CBS: Players will walk

Gary Parrish, the college basketball writer for is reporting that several Indiana players threatened to quit the team during their meeting with Rick Greenspan Thursday night.

I’m going to go through the motions and tell you that we have been unable to confirm this report, and that it does not jibe with what we heard about the meeting in Greenspan’s office, which took place shortly after 7 p.m. and last about a half hour.

We have been told that the players were informed by Greenspan that no final decision on Sampson’s future had been made. The players then, in turn, shared their belief that Sampson should be allowed to coach the remainder of the season.

While our sources might have different takes on what happened, I cannot imagine that Parrish is throwing this out there unless he has it from a solid, trusted source.

Parrish also reports that his source told him that the university asked Sampson to resign Thursday night and that he declined and is “daring” the university to fire him.


  1. Parrish is an idiot and when this done he and his “source” will look like idiots. The players will be upset. Some may toss out the threat of walking away. The same thing happened when coach Knight was fired. But then reason sets in. This is the last go ’round for some of these kids and they won’t throw away a chance at a conference title or a national title. DJ White is a leader and a leader that has been through this sort of thing before. He will bring this team together and they will play.

  2. indeed. ej seems to have been the most vocal about KS sticking around, but even he wouldn’t walk. this whole thing has gotten WAY out of hand.

  3. I hope the players did make some serious threats and that Greenspan takes them under advisement. I feel so bad for them and they seem to be lost among all the hoopla of these phone call follies.

    I personally want Sampson to be able to finish the season under the condition that he resign at the end , pending of course, his right to a fair and balanced NCAA hearing. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty premise that is the core of our legal system?

    It should be an interesting day and rest of the season for ….GO IU!

  4. Mark K– absolutely!!! These are allegations, last I checked!! Beyond that, if they are true then why now? Why not fire before this season started in October!!?? Sampson maintains He didn’t mislead anybody, and there is no evidence that backs the NCAA’s claim that He did cover it up. If that’s the part of all this that has changed since October then firing Him today would be the worst mistake IU could make. LAWSUITS come to mind, which will be much worse than all this…

  5. I have always been one who says to support the program and the players who come here to play. I do respect the loyalty to their coach, but if they did make that threat, I hope Greenspan cancels the rest of the season, and yanks every scholarship on the team and has the Bursar send them all the bill.

    Sampson may be the coach who brought them here, but he is not the person who pays for their school, pays for their place to live, or pays for the food they eat. That would be the University the agreed to play for, that is where their loyalties should ultimately remain.

    Ok, I am off my soap box, let the comment flogging begin! 🙂

  6. I think the HT needs to take some responsibility for feeding this frenzy. It makes NO sense to fire a successful coach mid-season based on these allegations. If he abused a player, bought a recruit a car, or committed a felony, get rid of him. But not for this.

  7. Parrish is a dumba$$…I really doubt this tool has any “source” other than internet message board rumors. I have yet to read any of his work and think to myself, “hmm, this guy actually has a clue.”

  8. mark- If they don’t fire him, IU will suffer by NCAA sanctions. Whether you like it or not, this is a move to save IU’s future ability to play in post-season.

  9. It’s rather comical that SUPOSSEDLY one of the players: EJ,DJ, Stemmie, Taber or Ahfeld supposedly got up while Greespan’s talking and says “if Sampson ain’t coaching, we ain’t playing”., so they supposedly Greenspan asks if he should just cancel the whole season,” and the unnamed player says ‘We don’t care what you do. But if Sampson ain’t coaching, we ain’t playing.’ And then they just walked out.” :~)

    Gotta love their spirit and loyalty to Sampson!

  10. If the players walk, let them walk. The cheater should be fired. Player threats is what got us Mike Davis… IU Administration needs to get some balls and set some examples.

  11. arfogut

    I understand your point, but part of me thinks that somebody has to stand up and say: “this is wrong”. Isn’t it possible for IU, and IU fans, to take this stand?

  12. I think the players are just trying to help save their season, their coach and the future recruits that will not come to IU if Sampson is fired. God love em!

    With Sampson gone IU Bball will be set back 3-4 years. With Sampson here, sans NCAA sanctions of course, IU continues it’s return to the upper echelon of NCAA and Big Ten basketball rather then stuck in the mediocrity of recent past years.

    Has the press conference be announced yet?

  13. Mark,

    Why should the HT take the responsibility in this?

    Did they call the recruits to many times? Did they lie to the NCAA?

    Did they hire Sampson, even though he was in trouble with the NCAA already?

    Exactly what is the HT responsible for?

  14. mark- Taking a stand is one thing. Committing postseason suicide is another. So IU takes a stand….and can’t play for 2-4 years in postseason. What’s the difference between that and being “set back 3-4 years” as Mark K says.

    (BTW- I don’t think it will. If IU has no sanctions, they will be able to get a quality coach. It’s freaking IU for Bigfoot’s sake!?!?)

  15. Mike P- The argument is that the HT and other media created a feeding frenzy and that has caused KS to be fired. I don’t buy it! KS making bad decisions while on PROBATION for over 500 calls got him fired! Not the media.

  16. Responsible for contributing to the circus atmosphere surrounding this situation. Three inch high front-page headlines in today’s newspaper! These are phone calls!! Where’s the perspective! There isn’t a person on the planet who hasn’t broken a rule. When we are caught we pay a price, but in this case the price is out of line.

  17. KS is gone. next question, who is the next coach to keep the mo going? my pick…Tom Crean. class, recruiter,and a great bench coach!!

  18. Dave

    Allegations, remember. If at the end of the season, when everything has settled down, it is clear that KS is not the coach for IU then fine, let him go.

    Firing him now is reactionary and cowardly!

  19. It’s cowardly for Sampson to not resign. That would be the brave thing to do. But as we can see, he’s not a man of repute.

  20. As I said, if he had any class he would resign. I predict he wont.

    As an IU Fan and Alumni, I would love to see the University BB program once again viewed as a “clean” one that wins games and graduates players in an above board and legal manner…What does it matter how many games and trophies you win if it is perceived as done with disregard to the rules? At least Bob Knight with all his faults was never accused of cheating.

    This anti-spam math quiz is getting tougher as we go, don’t you think?

  21. Mark,

    Do you think the phone calls are the real issue? If so, I want to know what little happy go lucky world you are living in.

    The issue is that he is now a repeat offender, him and his staff from Oklahoma and IU have now broke the rule more than 600 times. He tried to play innocent with the NCAA the first time, they gave him sanctions, and even clarified questions, one of those clarifications had to do specifically with 3 way calls, the exact thing Sampson is in trouble for.

    Two investigation have revealed the same thing, that Sampson was on these calls, and the recruits and/or their parents have confirmed this.

    Them confirming this, and Sampson saying it did not happen is the issue. I mean come on, do you really believe he never once looked at his caller ID to know who called him?

    As for the HT, they are doing their jobs! Their job is to report on news in Bloomington and at IU, this is major news for the school, the program, and the community. So again, what did the HT do wrong?

  22. Is it bravery to resign and abandon a bunch of kids who clearly love him? I think not. Better to do it at the end of the year, if it’s appropriate.

  23. “At least Bob Knight with all his faults was never accused of cheating.”

    so that makes his total lack of respect for people acceptable? again, you bob knight supporters are the epitome of ignorance.

  24. dave- i almost missed that math quiz. whew.

    mark- i think it’s bravery to do what is right. to stand up and take responsibility for messing up. to say, “i was wrong. i apologize.” i think that would go a long way in most of our hearts. but he’s like clemens. deny-deny-deny. we all know he did it! do you think EVERY recruit and parent are just trying to screw him over? NO!!!!!!! stand up for once and admit your mistake. we need more people in this world to take responsibility. but of course, that won’t happen. he’ll want to sue and make sure he gets his illigitate $2.5 mill.

  25. until he has a full hearing and chance to clear his name, he is entitled to that 2.5 million. thats the issue at this point.

  26. It’s a frenzy, Mike P, not an environment conducive to good decision-making. My argument is that the HT, and apparently, much of the community is overwrought by this situation and that doesn’t help anyone (comeon 3 inch high headlines). What’s forgotten is that KS is an excellent coach, loved by his players, appears to be a nice guy.

    It’s all overblown. This stuff will have no effect on IU’s academic reputation (academics is the point of the place).

  27. The players should not be running the university or the program. If any of them choose to walk, which I doubt, I say good-bye, good luck, and thanks for the effort if that’s all it meant to you.

    Ultimatums from players are not appropriate.

  28. Ryan,

    I am no avid Bob Knight supporter, he should have been canned much earlier. I do think Sampson’s transgressions are worse though and he needs to either resign ( he wont ) or be fired immediately. The AD also needs to go for making the stupid decision to hire him in the first place. Come on, we all knew then that was questionable…right??

  29. Exactly what would be the point of firing Greenspan?

    By most accounts he has done an excellent job, with the possible exception of hiring KS (according to your view). Even this decision was apparently made under pressure of Herbert.

  30. A big headline? Big deal. We have known for 7 days that today was the day. How is that headline creating a frenzy when IU was the one who announced a 7 day investigation by Greenspan? That isn’t the HT’s fault.

    Other reports flying, readers linking these reports by other news agencies (not some blog), the HT following up and allowing us to discuss these. Again, I don’t see the HT creating the frenzy, but the other news agencies and the readers of this blog creating that frenzy.

    It is not lost what KS is as far as a coach, or what his players think, or even that he appears to be a really nice guy.

    All of that is irrelevant.

    Everyone condemns the University for putting up with Knight’s antics, even though he was never investigated by the NCAA, now that they want to keep the school clean, and are taking action against a coach who is full of controversy, now IU is wrong?

    Can’t have it both ways now can we?

    Sampson messed up, again, that is why this is a frenzy, that is why we are going through this, if he would have learned from his first mistakes, then we would have never been in the position to begin with.

  31. Mark,

    Wake up, my man. I hate this situation. I’m willing to listen to him if he has evidence or anything more than “I didnt do it” to say. But, outside of that, I cant see any possible way to justify keeping him.

    It’s remarkable to me that anyone can justify it. He was dumb enough to do it again, he lied about it, and therefore we’re facing multiple violations. He looked straight into our face and lied. Additionally, while I agree that phone calls are not as bad as what happens other places, they’re still against the rules. Beyond that, they probably should be. Recruiting is an absolutely never-ending battle. And calling a kid a few extra times gives you some sort of an advantage. Not a huge advantage. I think it’s silly too. A few extra calls certainly doesnt seal the deal (Hummel, Zeller, others), but it is just one more extra effort and probably impresses some kids.

    I’m sorry. I’m sorry for Kelvin because I think he is a good coach and a good guy. The other night when I was at the Michigan State game…a cold February night, we’re in the Big 10 race, two top 15 teams going at it, we go on another run to put it to almost 20 and the crowd was screaming “Indiana, Our Indiana” after Izzo had to take a TO. The banners swayed softly and Hoosier fans all across the state and country were enjoying ESPN’s display of hoops in its full glory, where it matters most. Taking all of this in, I thought to myself: How did Kelvin let this slip away? This is IT. He’d worked his entire LIFE, over 30 years, to get here. And let it go. And he didnt even have to do it. He didnt need to do that BS to win. But, it’s gone now. I really do feel badly for him and his family because of that.

    But, unfortunately, we arent a rehab for coaches. Second chances are one thing, but I dont think third chances are really an option. I care about the reputation of Indiana University. I also care about our basketball program. Not only do I think we’d miss the tournament multiple years, I think the school and the program would be doing the wrong thing and be damaged in the court of public opinion and rightfully so. We’d basically be embracing the idea that cheating is ok if you win.

    I hate this position, but I think it’s our only option.

  32. Jim,

    I liked everything you said….except….

    Why does everyone say he’s a good coach? Has anyone watched their offense? It’s Mike Davis part II. Swing the ball around the outside, wait until the shot clock gets down to 10 and panick. We don’t get it to DJ nearly enough. EJ is still doing the same dumb charges he did at the beginning of the year. Some of the shots Ellis and Crawford take make me want to vomit. And there has been no change in any of that.

    A “good” coach would pull their butts off the court and tell them when they do it right, they’ll get back in.

  33. arlogut. EJ, Ellis, and Crawford are just that. Young! A coach cannot totally control their play. They do make dumb drives, but they all also hit big shots that we tend to forget. I agree they are frustrating, but how about Ellis’ big three at the end of Purdue game? and EJ’s multiple 20 point games? It is especially frustrating when you look at Purdue’s first year guys who play within themselves with minimal turnovers. Except we beat them. That is the difference.

  34. I’d agree with the coaching critique to an extent. Definitely poor offense at times. On the other hand, when you have players like EJ, who cares?

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