Williams, Robinson, Holt speak with ESPN’s O’Neil

Indiana’s Troy Williams, Stan Robinson and Emmitt Holt spoke for the first time since their four-game suspensions were handed down, talking with ESPN’s Dana O’Neil on Wednesday.

Here’s an excerpt from her story on Williams and Robinson:

“I know we let a lot of people down, teammates, coaching staff, family and definitely the fans,” Robinson said. “But I think we’ve learned from it. Before I think we had a little idea of what it means to put on an Indiana jersey. Once this all happened and it went public, we saw what it really means to be a Hoosier.”

The players’ suspensions, announced just days after news of the car accident, made for a tumultuous start to the season for the Hoosiers and coach Tom Crean.

“He went through a lot more than we had to go through,” Williams said. “The fact that he kept us through all of this, we’re just grateful.”

Meanwhile, Holt said he’s forever changed by the accident with Devin Davis. An excerpt:

“It was just an awful night, to be honest, that probably changed my life forever,” Holt said in an exclusive interview with ESPN.com. “It did actually change my life forever. When I went to visit him in the hospital for the first time it was like … it was … crazy.

“Then when we talked the first time, I don’t want to go into great detail, but he was trying to comfort me, telling me it wasn’t my fault. But deep down, I’ll always feel like it was my fault. It was one of those moments where you realize you have to be a better person.”

Clearly still shaken, Holt paused frequently for deep breaths and spoke quietly during a 15-minute interview following Indiana’s practice Wednesday. He said he is emotionally and mentally prepared to play basketball but admitted the past few weeks have been the toughest and longest of his life, weeks in which he said he has been forced to grow up quickly.


  1. It sounds like these kids are beginning to understand what accountability means outside of X’s and O’s. Based on their comments related to how disappointed people were in their decisions, as well as how they’ll have to ‘earn’ the trust and respect of those they let down. I hope even the angriest of IU fans will give these kids an opportunity to learn and grow from these mistakes. Go Hoosiers…let’s take it to SMU!

  2. Agreed Keith. Let those among us without sin cast the first stone. Having said that, they got off easy. Next time something like this happens, the punishment will probably be a much longer suspension or dismissal.

  3. Remember Podunker that IU was bound by their athletes bill of rights when it came to punishment. They couldn’t go against their own rules when it came to these suspensions. IU backed themselves into a corner on that one.

  4. Robinson had his ‘next time’ and he’s still on the team.

    And if we can give second chances for conduct that could endanger other team members and the general public, then why was a kid like Patterson cut from the squad and not given a second chance to prove himself when he was only 1/2 grade shy of the required ‘C’ average in a summer school class?

    And no IU fans that were making blanket lifetime indictments, using wide and unjust lazy brushes of collective discrimination, labeling kids as “cancers” and “thugs,” in the most hateful place that hate finds home in vengeful gut, for all Hoosiers that were recruited or played under Sampson, now become the grandest of hypocrites when they speak of quotes about sin from their good Book and the “casting the first stone.”

    All young kids in the college candy store can make bad decisions….They can make them in the classroom and they can make them on the street. They can get sucked into a belief of untouchable existence and a dysfunctional trap fueled by our warped obsessions for winning sports…It infects into the prima donna syndrome and transfers a certain entitlement and possibly cause irrational thoughts that extra leeway be given their mistakes and poor choices.

    Then again, I’ve never known smoking pot in your dorm room or failing grades to kill an innocent bystander on the street…. I’ve never known 19 F’s to filter into the bloodstream, grossly impair driving, and kill families on roadways. I would hope that penalties be very harsh when poor decisions can be matters of life or death. Though who pours the first drink and grabs for car keys…..gets fewer Bible quotes in my “book.”

  5. Dana O’Neil has had many a sappy story on Hoosier basketball and Hoosier candy stripe traditions since Crean took the helm… I do believe she has a certain kinship and agenda in her positions/voice when it comes to selling Indiana for the new “chosen one” coach…..

    She’s definitely the kinda Midwestern, embroidered, white gown gal you want your son to meet at Sunday services.

    Where was her microphone and tape recorder for Jamarcus Ellis?

  6. Podunker and iufan1992,

    I agree with each of you regarding the suspensions. the IU Bill of Rights pretty much tied the hands of CTC in meting out punishments (I believe a review of this document is in order). However, I hope CTC has been pretty creative with off the books punishments for these guys. Harvard you rightly pointed out that this is Stan’s 2nd bite at the apple. These recent incidents (as well as Hanner’s, Yogi’s & Stan’s from last season) are an embarrassment to the university and the fans. Going forward what the Men’s Basketball program has been through over the past three weeks should serve as a cautionary tale to ALL IU student-athletes. Should any fail to heed the warning, the consequences should be swift and consistent. Go Hoosiers!!!

    1. A few things that came to mind here:
      1) IU was not limited by the Bill of Rights in its punishment. It even says, “Scholarship terms are not reduced unless the student athlete voluntarily leaves the team, becomes ineligible, or violates a university or department policy or team rule.”

      2) Technically, you could make the case this is Stan’s third go-around, assuming the reports that this is a second failed drug test are true, coupled with the fake ID incident.

      3) Jamarcus Ellis and Ron Patterson again? Sigh.

      4) Good catch on the blockquote function. Will look into addressing that.

  7. HT Guys-

    You need to get your tech team to fix the “blockquote”: function….There’s really no need to have a mega-sized bold font when putting quotes in blocks…

    This irritating result happens with posters using the blockquote technique as well.

  8. Jeremy, the following strikes me:

    You state, “Technically, you could make the case this is Stan’s third go-around, assuming the reports that this is a second failed drug test are true, coupled with the fake ID incident.”

    Do we know that to be true? We do know for a fact that he did fail one drug test, was arrested for having a fake ID. ‘Reports’ of a third incident violating IU student conduct and scholarship rules are (from what I know) no more than that, unconfirmed and in the category of rumors. I have absolutely no problem with counting ‘it’ as the third violation if its ‘fact’ is proven or recorded somewhere. anywhere where it could be relied upon as fact and used as a matter of expected consistency with the rules.

    But, I think, the consideration “if reports….” suggests there are rumors to this effect and if these rumors go unproven; then, the mention of “[…]reports” is not wise, and probably illegitimate to even mention as an established fact…thus, it does not exist.

    I think this is an important point; especially now when ‘reports’ of unproven prior ‘facts’ are being used and may be violating the most important individual right established in the Constitution, the assumption of innocence until proven otherwise.

    There may be something called ‘politically correct’; but I prefer to stand on “Constitutionally correct” as a criteria for judging an individual.

    (Jeremy, am not arguing for the hell of arguing; it is an important point. By the way, was Davis charged with the same violation as Holt? Just a question.)

    1. TTG,
      To start at the end, Davis was not charged with anything in the incident with Holt.

      The reason I phrased it that way is that IU has not and will not make any statement regarding the drug tests, so all we have is the ESPN report that the suspensions were due to a failed drug test. However, the rules basically say that there is no required suspension for a first failed drug test, it is handled internally at the school’s discretion. A second failed test is an automatic three-game suspension. When announcing the punishment, Crean said the rules require a certain number of games, but he would go one more, hence the four-game suspension. Also, Dana O’Neil’s story described the suspensions as being for failed drug tests, which was not refuted by Williams or Robinson.

  9. Did any of Sampson’s “druggies” ever fail a drug test? Understood that some failed many classroom tests(or failed because they were simply not there to take tests..), but did any fail drug tests? Were any busted for DWI’s or false ID’s?

    Do HT journalists get subjected to random drug testing? Sigh.

    And like thousands weren’t making unsubstantiated claims when taking aim at Sampson’s team of drug-takers….? I don’t remember many on this blog(or any other Hoosier blog)asking for legal proof backed by official university statements or police reports…Sigh.

    Lastly, some Sampson players performed horrifically in the classroom. I see that as an affront to the privilege of a scholarship at a quality institution. I also see it as a tragedy in the sense that a quality education is a road to self-improvement and a rare chance at shedding institutionalized educational inequality that many of these young men likely faced in under-performing/underfunded forgotten/cheated schools of their neighborhood streets.

    But let’s not confuse such flippant regard for an education with pure outright cheating that went on at UNC…Allowing yourself a passing grade for a fictitious classroom that never existed to be place on an official transcript is an immoral act….It is cheating yourself , but it is also cheating the integrity of those that pursue an honest grade for honest work within the entire institution. Any branch of an institution that willingly allowed such deception and lying should have its athletic programs severely punished. I just don’t see the outcry for such blatant corruption that I feel is far more devious and immoral than anything a class-skipper’s disregard that takes the bad grade with their equally weak devotion to the classroom…(in a classroom that actually existed)..

  10. …to be [placed] on an official transcript

    And let’s not forget that D-Rose also came to Memphis with SAT scores that he never earned. Lying and cheating follows Calipari(Crean’s good friend) everywhere the man works….Again, lying is far different than cheating yourself and skipping classes. And how will we ever know just how closely any of those kids under Sampson were tutored and actually given any real level of heartfelt concern? Many were likely thrown out with the trash because the perception that Sampson was the biggest cheat to have ever been hired by IU…Personally, fake classrooms…fake ID’s….soft punishment for DWI’s, and fake SAT scores….trumps violations that arise from making too many 3-way calls….But keep on hating on the kids that weren’t in the protected class of true cheats and criminals still working the system.

  11. Ok Harv, I’m not going to let that one slide. I’ve repeatedly retorted to your accusations about our academic staff during Sampson’s reign. I knew people that worked there during the Sampson years. The academic staff has no power and they tried everything to help those kids. Knight, Davis and now Crean all made academics a cornerstone of their program. Under them, there were consequences when kids didn’t do as they were expected. Not under Sampson. He let everything slide and gave no support to the academic staff.

    Indiana’s academic staff has always been full of integrity, forward thinking and hard working. They were horrified by Sampson’s flippant attitude of towards the classroom. No one was more pleased to see Sampson do the perp walk out of Assembly Hall then they were.

    But, these kids were ultimately responsible for their own fates. They had all the resources they needed. Even if Sampson didn’t care, it wasn’t ultimately up to him do so.

  12. So… I’m a junior PG… leader of the team(?)… we have a 3 point lead and the ball with the SHOT CLOCK OFF and about 25 seconds to go in the half… here are my options:

    1) make sure I control the clock and keep momentum… need the last shot

    2) run the offense, but make sure the team knows that we turn down anything except a GREAT shot

    3) dribble into traffic and take a contested, fade-away 18-footer with 17 seconds left so the other team gets plenty of time for a positive possession

    WTF yogi… really? you chose number 3?

    Good thing Troy bailed you out, and then SMU bailed you out with a line violation… moron.

  13. blah…blah…blah and more blah. “I knew people…” That doesn’t work here…Nobody puts their names and reputations behind “I knew people.” Are you willing to put yours and your supposed close ties?
    Plus, you miss the whole point. Academic fraud trumps poor academic performance….Lying and inventing …Falsifying documents and transcripts with fake classes and grades that were earned is beyond any miserable performance of a Sampson “flunkie” irregardless of the wonderful intentions of your in-the-know crowd.

    And I also believe putting the public in harms way(e.g. drunk driving) should be given far more public condemnation than a flippant attitude in the classroom…Bad grades kill opportunity…Boozing and getting into a car kills innocent, law-abiding, citizens that are victims of the arrogant stupidity. We can’t forgive for bad grades, but we find all that warm and fuzzy, second and third chances, in our hearts for careless behavior that causes death? I’m not going to let that slide…No matter how adolescent, there is an arrogance that turns my stomach with those types of “boys will be boys” or “college kids will be college kids” arguments.

  14. Really, Geoff? I’m not the biggest fan of Ferrell, but “moron?” Maybe ball hog moron …..

  15. HMP is the worst player I’ve ever seen at staying on his feet on defense… there isn’t even a close second. I haven’t even seen a non-basketball player at the Y leave his feet on head fakes more than Hanner.

  16. Harvard, thankfully IU won so you stopped being crabby for ten minutes. Quit taking your crappy life out on others.

  17. Wow….Double Down stooping to new lows. If he only knew how I wished to have anything remotely close to his exemplary life. How perfect it must be to breathe such arrogance…..How large his mind and world. My life barely fits in the palm of his humble hand.,,,My thoughts merely a morsel of bait caught between his teeth…He’ll soon floss and gone will be my crappy life on a piece of Double Down’s dental string……

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