Outside The Lines to dive into alleged IU mistreatment

An upcoming episode of ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” will explore alleged medical mistreatment of Indiana University athletes.

It’s a widely-circulated topic following the departure of former football coach Kevin Wilson, but ESPN’s program is not focusing solely on the Hoosier football program. Rather, it will also inspect concerns with the women’s rowing program and IU’s handling and reporting of injuries as an athletic department.

The episode will air Sunday at 9 a.m. on ESPN, with rebroadcasts at 10 a.m. on ESPN2 and 11 a.m. on ESPNews.

“We started taking a look at Indiana athletics after the departure of Kevin Wilson and the injured football players who came out and said they felt they were mistreated, and Coach Wilson’s demeanor and behavior had a lot to do with that,” ESPN investigative reporter Paula Lavigne said. “We talked to a few of the players. It was interesting, because there were players who criticized Wilson and his demeanor, and almost all the players were in agreement that, as one player put it, he’s a very hard coach. He’s very animated. I think everybody we talked to was in agreement that he has a very in-your-face style. What they were in disagreement on was whether or not his behavior toward the athletic training staff to the players is what caused them problems. The story takes a closer look at the medical staff and the medical care of student-athletes at Indiana.”

Wilson resigned as coach on Dec. 1 due to what Indiana athletic director Fred Glass deemed “philosophical differences.” In the wake of his resignation, former Hoosier defensive lineman Nick Carovillano alleged that IU’s training staff mishandled a back injury suffered in 2014. Former receiver Dominique Booth has also alleged that concussions suffered while playing at IU were not handled with care.

Carovillano told The Herald-Times in December that he believed IU trainers operated under strong pressure from Wilson, who Carovillano says would berate staffers if he felt they were coddling players.

Wilson, now the offensive coordinator at Ohio State, has since told reporters that there is no truth to the allegations.

Glass did issue a formal reprimand to Wilson in 2015 after an external investigation into IU’s treatment of injured players determined that there were noticeable behaviors by IU football coaches that contributed to an unsatisfactory environment for players.

The results of a second investigation into IU’s football program, conducted this past season, have not been released by the university.

“We were assigned to work on this story that was sparked by Kevin Wilson leaving,” OTL producer Willie Weinbaum said. “We worked on telling that story. In the course of the reporting, Paula uncovered a complaint that had been levied against the medical director for IU athletics, Andy Hipskind. That led to telling another story, in essence. A story about an athlete in another sport. Not a football player, not a male student-athlete, but a female student-athlete and a rower.”

Lavigne and Weinbaum said they interviewed a few people associated with IU’s rowing program off camera. On camera, they focused on former rower Katlin Beck.

“What we do is tell two stories that have a strong connection,” Weinbaum said. “One story involves the football program and the athletic training staff and the doctors. Another story involves the rowing team and the student-atheltes and the athletic training staff and the doctors. There’s a lot of overlap, but if we had just looked at everything related to football as opposed to taking the broader view, we never would have known about the other story.”

Indiana officials declined to comment to The Herald-Times on Friday ahead of the episode’s premiere.

In reporting the story, Lavigne said Glass declined to comment, as did IU’s athletic trainers and team physicians. IU officials did agree to answer some questions via email, Lavigne said.

“A couple of the things we would’ve liked more information about were the investigations they did,” Lavigne said. “I know this was an issue for everyone around the time of Wilson’s departure. So you did these investigations, what type of questions were you asking? What were the answers? We got a summary and bullet points and things, but it would’ve been nice to have received a little more context, and also to find out a little bit more about the investigation that happened in the fall that they referenced. We filed open records requests for all of those. That was denied. Unfortunately, they’re not being fully transparent about that.”

Lavigne and Weinbaum said the episode is structured in a way that will allow viewers to make their own decisions.

“In the interest of fairness, it’s worth pointing out that Indiana officials say they’ve made a number of changes already,” Lavigne said. “Obviously, they have a new football coach (Tom Allen) in the picture. They have committed to training the athletic trainers and the medical staff and the coaches as to the reporting structure for injuries, re-emphasizing who makes decisions and then making some changes internally to improve the accountability of the head team physicians to the university and they have a new contract with their healthcare provider. They have made some changes, so it’ll be interesting to see the responses from the student-athletes moving forward.”

Those responses are what Weinbaum is looking forward to receiving.

“Our hope is that once this story is out there from what we present, that we’ll hear from people connected or formerly connected with IU, or others with knowledge of it so we can do follow-up reporting,” he said.

31 comments

  1. Wondering if ESPN will donate the profits from “What we do is tell 2 stories that have a strong connection”?

  2. I wish Indiana would bring a lawsuit against ESPN for unfairly targeting discrimination due to not doing investigations on other universities across the country. I have seen coaches publically on TV or read about (Alabama coach would be example and Ohio State fb players expect the challenges that coaches present as opportunity and part of the experience as does Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and a host of other universities and colleges) that have been more harsh than IU. This is libel and slander plus discrimination against IU as a university regarding its sports programs.

  3. t- You forgot to mention Beckman at U. Illinois. Presumably, IU has competent legal counsel that would never even consider such a lawsuit. US Constitution, Amendment I; Indiana Constitution, Article 1, Section 9, and all that jazz.

  4. Or N.C. ghost classes.
    The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution vs. media, protesters/rioters/violent/
    peaceful/legal/criminal/, Truth vs. False and Fake. Where is the threshold or is there any? Then, what good is the first amendment as it is often used to hide behind to do much destruction to this country. The first amendment is great and necessary only if it is exercised with truth and integrity.

  5. No First Amendment rights here….Certainly none at ESPN. The press is the greatest impediment to free speech. Of course, you can stand and scream your viewpoints from the top of tall building, but the press is validated via its models in ownership and power to filter the news. Most of what we do here is censored and filtered to fit the biases and motives of ownership…ESPN is no different. These media outlets(owned by fewer and fewer conglomerates) do not foster free speech nor strive for objectivity….They control and manipulate the airways to their own agenda….because they are in power…and, thus, “free” to do so.

  6. I am going to install a backup video recorder to the primary 1 as I do not want any mistakes causing me to miss this profound espn expose’.

  7. I live in a house of Michigan and Ohio State fans. This program this morning has caused more tension than normal. I am being told that my coach is a dirty crook” i don’t know what Urban has to do with someone elses problem. Yes Wilson works for us know. There us no dirt at OSU…they are reaching. Anything to stop success. Focus on your school.

  8. Eleventy seven ESPN channels have to get content from somewhere. I haven’t seen it nor do I know the specifics of their investigation. They likely made some effort at validity.

    There is a ‘reality’ (I use the term loosely) show about homesteaders in Alaska. I met them last summer visiting an old IU buddy. They live next door to him. There is a liquor store a mile away. A Safeway grocery is about two miles away. Several restaurants about the same distance. Whether or not their caribou jerky turns out isn’t really a life and death issue.

    A major cable news network won a court case in Florida on the premise that they were in the entertainment business not the truth business. The court concurred.

    On the flip side, it’s never been easier to check this stuff out.

  9. Chet, A fine piece of perspective.
    Neither of my video recorders launched successfully to preserve the viewing. Hope I can sleep tonight.
    Planning a Cruise trip to Alaska for August 2018. 5 days on a ship, 6 days on land. 4 of those inland away from the coast Never been there always wanted to. The economical value is surprising.
    Any advise to enhance the experience appreciated.

  10. Just read a quick remark Andy Graham is retiring from the HT. If IUFB had a coach in its past with the success near that of RMK Andy would marquee just above Hammel. A good body of work Andy. The way you can dissect, analyze and articulate FB performance makes your oral or written work an entertaining education.

    Respects and ENJOY,
    Hoosier Clarion

  11. I didn’t know small town journalists ever earned enough to retire…?

    Since most of his stuff was only accessible via the pay wall, I never had much chance to read Graham. Thankfully, I got to read his recent piece on George McGinnis. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Andy took me right into the soda shops of his childhood memories….and allowed me a chance to see George in a way few writers are capable. Good luck to you, Andy.

  12. I had never watched ‘Between the Lines’ until this morning. It was an interesting presentation. Have they reviewed NC? The couple of years old Miami fiasco or any of the SEC schools? If they have it would add a little weight to this story.

    Three students voiced concerns out of the hundreds? Diamond’s concerns add legitimacy, at least in my mind. The other two students featured, wow – talking malpractice / incompetence in the real world of health care. While this issue is a huge embarrassment ( I would guess) , the steps taken sound appropriate.

    I also read somewhere this weekend that ESPN has a fairly substantial decrease in staffing coming in the next couple of weeks.

  13. It would not surprise me to learn that they must sign away some of their legal rights in order for the University to assume medical responsibility financially.

  14. Very interesting story. I actually think there is an issue here, but it is part of a broader problem not just in athletics, but with our antediluvian medical diagnostic and application.

    I’ve spent the better part of the last 5 years with my better half dealing with the most tone def and thoughtless knuckleheads. The speed a which they barely listen to their patients problems, pull out the notepad, and prescribe a pill to fix it all is stunning. A lot of surgeons are a hammer in search of a nail: you have pain, cut, splice, separate, reattach, sew.

    In athletics in particular, opiate narcotics are prescribed like tic tacs. And the synthetic versions of them are getting so powerful, you don’t even know what planet you’re on anymore.

    I believe the stories of these athletes, because I’ve experienced the same things in my family’s life. I do think you add the pressure to win on top of all of that, and you have a perfect storm. I would never, under any circumstances, sign anything that would tie me to the medical advice of a single person or entity.

    I hope this story doesn’t turn into a witchhunt in Indiana. They mention in the story that Indiana has already taken the steps to reorganize and reorient the medical staff. However, the underlying diagnostic crises in the medical industry as a whole will still be there. This goes far beyond Bloomington.

    I feel really bad for that rower. I hope she gets the right care someday and can live a normal, active life.

    1. A couple years ago we changed physicians to the hospital based group that takes all insurance. The ACA works great here but there are still groups who don’t match up. Anyway, our new physician is about 12. Nice guy. Opie Taylor.

      We have about 60 years as health care professionals.

      We have turned him into a doctor. The first visit he was punching my lab numbers into his phone. I sincerely, yet with my own subtlety, suggested that this was not the most effective form of health care procedure. However I worded it…it seemed to frighten him.

      My wife, Sheen Amazon Queen of the Jungle, made a similar suggestion.

      Over the next two years neither of us has seen his cell phone.

      Do not assume your doctor knows more about your problem than he does. If you have spent the last two weeks investigating your symptoms than you have spent way more time on the topic than he/she has.

  15. The old quote, “don’t get in battle with a guy that owns a newspaper company or now that owns TV station. Maybe I U ‘s problem is, while trying to run a clean program, you set yourself up for the mudslinger’s to drag your program into the mud with the other corrupt schools. Hoosier Clarion on Alaska Trip try to keep good hydration and enjoy the views and hope for a clear day to see Mt McKinley(Denali) 120 miles away on Route 3, if you have time take the trip into Denali Park to see the wild life, also if you can take a whale watching trip. Also in August the days will be longer, we were there in June and had over 20 hours of sunlight. Have a good trip.

  16. HC, sounds like a great time. We took a two month camping trip in Canada and Alaska. Different kind of trip. We went pretty much everywhere there are roads which is probably less than you think. We did spend a day with a friend of a friend who is a marine biologist. She took us out on her boat recording whales. A month after we go home there was a 2 page picture of her in National Geographic (maybe 9/16?). How about that?

    Anyway, the southern peninsulas are where much of the major waterfalls, glaciers, etc., are found. That’s likely where you’ll be.

    The cities, aside from Homer, are just places of commerce. Not very pretty. Wasilla is a hell hole of payday loans outfits and tattoo parlors. While Valdez is simply a pipeline town the drive north from there is spectacular if you have time.

    Skagway isn’t even a real town. We visited some young friends working there. All the shops and restaurants are run by the cruise lines and the employees live in dorms. Once the cruise season ends they close the town. If you stop take a helicopter or bus tour or something. The drive east of Skagway is beautiful.

    Lots of ‘wow’ up there. Lots of rain, too.

    One more thing, Alaska has these freaky vegetables because of the long days. Just monstrous.

  17. Regarding Denali, if you ask about Mt. McKinley anywhere but Ohio no one will know what you’really talking about.

    I drove near it 3 times and I was 0 for 3. I did get some views of Wrangell-St. Elias NP that not many people get to see. I was unaware of the park before planning our trip.

  18. In my prior working life I was required to host a corporate meeting yearly for Rehab-type people. One was a Rehab director from Alaska ( She enjoyed a long Florida February weekend). She was a no show one year, found she had died on her third trip up McKinley. She probably was not older than 30 or so.

    1. I have observed that, as you move west, your chances of dying from falls, exposure, or being eaten by other animals increases.

  19. Gents all good thoughts and I’ll ponder them for sure. As they say at the feed and seed store, “much obliged”.

  20. I’ve heard expert climbers become quite superstitious when mountain faces take on ‘faces’ beyond their faces.

  21. Usually when I look a HH’s add-ons I ask myself “why did I look”.

    This one, wow, what a daunting view. Somewhere I have a photo of me & the bike at the peak of Rock Reef Pass in the Everglades. Elevation of 3 ft.

  22. Ron- This is a beautiful shot as well.

    Found the photo in a piece telling the tale of a 1967 climbing expedition that ended in disaster; seven less experienced climbers who were left at a base camp (without an expert climber) perished while attempting to meet up with the team who had reached the summit(four simply vanished and were never found.
    A book based on the 1967 climb, “Denali’s Howl” by Andy Hall, is also available.

  23. Nice. Found I like the Smoky Mountains – Rockies just to big and cover too much area to grasp. Add Mt. McKinley

  24. Ron- I must confess. The first photo I provided you was a bit doctored( the April 24, 2017 at 2:56 am post). There’s a face….on one of the smaller mountains in the foreground of Denali(it’s where the arrow for ‘Base Camp’ is pointing). I have too much time of my remaining time running out on my hands.

    1. Only 1 poster would have to log posts indexed by date with the added need for Time. Much like a newspaper cherished for wrapping fish.

  25. I have to wonder why ESPN did the story on IU when other schools, already listed here in post, are ignored. Is IU such a big name that any story is a big one for ESPN? This story could have been about the lack of regulation by the NCAA when it comes to member schools using strength and conditioning coaches that have not been credentialed. This issue has come up earlier this year when Oregon and others had a player die during training sessions. The issue just dropped from sight and not much came about as a result.

    This decision just shows how the media drives the story not just in sports but in everything. Any bias is more about what they don’t report on as it is about what they do report on. As far as most people are concerned, news is what major media reports on.

    I hope this story doesn’t harm the recruiting efforts of our current coaching staff as they have created a much different atmosphere around the football program than what existed before. `It is a shame ESPN did this show and not one on how IU is leading the way in the Big Ten on not recruiting athletes with sexual attack convictions.

    1. I have to wonder why ESPN did the story on IU when other schools, already listed here in post, are ignored. Is IU such a big name that any story is a big one for ESPN? This story could have been about the lack of regulation by the NCAA when it comes to member schools using strength and conditioning coaches that have not been credentialed. This issue has come up earlier this year when Oregon and others had a player die during training sessions. The issue just dropped from sight and not much came about as a result.

      This decision just shows how the media drives the story not just in sports but in everything. Any bias is more about what they don’t report on as it is about what they do report on. As far as most people are concerned, news is what major media reports on.

      I hope this story doesn’t harm the recruiting efforts of our current coaching staff as they have created a much different atmosphere around the football program than what existed before. `It is a shame ESPN did this show and not one on how IU is leading the way in the Big Ten on not recruiting athletes with sexual attack convictions.

      I bring up the strength and condition coaches as an issue because it ties into the training staff that the story talks about.

  26. ESPN ran the story again on Sports Center about 1/3 hour ago….Wow….The mistreatment of the girl (Bret?) on the IU rowing team is stunning. Denied her about 20 requests for imaging and then, upon finally giving her the imagining, blatantly lied to her that there was no damage to her back? Heads are going to roll….and lawsuits are going to follow. That young lady came across as very credible and the tears, along with her heartbreak regarding the mistreatment, was difficult to watch.

    With the the similar culture that was allegedly fostered at IU Football, it may be too late for Mr. Glass.

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