IU’s investigation will focus on testimony of ex-recruits

IU’s investigation will focus on testimony of ex-recruits

by Chris Korman, H-T sports writer

February 18, 2008

Indiana’s internal investigation into the NCAA’s allegations against men’s basketball coach Kelvin Sampson will focus on the testimony of former recruits who previously refused to speak to the university.

The NCAA was able to compile information that contradicted Indiana’s original report — the one compiled with the help of the Ice Miller law firm — by speaking to people that refused to cooperate with the school. That included players once recruited by Indiana, their parents and AAU coaches.

“We don’t have subpoena power, and we don’t have the authority that the NCAA has to encourage people to comply,” athletic director Rick Greenspan told ESPN.

Greenspan will lead a three-person committee who has been asked by university president Michael McRobbie to review the NCAA’s allegations, specifically the parts of it that made the NCAA elevate the violations from “secondary” to “major.”

Sampson told IU investigator that he did not purposefully circumvent the terms of sanctions he incurred for his role in the Oklahoma basketball staff making more than 577 impermissible calls. He denied taking part in three-way calls — it was a three-way calling pattern spotted by a compliance intern over the summer that launched the investigation — and characterized other violations as mistakes made due to sloppy record keeping.

But during its preliminary inquiry into the situation, the NCAA discovered information that indicates otherwise. The names of 15 recruits appear in the NCAA’s letter of allegations. One name is redacted, but previous public records requests indicate that it is current Indiana forward DeAndre Thomas.

Despite a report on ESPN.com that insinuated as much, it is not believed that Rob Senderoff, the former Indiana assistant who was involved with the three-way calls, gave testimony to the NCAA that would implicate Sampson.

Greenspan has until Friday to review the contents of the NCAA’s investigation, including transcripts of interviews, before he must make a recommendation to McRobbie. He told ESPN that his committee, which includes university lawyer Dorothy Frapwell and professor Bruce Jaffee, will not conduct its own interviews.

Sampson has maintained his innocence but would not answer a question about the fairness of the internal investigation Saturday night. He also deflected questions about his future with the team.

Recruits named by NCAA in report on Kelvin Sampson

DeJaun Blair: Received two impermissible phone calls from Senderoff in July of 2006. Also was reported to have participated in a three-way call with Sampson and Senderoff, and an incident where Senderoff called Sampson and gave the phone to Blair to allow the two to have a conversation. Blair is currently a freshman for Pittsburgh.

William Buford: Reported to have been involved in a three-way call with Sampson and Senderoff. Buford will attend Ohio State.

Ayodele Coker: Reported to have participated in a three-way call with Sampson, and to have been handed Senderoff’s phone in order to speak to Sampson. Coker, originally from Nigeria, signed his letter of intent to play for St. Johns over Indiana, Kentucky and Pittsburgh.

Devin Ebanks: Ebanks mother, Yvonne Jackson, was reported to have participated in three-way calls between Sampson and Senderoff from May 31, 2006 through May 1, 2007. Ebanks, the No. 13-ranked player in the Class of 2008 according to Rivals.com, has signed his letter of intent to play at Indiana.

Derek Elston: Reported to have been impermissibly recruited by Indiana assistant Jeff Meyer and Sampson, who met with him during a camp in Bloomington on June 30 before the camp had ended or Elston had been “dismissed,” making it an illegal contact. Meyer has also been accused of giving Elston a t-shirt and backpack during the camp, which is against NCAA rules. Elston has verbally committed to Indiana but won’t be able to sign a letter of intent until November.

Kenny Frease: Reportedly received a call from Senderoff, who then handed Sampson the phone even though Sampson was not allowed to be present during recruiting contacts made by his assistants. Frease, a 6-foot-11 center from Massillon, Ohio, signed his letter of intent to play for Xavier last November.

Yancey Gates: Reported to have been involved in a three-way call with Sampson and Senderoff. Ultimately decided to play for his hometown Cincinnati Bearcats.

Robbie Hummel: Received six impermissible calls from Meyer between June 29- July 10, 2006. He is now a freshman at Purdue.

Philip Jurick: Received three impermissible calls from Senderoff from March 26-April 15, 2007. Jurick committed to play for Bruce Pearl and the Tennessee Volunteers on April 25, 2007.

Demetri McCamey: Received three impermissible phone calls from Senderoff in May 2006 while at St. Joseph’s High School in Westchester, Illinois. Also allegedly participated in a three-way call with Kelvin Sampson and Senderoff. Now is a freshman at Illinois and had a career-high 31 points against IU in Champaign.

Jonathan “Bud” Mackey: Received 22 impermissible calls from Senderoff between March 1 and July 17, 2007. Senderoff also allowed Mackey’s mother, Erica, to use his phone to speak with Sampson. Mackey, who originally gave an oral commitment to Indiana, had his scholarship offer withdrawn this past October after he was arrested for cocaine possession in his native Georgetown, Ky. He’s currently playing at Harmony Prep in Cincinnati with the player who took his scholarship, Terrell Holloway.

Scott Martin: Received one impermissible call from IU assistant Jeff Meyer on July 18, 2006. Martin eventually chose to play for Purdue.

Markieff and Marcus Morris: Markieff received an impermissible phone call from Senderoff on June 29, 2006. Twin brother, Marcus, allegedly participated in a three-way call between Sampson and Senderoff. Both Morris brothers signed their letters of intent to play for Kansas next year.

DeAndre Thomas: Reportedly participated in three-way calls with Sampson and Senderoff. Thomas is currently a forward for the Hoosiers.

Evan Turner: Received two impermissible phone calls from former IU assistant Rob Senderoff on May 11, 2006 while at St. Joseph’s High School in Chicago. Now a freshman at Ohio State averaging 7.9 points and 3.7 rebounds a game.