Coleman: “It’s hard to get recognized as a running back here at Indiana”

There’s no doubt that Indiana running back Tevin Coleman is among the most unheralded and underrated players in the nation at the moment.

Through his fine, two-game start to the season, Coleman leads the nation with 218.5 yards per game and, since the start of last season, he’s second in the country in rushing average per game (126.8), fourth in rushing touchdowns (17) and 12th in rushing yards (1,395).

All of this and Coleman has yet to be rewarded with an Offensive Player of the Week nod by his own conference.

Don’t think Coleman hasn’t noticed the slights. The junior told Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it’s difficult to be noticed for doing good work in Bloomington.

“It’s hard to get recognized as a running back here at Indiana,” Coleman said in a phone interview. “Maybe if I were somewhere else I’d probably be noticed because it’s a bigger school and they win much more. I just have to keep working and we have to keep working hard and we have to win more games and maybe I’ll be noticed.”

The wording on Coleman’s part is interesting, if not telling of how players view Indiana’s position in the Big Ten and beyond. Either way, I think I understand what he means to say, but it’s probably not a great piece of wording to have hanging over the program two days before an SEC matchup at Missouri.

It’s also worth pointing out that Anthony Thompson, of course, was a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist, who finished second in the voting in 1989. That Indiana team finished 5-6.

37 comments

  1. Journalists are baiting slimebags…They see you as a hungry bluegill eager to swallow whatever slippery worm they dangle off their questions posing on hooks. Don’t take the bait!

    Here’s my advice to any star player: Stay off the phones. Stay off Twitter…Stay off Facebook. Stay off chat sites…Don’t text anyone. Leave your answers very short when approached in the locker room by the slimebags. Throw all the electronic devices away. Mail your mother/father/parents a nice hand-written letter once a week. Keep it ALL on the football field.

  2. Not sure if it is what it seems or not.

    But…at any rate, I would like to know the exact question asked of Tevin Coleman by the interviewer; as well as the bits of dialogue by same interviewer prior to Mr. Coleman’s answer and comment.

    As a former journalist in a major city newspaper, I know there are ways to evoke specific reactions to specific questions. So, to insure the ‘innocence’ of your commentary, Mr. Miller; I really would like to know the specific dialogue that preceded it and, the specific question in the specific manner it was presented that led to Tevin Coleman’s comment. I trust you will answer to clear up any doubts as to the integrity of the interview.

  3. Agenda, Tsao…Agenda. And you’re exactly right. Provide the entire transcript.

    But my advice remains the same…Don’t give these fratrat sourdough boys the time of day. Don’t pick up the phone….Just pick up your blockers.

  4. We must keep things in perspective…

    Most sports journalists are writing about sports because they are leftover wannabes too clumsy, petite, and fragile to have ever played the games at any serious level. We must understand they approach athletes form a position of serious envy and deeply rooted inferiority. At somewhere around the 8th grade level, they knew it was not to be. Where muscles would not form, the personality grew in proportionately equal amounts of snidely. The only game to dominate is with the word.

  5. I believe his answer is honest. How much attention do players from any program with losing records receive?

    Tevin’s exploits this season have come against an FCS team and a MAC. Hardly the competition that is going to impress the media. If he has a 200+ yard rushing game against Missouri he will receive ample accolades for his performance, even if we lose. If he is held under 100 yards nobody will remember his name outside of Bloomington.

  6. Agenda Harvard…then question was not asked by the HT’s cub sports reporter, it was asked by a St. Louis Post reporter named Dave Matter. The general tenet of the question by Matter seems to be whether Coleman wasn’t regretting having chosen Indiana during his recruitment. Included amongst his pursuers were…Missouri and, most prominently, Illinois (which was specifically brought out in the background to the story by Matter).

    A little old fashioned digging….

    As a sports reporter for the Post, the largest circulation newspaper in the St. Louis, Missouri and southern Illinois area, what is Matter’s general assignment….? covering high school/college recruiting.

    Agenda Tsao…always agenda!

  7. How any snippet of a response is framed/selected and subsequently presented in a less-than-complete/limited disclosure of an entire conversation(exactly the basis of your inquisition), is where any “agenda” can filter into the presentation. There can be an agenda present from either parties(Miller, Matter..or, possibly both snickering in unison). Can we get the “snickering” and the “smirks” also in the phone transcript? Even the transcript provides nothing close to a tell-all where tone/laughter/mockery can not always be picked up from merely looking at the words of the conversation. Coleman only serves to feed their own agenda while attempting to present a bit of a window for his own.

    Best advice: Don’t pick up the phone. Do your talking on the football field. Play it on the football field like Lou Gehrig on the diamond.

    It doesn’t matter if Coleman’s response is honest….It was fed to him with an honest worm of mockery aimed at Indiana on a hook. He’ll learn to stay away from such bait.

  8. Harvard, if your tangent about sports journalist is true, what should we assume about someone who seems to spend most of their waking hours trying to dominate the sports blog of a small town newspaper?

  9. WaitingforTwins- So you believe his answer is honest. I believe the answer to the question is; but, not so the question. Did he ask, a) ‘why do you think you did not get selected as Player-of-the-Week?’ or did he ask: b) Do you think that your being an Indiana, a team with a long history of losing, influence your not being selected as Player of the Week? or, did he ask “Is Indiana shunned aside when player awards are made in the B1G week-to-week”. I can ask that very same question 25 different ways to get the response I want and am looking for, a priori the interview of the story.

    Or, I can disguise a dialogue in several dozen ways to bring forth a tilt the player’s thinking to get him to think of the answer I want prior to asking it. There are no virgins in journalism WaitingForTwins(WFT) and from your screen name, I suspect you are no virgin yourself.

    In fact, having read this blog for a long time and having read your comments frequently, I suspect you are one of those embittered IU fans who are unable to hope for success…ever and resent it; or are someone who has an extraordinary antipathy towards the Hoosiers and would ask whether it is fair for the Hoosiers to be in warm-weather Pasadena on January 1, ___, when it happens that we finally get there. There are no virgins WFT, and…I’m too old a cat to be sc____wed by a kitten WFT… There is an agenda to your one constant message.

  10. I think there could also be the “agenda” to make Coleman more passive against Missouri…

    What better way than to cry in Tevin’s beer..? “I feel your pain, Tevin….I’m with you, brother. You just don’t get the kudos playing for that joke of a football team…Good luck against us….blah…blah…blah(smirk..smirk…smirk).”

    What I’d rather get from a Missouri reporter is exactly what “waitingforwins” just presented in post #7. I’d rather have them print a story of honest doubt…Give a me 150 yards against a team that doesn’t play in a cupcake league.

    Coleman’s mindset is know one of how a poor ol’ Missouri reporter is on his ‘victim’ side. Nice and passive…Right where they want him. He’s really the only factor that could turn the game into a momentous upset. It’s an old game and an old trick.

    At the end of the day, they’re right. Until Coleman can prove(along with our O line) that big gainers can be swallowed up against quality opponents easier than tiny worms on a Missouri reporter’s hook, he’s not a legit threat to anyone. I would bet on a passive outing against the Tigers. I would bet on another fearful Hoosier burying his head in the sand.

  11. Fred-

    Just hoping to hook a little bluegill too afraid to post his real blogging name. I’m actually a wannabe Barney. Always thought Betty was hotter than Wilma.

    Hoosier Football = Pebbles
    Hoosier Basketball = Bamm-Bamm? Crean does wield a big club.

  12. tsao,

    “As a former journalist in a major city newspaper”, perhaps you should have learned the difference between insure and ensure.

    maybe that is why you are a former journalist?

  13. I always hoped that Wilson was going to hire a defensive coordinator with the last name “Phillips.” It sorta epitomizes Hoosier Football and Coleman’s pretty little answers.

    Take it away boys.

  14. I admire Coleman’s honesty. Maybe he had a bad day? Perhaps he was being brutally honest? I hope this will rally the troops at Missouri, instead of feeling as if the team was kicked yet again in the gut.

    Miller, you act as if Coleman’s comments was a fallible act. Nothing wrong with telling it how it is. It’s true one won’t be noticed as much at Indiana as compared to Ohio State. Indiana football has been in a rut. Until that rut is smoothed over, it’s going to be hard for the national media to cover Indiana football fairly.

  15. ^More victim…More passive.

    The only way to get out of the “rut” is to kick a solid opponent in the teeth. I like the fact that Miller was feeding into the defeatism….

    Maybe, someday, somebody will finally get mad as hell and just not take it anymore. Gradual ascents are for the toddlers letting mommy and daddy measure their incremental fractions of inches of growth on the kitchen wall. It’s time to be noticed for something other than the expected. We expect Tevin to be snuffed. Miller was merely touching that nerve…Maybe Miller is attempting to get under the skin and light a rare fire under some passive butts. I think Miller is quite the fan of Hoosier Football. There is no more room for an honest anything. It’s time for Hoosier football to be unfaithful to the truth. It’s time to pick yourself off the floor you’ve gotten too used to, and kick some team in the teeth that doesn’t see it coming. Grow up instead of looking for the adulation you do not know the true meaning.

  16. That’s just it. When will the team grow up? Excuses are made every year. I’m curious to know what you would do H4H if this was your team? Tell me how you would change the culture of this team? I think we’ve tried everything but fire the groundskeepers. (They do a great job in reality. It’s a beautiful stadium.) Tell us how you would kick some teeth in?

  17. If you expect Coleman to keep silent, it’s a rare thing these days. I wish it was practiced more. The media, (including Miller) makes things worse then they really are. I know he is doing a job, but who cares if he speaks his mind!? Crap, but him under a Wilson gag order!

  18. I would start by benching Coleman. If IU is not enough stage, then the Missouri game is just one less act.

    He’s not playing for ESPN. He’s playing for Indiana. Play the back-up RB….Slide that Hoosier linebacker turned into QB into Coleman’s spot.

    Indiana is not a “small” school…They’ve often been a big school with small people making small excuses.

  19. You know Harvard, people who constantly tear down others, attack others, question others accomplishment, berate others over innocuous statements and generally have a view of others as being either mean, bad or somehow out to get them are in my experience people who have accomplished little, feel entitled and who are absent any self-awareness. Everyday I come to this site, and everyday I read the unfounded, obnoxious and angry sounding crap you write and I wonder why nobody has banned you for being such an obnoxious jerk. Or just for being deliberately troll’ish. Here is an idea – step away from the keyboard, don’t finish the twinkie, kiss your mom on the cheek as you step out of your basement room and go out and accomplish something other than trolling this site. Maybe then, when a person with actual accomplishments falls short or makes mistakes you will have the empathy and intelligence to understand that we all have foibles and that even the most accomplished among us fail. In fact, the most accomplished among us fail more than people who sit behind computer screens all day and point out other peoples failures – but that is the point. They are living and accomplishing things. What have you ever done but piss people off for fun? What constructive thing have you done in the world. Cause all I see is you trying to destroy people that are infinitely better than you.

  20. I never said Indiana was small. Indiana has much untapped potential. With the correct guidance, Indiana could be an Iowa of sorts. Could be a threat every week at the least.

    I didn’t take H4H statements as a slam. I asked a question, and he answered. Good enough for me. Thanks.

  21. Bench Coleman for giving an honest answer in a straight-forward manner to a journalist? That will improve team morale! Might as well ask him to transfer or declare for the draft at the end of the season. Coleman is articulating the dirty little secret that affects football recruiting at IU. Look at attendance at IU’s home games. Look at the various team rankings published by various media outlets and where IU is always ranked (at or near the bottom). Ironically, it’s the best college football players that care most about exposure and recognition, because they believe that contributes to being a high draft pick and more money. I don’t blame Coleman for being frustrated (if that what he was expressing). What does he or his offensive teammates have to show for his two outstanding performances so far this year?

  22. Coach V, actually you are right. Should have used ‘ensure’. No,…am now retired and hoping to learn the difference between insure, ensure and assure…so thanks for adding to my education.

  23. H4H- good insight to think about the motive of the Missouri reporter trying to beat down Coleman’s attitude. Wrong to bench Tevin for speaking the truth; and good luck to anyone who wants to turn back the hands of time and gag players from communicating as normal people communicate these days. Agreed, H4H, that often it’s not better to pick up the phone, but sometimes I still do it (and regret it) even though I’ve got about thirty-five more years experience on this planet than does Mr. Coleman.

    Definitely, this should be bulletin board material for the offensive line!

    Tsao’s right on about the context. Coach v, the “former” as to Tsao’s journalism career is not related to grammar. I know. Correcting the spelling/grammar/style of all of us here is like shooting fish in a barrel. Why waste the keystrokes?

  24. Here is the problem with the statements Tevin Coleman made.

    NOTHING!!!

    He’s both factual and accurate.

    Does it help with future recruiting. Obviously not when the best player on the team suggests playing elsewhere might be better for a star player. Hurtful – but truthful. One could look at this for exactly what it is. A frustrated player who realizes that nobody cares about great players on bad teams. That simple.

    I would look at this as the opportunity to light a fire under a coaching staffs butts that is well needed. He’s saying nothing more than I’d like to win. You know how hard it must be to score 40 points and put up great numbers and still not win week after week. I’m shocked that the offensive and defensive units are not in daily fist fights at practice. Or not speak to each other.

    Please stop with the agendas – baiting – etc. nonsense. It’s foolish. Go rent JFK from a Redbox.

    A frustrated great player just spoke the truth. Now coaching staff – use that fire to teach – produce and motivate. More simply – just win. In essence – your best player would like to win more. That’s what he said and all that he said. Music to my ears that a Hoosier football player wants to win.

  25. Frustration? I sure read no frustration. He simply answered a Q asked to him and answered it with his own thoughts. He damn sure revealed nothing new.

  26. Frustration = a feeling of annoyance – especially because of the inability to change or achieve something.

    I believe frustration is the exact perfect word.

    You do not have to be foaming at the mouth and screaming your head off to be frustrated. You can be frustrated with grin on your face and a song in your heart.

  27. I thought it was a team game. Huh…I thought(once in a blue Hoosier moon), that a lead blocker occupies a guy long enough, or, heaven forbid, a lineman throws a needed block to leave a space to run through.

    Send Coleman onto the field by himself. He’ll get attention. And as crappy as the result was against Bowling Green, there were plenty of Hoosiers and Falcons that played a very attention-worthy game. Sudfeld…Stoner…Wynn…Knapke…#1(receiver on Bowling Green…not going to look up his name…He won’t get any extra attention by my mentioning his name nor is it worth my thirty seconds).

    Gymnast- Balance beam is not my specialty. Although, most Christmases, I do make a trip to Chicago to take in Nutcracker on Ice….

  28. davis-

    And wasn’t Coleman injured for the latter part of last season? Injuries happen, but it’s not like the stage wasn’t there to do something special against high “recognized” level competition.

    Those contests he missed were three of the most showcased of the year(#22 Wisconsin, #12 OSU, and the Oaken Bucket game against PU). Hard to get “recognized” sitting on the sideline. That’s not Tevin’s fault. That’s not IU’s fault.

    I just think it’s disrespectful toward teammates that block knowing that it’s a rarely appreciated “in the trenches” assignment (far less talked about than the glorious/spotlighted positions)to make this about ‘my’ attention..It’s the Big 10. There are plenty of NFL players from smaller schools and less televised programs. The other night, if not mistaken, I heard announcers talking about a Division II player that seized an opportunity and found his way on an NFL roster.

    Bottom Line: Don’t take the bait and do your talking on the field. If you’re a real gem, it doesn’t matter where you shine…They’ll find you.

    Mr. Slate- Glad you weren’t offended.

  29. And right after Tevin was officially honored as ‘Player of the Week’ by the Big 10(which sorta seems like attention)for his performance against Illinois on 11/09/13, his ankle injury kept him out for the rest of the season.

    So forgive me if I’m a little cynical, but the questions about limited attention simply have no merit. last season, he never carried the ball against the two teams that have historically annihilated us like no others(Wisconsin and OSU). He also did not play in the Oaken Bucket game which is another very attention-getting rivalry game that brings larger crowds and greater interest.

    No games against very tough teams closing out last year. This year he’s amassed his mega yards against ISU and Bowling Green. His big yardage games last season were also against the lowlifes of the conference, ISU(again), and Bowling Grean(again). He lit it up against Illinois. But if I recall correctly, the Illini had one their sorriest ass teams in years.

    Don’t get me wrong…He’s a super talent. But where and why is he expecting the huge attention. He’s had no 100+ yard games against Michigan, MSU, OSU, Wisconsin, Missouri(58 last year). You’ve got to put up the yards against top BIG opponents and you don’t get attention when you sit on the sidelines from injury.

    And this season is young…And maybe he should be grateful to his head coach for not trying to get him back on field prematurely while he was injured. He saved him from risking aggravating a bad ankle or getting something possibly career-ending while playing hurt. Your coach has given you the most important kind of care and attention. He didn’t overwork you or force you into too many carries as a freshman against teams we simply were extremely over-matched.

    Put up 150 against Missouri and you’ll be noticed. Better yet, maybe IU will be noticed.

  30. The most important key to Coleman’s statement is 1. he has to keep working hard 2. we have to keep working hard 3. we have to win more games.

  31. Crimson’s right that Tevin’s comments don’t help recruiting but keep in mind, people, that every single recruit knows about IU’s low football status- so I seriously doubt that Tevin did any harm to the program.

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