IU issues “major violations” press release

IU has just sent out a press release with a reaction from athletic director Rick Greenspan. Here it is in its entirety.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEB. 13, 2008

NCAA serves notice on IU of potential "major violations" in basketball recruiting

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. ­ Indiana University today (Feb. 13) disclosed that it has received formal notice from the National Collegiate Athletic Association that allegations of potentially 'major' recruiting violations have been raised against men¹s basketball coach Kelvin Sampson and two assistants.

The five allegations were outlined in a letter to IU President Michael A. McRobbie from David Price, the NCAA's vice president for enforcement. Also cited in the letter for alleged violations were assistant coach Jeff Meyer and former assistant coach Rob Senderoff.

Many of the allegations are based on two self-reports of impermissible telephone calls the university filed with the NCAA in October.

The university and three individuals cited were all given until May 8 to file formal written responses. The NCAA's Committee on Infractions will consider the responses during its June 14 meeting in Seattle, Wash., and then decide if the allegations are substantiated and if penalties should be imposed beyond those that the university imposed on itself in October.

Those penalties included a second year of restrictions on recruit contacts tighter than is permitted by the NCAA, loss of a basketball scholarship for 2008-09, and Sampson voluntarily agreed to forego a $500,000 salary increase.

Responding for Indiana University, Athletics Director Rick Greenspan said IU is taking these new allegations by the NCAA very seriously.

"We are extremely disappointed in these new allegations regarding Coach Sampson," Greenspan said. "To say the least, we view these allegations with grave concern and will cooperate fully with the NCAA as they adjudicate these charges."

NCAA staff initiated a "preliminary inquiry" after IU notified it that the university's own investigation had documented more than 100 impermissible telephone calls that were made to prospective student athletes during the 2006-07 season, some of which violated NCAA rules.

At the recommendation of attorneys from Ice Miller's Collegiate Sports Practice in Indianapolis, the university reported some of the telephone calls as being secondary, or minor, violations in part because there was no evidence of "a purposeful plan to circumvent the sanctions."

After reviewing IU's self-report and conducting additional interviews with people not associated with Indiana University, the NCAA has categorized the allegations as potential "major violations" of its rules.

The NCAA staff interviewed several potential recruits and their family members who for a variety of reasons had been unavailable to talk to IU's investigating staff or who could not be reached at the time.

The specific allegations cited in the NCAA letter are:

1. That Sampson, Meyer and Senderoff failed to comply with sanctions imposed on Sampson for impermissible recruiting calls he made while he was a coach at Oklahoma. Those sanctions followed Sampson to IU when he came here in May of 2006. Sampson and Senderoff are alleged to have jointly participated in telephone calls at a time when Sampson was prohibited from being present or taking part when staff members made recruiting calls. Senderoff and Meyer are alleged to have made about 100 calls that exceeded the sanction limits. Senderoff resigned his position Oct. 30.

2. That Senderoff and Meyer placed "at least 25 telephone calls" to nine potential recruits that exceeded NCAA limits even if no sanctions had been in place.

3. That Sampson "acted contrary to the NCAA principles of ethical conduct when he knowingly violated recruiting restrictions imposed by the NCAA Committee on Infractions," and that he "failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standard of honesty normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics by providing the institution and the NCAA enforcement staff false or misleading information," and that he "failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance within the men's basketball program and failed to monitor the activities regarding compliance of one or more of his assistant coaches."

4. That Senderoff "acted contrary to the NCAA principles of ethical conduct when he knowingly violated recruiting restrictions imposed by the NCAA Committee on Infractions," and that he "failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standard of honesty normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics by providing the institution false or misleading information."

5. That Sampson and Meyer engaged in an impermissible recruiting contact during a two-day sports camp held at Assembly Hall on June 30 and July 1, 2007, and that Meyer provided the potential recruit with an impermissible benefit ­ at least one T-shirt and drawstring backpack.

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27 comments

  1. I.U. should immediately suspend Sampson and Myers. If these allegations are true the University needs to get to the bottom of it post haste, nevermind the NCAA’s timeline. Greenspan needs investigated also, no way he shouldn’t have know Sampson was lying, he had the means of findingout the same facts as the NCAA. We should do whatever we can to protect the kids currently on the team from having this follow them in any way.
    I have the feeling Dakich coming here was not Sampson’s idea and it was as a safety net in case this blew up. Maybe he can ask Coach Knight to consult.

  2. I’ve now had a chance to read the report as well as the press release and I think that Sampson should be removed from his position immediately. This is not the kind of behavior any fan or player should have to tolerate from a leader. That being said, I ‘m very curious as to how the crowd will react tonight to Sampson. If we boo him, I have no problems with it…as long as we cheer incredibly loud for our team to support them. Also, to anybody else who read the report; did you notice the blackened out recruit name. My guess is that it’s DeAndre, Jamarcus, or both because the name that’s written is fairly long. Just wanted to see what you all think.

  3. I think Sampson should be fired immediately. I hate to say that becasue I like what I have seen on the court but this is unacceptable. IU spent decades building a good name associated with graduating players and following the rules. Now that is all gone. Sampson & co.’s action’s have tainted this promising season and threatened our near future. IU must do all it can to save its name by firing him immediately. He obviously cannot be trusted. There are plenty of good coaches out there who can take this program to the level it deserves without breaking the rules.

  4. I haven’t lived in Btown for that long, but I have one question…

    Why does everyone in this town hold up a player-hitting, temper-tantrum-throwing jerk who bullied his players, staff, and the community as a paragon of coaching integrity…while saying that Sampson should be fired for making some phone calls? It was clearly a stupid thing to do, but seriously – a fireable offense?

    I mean, honestly, I agree that Sampson should be suspended or some other meaningful sanction should be applied…because he was a moron to do this. But to hold IU’s program up as a bastion of ethics and integrity when it allowed a bullying immature jerk to head it for more than 25 years? I just don’t understand it…

  5. Not only did Sampson break NCAA rules, but he attempted to negotiate loopholes to prevent him from being caught the second time for the same rule infraction. In an interview with Sampson and his wife recently with WISH TV ch.8, he dismissed the cheating and said that consequences of his actions would only hurt him and not the team. WHAT? Are you kidding me? IU has already lost one scholarship for next year and we are awaiting an NCAA ruling. Oh No. That doesn’t hurt the team. WIN at all costs! Not the motto IU fans have ever been accustomed to EVER! I do think a lot of the NCAA rules are ridiculous but rules are rules. Coaches should follow them to the letter. Everyone makes mistakes in life but when all you learn from them is loopholes and technicalities, its going to cost you. Greenspan should have never hired Sampson or anyone for that matter under probation by the NCAA. Now he should FIRE him. GO IU!

  6. This is what happens when a coach, who while President of the Coaches Association cheats blatantly, is hired. See a pattern here? Cheats, gets caught, offers up a scapegoat, lies about his involvement ….. repeat offender. Face it IU, either man up,abide by rules and fire Sampson, or keep the cheater and be faced with continual NCAA scrutiny. Don’t be surprised when your wins are followed by raised eyebrows by those that know the wins were accomplished outside the rules. TAINTED.

  7. Ha! Thank you, IUFan! I’m a lifelong Hoosier, and I cannot STAND Coach Knight. If I read one more article about him, I’m going to scream. I can’t say I agree with everything Coach Sampson does, but don’t pretend Knight is everything perfect while crucifying Kelvin.

  8. This isn’t just about a few phones calls. If this was about a few phone calls I would say “so what”. But this is about a coach knowingly violating sanctions placed against him by the NCAA and then lying about it to try and cover it up, both to IU and the NCAA It’s one thing to make an honest mistake. This was a deliberate disregard for the rules. I could even accept that he broke the rules. What I cannot tolerate, and nor should anyone else, was lying about it.

    I can no longer support him although I will continue to support the team. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets in Assembly Hall this evening.

  9. First of all to all you Bob Knight haters who, typically can only discuss his bad qualities, let’s remember, he is the winningest basketball coach, EVER. He ran a CLEAN program, he graduated his plalyers, which meant he cared about their future, and the charitable, and humanitarian things he did away from basketball were endless, so please find something else to whine about.
    Sampson – I hope this is not all true. I have gotten to know him and he is a great guy, but if he has to go, then Greenspan should go to. At least we have Dan Dakich, and who knows, there is a guy called the General who needs a coaching job right now.

  10. I read the document after watching a morning of Roger Clemens talking to the senate investigation committee on steroids. These are both examples of lying and breaking rules. I have been an IU fan for years and a general sports fan for my 50 plus years of life. You can go down the list of recent sporting news and find similar situations in almost every sport. Be it cheating, breaking rules/laws, excessive egos, or other. It is a beast gone wild. The excitement of watching games and competition is tainted by this crap. I know there are good people, players, and coaches, but the bad ruin the reputation of all. OK…..I am venting a bit here, but this stinks. It is disgusting! My gut says the NCAA is going to rule hard on this one and why not? I have enjoyed watching and reading Sampson and team. What a shame. I feel for the players and their families. We, as fans will recover and continue to pay for tickets. I see another coaching change and possible AD change. Wow! A blow to the Hoosier Nation. I never thought I would say this, but congrats to Coach Painter and the scrappy Boilers. What a pleasurable team to watch.

  11. This is an absolute disgrace. Coach Sampson and the AD should be let go before tonights game. Danny D. should be made the interm coach.The next three ball games are very important to the (kids) players. All distractions should be sent packing.
    There is a Coach out there that My University , should bring home and retire right.I know somebody that has rolled over in his grave because of this mess. The Indiana University President Needs To Act Now!!!

  12. @Douglas: Hey, I’m not whining. I said Sampson deserves punishment, and I never said Knight violated NCAA rules (although, to be honest, I’ve never bought the “clean program” thing – I don’t think there are any NCAA coaches who are truly “clean” – it’s just a matter of who gets caught).

    I already said I haven’t lived here long – I moved here during Davis’s first year as coach. I can only go on what I’d heard about Knight from national sports media, and now stories from people I know here in Bloomington. And I just don’t get why people love the guy so much, so I was asking an honest question, not trying to bash anyone.

    I mean, Knight hasn’t won a title in twenty years and has been widely documented as an abusive jerk toward a lot of “little people” – reporters, staff, local “townies.” I just don’t understand the appeal of him, even with the positives. Lots of coaches do the humanitarian thing with more wins and fewer embarrassing public incidents. So what’s with the crazy Knight-love in this town?

    Put it this way – if instead of recruiting violations, the story coming out today was about Sampson berating some cashier at Kroger for overcharging him for a box of cereal and shoving the kid bagging his groceries, then mooning everyone while walking out the door. Would everyone in Bloomington be calling for his head?

  13. I am so sick of people making comments that serve to minimize bad behavior. I don’t believe “everyone does it” and that it is more of matter of “who got caught”. Our program was in a crisis. You don’t bring in someone with the NCAA baggage Sampson had. Mike Davis seemed like a nice enough person, but he wasn’t the saviest interviewee when it came to newsprint. Unlike Knight, Davis wasn’t trying to come off the way he often did.

    I agree Mr. Knight was not the easiest person to get along with. He was quick to anger and had little patience. But he was something!! The truth is our program hasn’t been near as much fun since he left. Unfortunately, he still needs to be replaced. The last two coaches are easily forgettable with or without NCAA problems.

  14. Hoosier Fanatic……Not sure where your going with that. Do you want a coach who is unforgettable? A stand out personality? I can read different meanings in your comments. What do mean by fun? Winning fun, or controversial fun? Who needs to be replaced? I assume you mean Sampson.

    I for one would take an upstanding coach who can recruit and coach kids, while staying within the rules. The temptations are numerous in the competitive AAU recruiting wars. I also agree with those that say there are coaches who have not been caught. There are a million ways to cheat and many do. Unfortunately, our guy was rather blatant about it. Phone call, or free merchandise. It was against the rules.

  15. Kelvin Sampson left the University of Oklahoma basketball program in shambles, disgrace and probation. Indiana should have known better and the black eye it gets from this is what the Athletic Director should have anticipated. Kelvin Sampson should never be called “Coach” by anyone ever again!

  16. I just have a hard time understanding the real priorities of the NCAA. Do you know that there is a team that is ranked #1 in the country that not too long ago went several years in a row without graduating one single basketball player. But I guess that is OK. Just don’t make any phone calls.

  17. To the people who don’t understand why some stil support Bob Knight…………………………

    It’s a Hoosier Thing———-You Wouldn’t Understand!

  18. In an ESPN report (sometime last spring/summer), the number one reason that players choose the schools they do – is the amount of “love’ they feel/get from the schools’ coaches, mainly the head coach. The more contact a coach has with them, the more wanted they feel and the greater consideration they give to that school/coach. These additional contacts were a direct connection to Sampson acquring such a talented group of players in his first year. To consider these illegal calls and Sampson’s lying about them and his involvement as minor infractions flies in the face of everything a coach (and an institution such as IU)should be trying to teach these student athletes – honesty, accountability and integrity. He blatantly cheated. Shame on you Sampson, Greenspan and IU; you have brought great disgrace to all Hoosiers. Anything less than his dismissal is not acceptable.

  19. Hoos Ur Girl: “To the people who don’t understand why some stil support Bob Knight…………………………

    It’s a Hoosier Thing———-You Wouldn’t Understand!”

    Good for me I plan on leaving Indiana in the next couple of years…I may never understand the “hoosier” mindset, and don’t think I ever want to.

    But still…no one has answered my question. Would you stand for Sampson acting the way Knight did? And why is he (Knight) so revered?

  20. IUFan. I watched the glory years of Knight head on. He was revered because we had a strong team and as “Hoosier Fanatic” wrote… he was ??? unforgettable. My words would be that he was a colorful coach, if not a bully when he chose to be. Many fans rever him for the banners in the Hall. Some met him and loved him. Others can tell horror stories. Generally, Knight was an icon and Mr/Mrs IUfan could align behind him. The last five years of Knight were not fun. Our strong teams became vulnerable and Knight became increasingly upredictable, which was not good in most situations. Knight says it was administration. I feel that may be part of it, with other factors involved.

    I am reading that NO……people are not going to stand for Sampson’s actions. They are much different than Knight’s antics, but I can assure you that true IU fans do not like cheaters.

    Let me add that I do not rever Coach Knight (he is just a man), but there were some glorious years for b-ball fans. I do think he received a raw ending, when considering what all he gave the university. Also … it is not a Hoosier mind set. Hoosiers just love good basketball.

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