All is not well with the Hoosiers . . .

. . . according to long-time Champaign News-Gazette columnist Loren Tate.

The News-Gazette (which has a really strong sports staff) charges a subscription to read articles, and as much as all of your love Bruce Weber and his boys I’m guessing you won’t want to pay the fee. Here’s a link to their sports page, anyway.

But I’ll try to summarize:

  • Tate’s piece basically sketches Indiana’s current situation on the court — 17-2 and in first place in the Big Ten but unproven due to a weak schedule — and also discusses the NCAA’s on-going consideration of the impermissible phone calls made by head coach Kelvin Sampson and his staff.
  • Tate is very careful to say that there were many rumors swirling around the Illini during the early 1990s, and that many of them weren’t true.
  • Then he shares what he thinks, which is that “Sampson faces sanctions beyond those handed out by the university. His job and that of the man who hired him, athletic director Rick Greenspan, are in serious danger. Greenspan made a calculated risk in hiring a coach with so much baggage and deserves to be caught up in whatever happens to Sampson.”
  • He goes on to say that he’s been told that the NCAA might act before the NCAA tournament.

That’s the gist of it, and if you’re crafty you’ll be able to find the whole thing for free.

To remind you about some of our reporting on this story: our stories/blogs/chats have already stated that Kelvin Sampson very well could be in serious trouble if the NCAA considers these violations to be intentional and therefore major.

We’ve also written stories about the process the NCAA will most likely go through before rendering a decision. Because Indiana conducted its own investigation, the NCAA had the choice of accepting all or part of it and investigating any part it wanted to. We know for sure that investigators have spoken to at least a few of the people involved, but because the NCAA does not discuss ongoing cases we don’t know the extent of the investigations.

Once any level of investigation is finished, the case would be turned over to the Committee on Infractions. That group meets once every two months (it last met in Indianapolis Dec. 7-9 and will meet again on Feb. 15-17). Its meetings are closed, and the committee does not disclose its review of a case — and any punishment it sees fit — for three to eight weeks after meeting. It does so by sending an e-mail in the morning that informs reporters of a teleconference later in the afternoon, during which the case is discussed.

That’s what we know. We’ll continue to try to find out more.


  1. The longer this thing drags out the more scary it gets, but I wouldn’t believe Champaign sources if all they said was , “Good Morning.”

  2. They’re wishing and hoping. I don’t think anything is coming down the pipe. Now, if it were Kentucky or Cincinnati, maybe. IU has too much goodwill built up and I don’t think Miles Brand is going to go out of his way to make us an example. The same would be true with UNC, Duke, etc.

  3. while i am skeptical of anything written by an illini writer, i have to agree that if the ncaa finds that kelvin sampson knowingly violated the terms of his first set of sanctions, and intentionally was patched into calls with recruits knowing that was a violation of those sanctions, then he is, indeed, in some serious you know what, and so is the AD who hired him and kept him, and maybe iu, too.

    ‘lack of institutional control” i think is the name they give it.

    too bad; iu was coming back and still may skate, but my gut feeling is that the ncaa is going to do a fine tooth comb job on this one, seeing as how it’s kelvin’s second go-round.

    would it have been too much to simply take away his cell phone early on and hide it?

    if kelvin drags iu through the mud again on this one, i see no choice but for them to kiss him goodbye.

    bruce pearl, whither art thou?

  4. This guy has an axe to grind with IU and Sampson. What he says should be taken with a grain of salt (or maybe a to of salt).

  5. Miles Brand has no love for Kelvin Sampson. Don’t hold your breath thinking that IU will get a free pass just because Brand runs the joint-he holds Coach Sampson in the same high regard as he holds something he has to scrape off the bottom of his shoe.

    And it was a Peoria writer who called EJ that, not a Champaign writer.

  6. All is not well in Bloomington. It sounds like Eric Gordon has a broken wrist. Just rumors right now, but I have actually heard from some reliabe guys I know that are never wrong.

    We are in deep deep trouble if that is true.

  7. With EJ’s broken wrist and now this, the program is just going to go in a huge tailspin. this season will be ruined and next season as well. then a new coach will have to put in a new system and we start all over again. plus we lost a major player with Davis, who will we lose when Coach is canned?

    I’m depressed.

  8. You hit the nail on the head. You can find the article for free if you are clever, but most Illinois fans aren’t. Therefore Tate will get a lot of hits and be able to keep his job a little longer. In reality, I wouldn’t believe it. He hates IU almost more than I do.

  9. Chris, they can’t divulge it because of Hippa confidentiality requirements. It’s all over Peegs premie though. Broken like a mo fo, and that sucks.

    How long did it take Oden to get back? I remember he shot one-handed for a time.

  10. What are you talking about? I have a premium subscription. Its just a rumor.

    Also, that “I HATE IU!” article just repeated a bunch of stuff we already knew.

  11. Burger Boy,
    “Chris, they can’t divulge it because of Hippa confidentiality requirements. It’s all over Peegs premie though. Broken like a mo fo, and that sucks.”
    that’s pretty much a flat out lie. There has been nothing more than some rumors and no confirmation.

  12. Loren Tate has covered Illinois sports for something like 40 years. He is old and grumpy, and he doesn’t like Indiana. That said, and even if you take his comments with a grain of salt, he wouldn’t and doesn’t just make stuff up. And he’s not a bombthrower like big city sports columnists who say controversial and negative stuff just to sell papers. And I can’t recall any instances of errors in his fact reporting. So this ain’t good news.

  13. I guess I pay to read about what Loren Tate has to say, pathetic at best…………

    This has been hashed and re-hashed, hashed and re-hashed and to put up a story by Tate is amateur at best, the HT can do better I HOPE………

    Nobody knows nothing and that is a GOOD sign, if nothing major then we wont hear anything and that is my guess. Possible stay home for KS but beyond that NOTHING, poor journalism to put this on a Bloomington based paper, PATHETIC, Loren Tate is a BIG TIME TOOL……….

  14. • Pete | January 29th, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
    Isn’t this the same guy who called Gordon “a steaming pile of 2-guard?”
    No, that was a columnist out of Peoria I believe. Tate would never write anything like that. He’s old and out of touch sometimes, but he’s not tasteless.

  15. I hate to say it, but I think there are some rough times ahead. I think the NCAA is going to dig deep for any dirt they can find on KS. If they come down hard, he and possibly RG, better start working on their resumes.

    My prediction as of today is that Sampson will not be at IU next year. No inside info, just a hunch.

  16. Just a few random thoughts.

    First, I don’t think that IU is in any danger of a “lack of institutional control” finding. IU found and self-reported the obscure phone records that revealed the three-way calls and then took the extraordinary step of auditing the coaches’ home phone records (wouldn’t you love to see the home phone records of every assistant in the country). As for the commenter above who says that IU should have simply taken away Sampson’s phone, well, that’s easy to say in hindsight. As you will recall from the initial report, Sampson didn’t make a single outgoing call of any sort during the sanction period. It should have been easy enough to comply, but Sampson couldn’t have recruited at all if he couldn’t receive phone calls.

    I don’t think that the phone call violations in the report are the stuff of major violations. I think the concerns are two-fold: 1) the chance that the NCAA digs and finds something more serious than what IU self-reported; or 2) that the NCAA disbelieves Sampson’s explanation of the three way calls and suspends him, which likely would result in his termination. Despite all of the rumors, I think #2 is a bigger concern than #1. The NCAA report on the OU violations indicated that the NCAA came very close to even more serious personal sanctions against Sampson.

  17. Having lived in Champaign-Urbana for six years and knowing Loren very well, I find it hard to believe much of what he says. He is such a homer for the Illini that back in the 80’s when Mike White’s football team got caught cheating three times by the NCAA Tate defended him over and over and over. Illinois finally fired White and Neal Stoner, the athletic director who hired and defended him — maybe that’s where Loren got the idea of a two-for-one firing. Loren Tate and the Illini have hated Indiana because of Bob Knight’s comments about Lou Henson in the “Season on the Brink” book — and how Knight always beat the Illini teams — and will do anything he can to try to hurt IU. Time will tell, but I give little credence to Tate.

  18. MoMo, you hit on a point that I meant to make in my post. While I have never lived in Champaign, like everyone else I occasionally read most of the Big Ten’s beat reporters and columnists online. I don’t think there are a bigger bunch of partisan rooters covering any Big Ten school than downstate Illinois homers such as Mark Tupper, Bill Liesse (“steaming pile of two guard”), and Tate. Certainly, all beat writers have to keep access in mind and give the benefit of the doubt to the hometown team, but the downstate Illinois guys are as biased as the most passionate message board poster. Liesse’s excuse for the “steaming pile” comment was that he was so personally wounded by Gordon’s decommitment that he couldn’t think straight. How can a journalist who is so emotionally involved in the story do anything approaching a fair reporting job?

  19. Thanks to MoMo. My first reaction to this was “here’s another
    Bill Liesse”. I followed the blogs from Ill fans after the Gordon
    change to IU and was truly shocked by the venemous attack on
    IU. I wouldn’t believe an Illini writer about anything he wrote
    about IU!

  20. Can someone explain why people are getting so bent out of shape over this article? Like I said, we already knew a lot of what he said, and the rest of the article was just speculation. Who cares what he “thinks”. There have been rumors from people with “sources” for months now. KS was supposed to fired like 3 different times in December, and yet he’s still here.

  21. i hate to say it but we just have to wait until it all comes down,whenever that may be. lets just hope e.j. is ok and things turn starting thursday. go get em fellas

  22. Sampson loses 500k and a scholarship for three-way phone calls. Bill Belichick loses 500k and a first round draft choice for cheating and is voted coach of the year. Sampson maybe gets coach of the year?

  23. I find Greenspan quite comical. The same guy who hires a known cheater to coach, gets upset that fans chant obscenities. Come on, now, you get what you’ve earned. IU basketball is a joke now. The coach cheats, the fans boo their own players (remember Sean Kline?) and chant obscenities. Why couldn’t IU hire an excellent, hnest coach like Purdue or Iowa did? No, they had to go after a “big-time” guy, also a “big-time” cheater. They’ve reaped what they’ve sown. I live in Bloomington but until Sampson is gone, I’ll never root for the Hoosiers anymore. The don’t represent the values of the folks in this state. But Purdue and Butler do.

  24. Alright, we might get rid of this guy sooner than I thought. All you so called IU fans that are sucked in by this guys winning percentage can kiss my Hoosier butt. I’d rather have a losing season with a clean program than cheat and win. Where is Alford? Scratch that, I think another coach just became available….

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