was a bunch of nothing anyway. He lost his job over some of the least important violations I’ve ever heard of.

    So back to my point… Just because ESPN had a guy writing a story about A-Hope doesn’t mean they’re out to bring down IU. He names several players and school relationships in the report. Just admit to yourself that you’re paranoid and that this will all go away. In fact, it already has.

  13. Fair enough. I think you’re correct in assessing this story likely not getting off the ground. I have no proof this man has a squeamish agenda, nor do you have any he is absent of any prejudice in the vast unknown spaces between words and intent. The pen is a powerful weapon and I hope he be just as content equal evidence against his own name if he was the subject of primarily suggestion and innuendo. As I’ve said in many of my posts before, I’m not a big fan of AAU ball and organizations/individuals/coaches that are given disproportionate influence on our basketball/sports programs. I prefer we turn over a new leaf. I like looking at talent beyond our borders and have always thought old friendships don’t necessarily function optimally in the working world. I prefer cronyism cast out of our basketball program and I’m not a sold believer in recruiting handcuffed in favoritism to certain groups simply because of ties to old Hoosier greats. Within our borders we need to recruit the entire state instead of the heavy concentration only in the middle to southern regions. If the Fish story makes us a bit nervous old comforts a lazy focus, then maybe that’s a good thing. I was happy to see the Adams guy go. It’s not a question of his character…I’m just tired of connections the past always moving the future. I remember reading comments by journalists working for Bloomington blogs/newspapers claiming we were almost obligated to offer Etherington a scholarship for his tireless efforts in convincing his buddy, Zeller, to come to Indiana. Is that any more ethical than what took Mark Fish six months to investigate regarding A-Hope? Outside of all evidence suggesting a kid is mature his off-the-court activities, and holds serious his academic commitment to college while wearing Cream and Crimson, I don’t think any kid should be given a scholarship on an IU basketball team unless he’s the best we can find for the slot/position considered in our lineup. There has been a lot of selling Hanner Perea. There may be less truth in all the claims and rankings of his hoops potential to explode once in Bloomington than all the suggestions of graft/corruption at Indiana in Mark Fish’s ESPN piece. I don’t jump off the couch in belief it’s gold we’ve discovered in any name(even those labeled as saviors our resurrection)until ample view in Hoosier uniform against the best competition the Big 10 can throw at the prized recruit. When I saw Tijan Jobe in a Hoosier uniform it gave me a new perspective some old names the past. I remember the painful years of watching Uwe Blab lumbering in the paint many moons ago..I thought that Knight had lost his edge in the recruiting game to go after such a clumsy kid from Europe. Compared to Jobe he was Juiius Erving.

  14. OK, I gotta say something here. I’m always hearing these armchair experts talking about how bad Uwe Blab was yet NBA scouts thought he was good enough to be the 17th overall pick in the draft and, while not a world beater, he lasted 5 years in the NBA. Just how do you define bad?

  15. My apologies for relying on the frozen jello my old Uwe memories..Let’s just say he moved me…He moved me like Baryshnikov in a medieval suit of armor. Uwe always looked like a very nice kid. He didn’t have that spoiled brat look many the kids this era. He probably was just as skilled as Cody Zeller…Born a few decades later and he could have been our savior. Was Dakich on that team? I should have used Dakich as my Julius Erving comparison to Jobe. Dakich was a true scorer…..with the cheerleaders. Speaking of ex-Hoosiers having uneventful short careers in the NBA…Didn’t Alford find a seat on a pro bench for a few years?

  16. Good stuff Cupcake. I agree. And when I was a kid I always wanted to be Isiah (then Alford) and made my little brother be Uwe. At least he (Uwe) got a sniff of the NBA… Jobe couldn’t get a sniff on one of the worst IU teams ever. So yeah the Dr. J comment is warranted.

  17. Even the choice of Dakich misses the point. Dakich was known as a very intelligent, hard working ‘support role’ player (that is, not necessarily a great scorer but essential to a ‘team game’. Even Bob Knight used to kid about the fact that ‘Dakich has a vertical that can clear a sheet of notebook paper laid sideways on the floor). But what he wanted from Dakich was the glue of a team.

    Uwe was a nice kid. Many of the foreign kids here come with a different attitude about their classroom work and their social demeanor. Sometimes their contribution is greater as the whole person of a whole team than merely ‘going to the hole’.

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