The sun don’t shine on the same dog every day

[5:25 UPDATE]

Well, the people started to emerge from the ballroom. We thought it might be over.

It wasn’t. Just a break.

Can’t be much longer, now. Although there will be a round of closing statements at the end of the hearing, with five different groups taking anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes to discuss their cases.

[3:30 UPDATE]

“Oh, it’s you guys.”

I felt as though we needed some art to liven up today’s post. But this is from yesterday. I offer it to you mostly because it shows Tom Crean with a bemused look upon his face. I think he probably wishes he could walk around the hotel talking to everyone he meets, because that’s what he likes to do.

Instead, he’s in the hearing. There’s been some question — including from Crean himself — about what the new coach’s role could possibly be. A former NCAA assistant coach who has been through an infractions hearing and spoke to me on the condition of anonymity said Thursday that he thinks Crean’s role could be to answer any questions the committee has about the current state of the basketball program and how IU’s self-sanctions have impacted his recruiting efforts.

[3:00 UPDATE]

Lunch break again. Bad sign. This means there’s still a good bit of work to do.

Kelvin Sampson did not come out to enjoy lunch with us. I totally would have paid for his Qdoba.

(And then put it on my expense report.)

No one is estimating how much longer the hearing will go, though we do know that it must end by today because many of the people involved are unable to stay past tonight. Also, the committee on infractions will use Sunday to discuss the case and begin the process of coming to a decision. Should the need arise, committee members could conduct teleconferences in the coming days to finalize their ruling.

As we’ve said before, the final report won’t be released until 6-8 weeks from now.

[2:18 UPDATE]

Still quiet here at Hotel Deca. There’s been just one full-group break to the hearing, and otherwise people have been coming out at random to use the bathroom or whatever. This, I think, is evidence that they are trying to plow through the rest of the testimony and get everyone out of here at a reasonable time.

In a totally unrelated note, I couldn’t help but be struck by the weather coverage in Seattle’s two newspapers today. The front of the Seattle Times shows a large picture of an Cedar Rapids partially submerged in water, while the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran a column about how absurdly cold it has been in Seattle this month.

For you weather experts: what the heck is going on?

——–

And the sun might not ever shine in Seattle. But the city is still strikingly beautiful.

The above line, for all you who don’t recognize it, was uttered in the movie Hoosiers, to coach Norman Dale. It’s followed up by “But, mister, you ain’t seen a ray of light since you got here.”

It’s been a long time since another Hoosiers’ coach, Kelvin Sampson, basked in the warmth of the sun. He’s once again trying to prove his innocence today, trying to take that step toward the light.

Anyway, today is graduation day at the University of Washington and 40,000 people — many of them proud, relieved parents — have flooded the area around campus. But as the second day of IU’s hearing before the committee on infractions begins, Hotel Deca is fairly quiet.

The H-T heard from a source close to the situation late last night that today’s session could be fairly lengthy. There’s a hope that the proceedings could end by noon.

IU will issue a statement at the conclusion of the hearing. We know the NCAA will not comment on the proceedings until it releases a final report; we don’t know if Kelvin Sampson, Rob Senderoff or Jeff Meyer — or any of their lawyers — might want to make a statement.

28 comments

  1. Appreciate your being on duty. Hey, if you corner Sampson today, please consider asking him: WTF were you thinking when you made all of those 3-ways? And: what do you want to say to those recruits that you had on the 3-ways. Finally: What do you want to say to those players and fans that had misplaced faith that you were going to be clean?

    And ask Greenspan: Did you hire Sampson at the direction of Herbert? And then: When will you come forward with full disclosure on the compliance actions? And finally: when people in the administration cost a university what this cost, what should the ramifications be to those public servants?

  2. I hope Kelvin makes a statement. Of course, the press in Indiana and around Bloomington probably won’t report it. They don’t seem to care about anything that does not demonize Sampson.

    I sure hope the truth comes out in this whole ordeal. It’s going to be difficult; the media doesn’t try to find the truth. I’ve seen almost 0 coverage of Sampson’s response to the NCAA, which flat out debunked many of the NCAA’s allegations Indiana has decided to support.

    The media in this country is simply unreliable.

  3. HoosierFan,

    So a day after I chase Sampson around trying to get comment from him — and this after MONTHS of me trying to reach out to him to get his side of the story — you claim I wouldn’t report his statement?

    Please show me where Sampson’s response “flat out debunked many of the NCAA’s allegations Indiana has decided to report.” I’ve read the thing probably five times, and while there are instances where Sampson’s lawyer shows inconsistencies in the collected evidence, I do not recall any specific information that would completely nullify the NCAA’s charges.

    But I welcome your contribution to the discussion. I really do. If we, the media, are unreliable it is up to you, the citizens were are supposed to be serving, to make sure than change is enacted.

    Thanks,

    Chris

  4. You wonder who Kelvin will throw under the bus today. I don’t think he has ever made a mistake, at least not one to which he’s admitted. Let’s hope no university or even college, for that matter, ever goes off the deep end and hires him for another coaching position.

  5. Go back and read Sampson’s response again. Inconsistencies? They’re flat out lies coming from players like McCamey at Illinois. Why don’t you call out the people in the transcripts? Their inconsistencies are much, much bigger than Sampson’s.

    The only people with consistent stories are Kelvin Sampson and Rob Senderoff. Indiana has changed its tune, and the players the NCAA relied on to give them evidence don’t provide information consistent with the facts.

    How can you say that you had “five or six” three way phone call conversations when the phone call records don’t show that? You are no longer a credible witness. But I don’t see anybody writing about it.

    How many times has anyone in the Indiana media approached the story from this angle: If Sampson was not allowed to look at his phone call logs and review his assistant coaches, and no one informed him anything was going wrong — how is he supposed to know something inappropriate is going on? How is he supposed to know about his assistant coaches making illegal phone calls if IU’s administration is the one in charge & isn’t allowing Sampson access to the phone call logs?

    If Kelvin is indeed being truthful — that he didn’t know he was on a three way phone call conversation — how was he ever supposed to find out? If IU would have allowed him access to the phone call logs (which they refused), he might have seen the three way phone calls for himself.

    Of course, this does not happen. The media approaches nearly every story from the mindset that Kelvin Sampson is lying and that the Indiana administration is a poor victim.

    The first time Kelvin Sampson was involved in a three way phone call, Rick Greenspan should have known about it. IU should have done something about it. It would have saved the university and Kelvin Sampson a lot of trouble.

    But we don’t talk about that. All I hear about is that Kelvin Sampson’s case is weak. Nobody ever goes the next step and investigates Sampson’s claim. They might reference them, say “Kelvin Sampson claims X” but they don’t go any further.

    At least admit you live in Bloomington, and your paper is approaching this story from a pro-IU / negative Kelvin Sampson perspective. Don’t worry –it’s OK — the rest of the media is, too. ESPN has been guilty, as well — except for Jay Bilas, who is one of the sole people in the media with te idea of “let’s hear and analyze both sides.”

    Go back and look at all the stories that have been written since Kelvin released his 75 page statement. Go look at how much discussion has taken place about the claims Kelvin has made. It’s almost nothing. And there’s a whole lot of substance in Kelvin’s claims — but nobody wants to research or investigate it.

  6. ““Maybe when this all comes out, it will end up not being as serious as originally thought.”

    — Scott Skiles on KS & NCAA allegations.

    Does anyone ever try to figure out what Skiles would say something like that?

  7. I agree with HoosierFan. The coverage toward KS has been slanted to the point where iu fans have more distain for KS than illinois fans ever did.

  8. You can’t be serious to not concede that Kelvin’s story has changed. Usually Kelvin’s excuses or most recent position get him through about 5 minutes, until someone looks up the records and finds the inconsistencies. Kelvin has never been known to be that bright. Remember at Oklahoma?

  9. No, Kelvin Sampson is a very a bright guy. He’s made some mistakes, like everyone has, but I know him to be smart man. I’m sure you know better, though, Nick. I mean…I’ve only known the man for 15 years.

  10. HoosierFan:

    As an IU grad myself and a fellow employee of Chris Korman’s, I can assure you that in no way does he take a Pro-IU stance on his coverage of the Hoosiers.

    And to say that KS had no way of knowing his and his staff’s actions were inappropriate is laughable. You don’t get hired as a D-I coach in this day and age for these absurd salaries, a job that heavily involves recruiting tactics, and not know what a 3-way call is.

  11. HoosierFan,

    Thanks for the reply. You bring up very solid points that , you’re right, should have been written about more frequently in our past coverage and should be more prominent in future coverage. I try to be fair; but when we are inundated with information, as we have been, weeding through and finding the most pertinent information and then delivering it in a few hundred words becomes difficult. No matter what we write, the arguments presented by all sides become watered down.

    But I would point out that if a player’s poor memory causes him to lack credibility, than both Sampson and Senderoff would be guilty of the same since both claim to not remember the specifics of certain calls on numerous occasions. While Sampson and Senderoff were able to repeatedly say “I don’t remember the specifics” — which is probably the truth — the athletes were told by the NCAA to offer their recollection of the events as best they could. Many of the kids were very nervous during their testimony — you can tell in the transcripts and I have heard that straight from some of them — and wanted to do the best they could to provide the NCAA with information.

    As for our angle of approach…we have certainly tried to understand the way compliance was set up during Sampson’s tenure, only to be stonewalled by IU’s administration in every request for that information. Believe me, I will continue to try to figure that out. If you read my story in Friday’s paper, I call that very process into question and point to it as one of the remaining unknowns.

    I admit to living in Bloomington. Lovely city. As for whether I am approaching this story from a pro-IU bias, I suggest you contact people in the athletics department to ask their opinion on that matter. Then let me know how long it takes for them to stop laughing at your insinuation.

    Put it this way: I’d feel a lot worse about our coverage if only Sampson’s people or only IU’s people were upset about it.

    Chris

  12. Thanks for the reply, Chris. I don’t doubt you are trying to do a good job and be fair. And Bloomington is a nice city. I was in town for the Indiana/Illinois game last season for the first time ever. It was a very nice place. I enjoyed it quite a bit. But I’ve been fed up with the coverage of this fiasco.

    I understand the players interviewed by the NCAA were nervous — but my goodness — no one ever admits that they play on teams that compete against Indiana. Of course they have incentive not to tell the truth. Their statements should have no more weight than Kelvin’s or Rob Senderoff’s. Does anyone really think an Illinois player would have no reason to lie about Kelvin Sampson? Absolutely not.

    And of course Kelvin & Senderoff don’t remember the specifics. They engage in thousands of phone call conversations every year — more than anyone could ever imagine or attempt to comprehend. They talk to so many people so many times…their phone constantly rings. You would expect, however, for recruits to have a little bit better of a memory than having had 5 or 6 three way phone calls when the phone records support one.

    At the end of the day, Kelvin Sampson is guilty of being involved in about 10 three way phone calls. And he says he didn’t know he was in on them. The NCAA has found seven players who said he was — but all of those players can’t seem to get their story straight. Sampson had no control over his assistants, as IU stripped him of that ability. And that’s fact. He could not monitor the phone calls — but that’s something that is absolutely never reported by anyone.

    This whole idea that Kelvin Sampson was sitting at his desk at IU dreaming of this massive scheme to try and get around his sanctions is absolute bogus. The last thing he wanted was to have another problem with the NCAA and to embarrass himself or Indiana.

  13. HoosierFan,

    Does the fact that Jordan Crawford…a former IU player… being involved in illegal phone calls not count? Sampson was found guilty of cheating, and making illegal phone calls at Oklahoma. That is a fact… but now you want someone to believe that ‘he didn’t know’ about cheating just a year after being sanctioned for the same type of offense? How about the fact that save for one… EVERY Sampson player has left or been dismissed from the team? I think you’re being naive… but then again Bob Knight probably didn’t throw that chair in your opinion either… that was just clever anti-IU media editing that produced those images…

  14. First, the fact that the details of the time and day of the conversation and so on differ doesn’t mean that one of the witnesses is telling a deliberate untruth. Both cannot be right, but that doesn’t mean that the other is a liar. It’s not fair to say these players, coaches, & parents were lying. They may be wrong but that doesn’t equate with lying.
    Second, I have at least two major problems with KS’s position. One is that he admits that there were some 3 way calls. Why didn’t he report these to Jerry Green at their frequent meetings if these were just slips? It seems these could have been reported and explained especially if they were innocent mistakes. But by concealing them from Green and IU KS certainly set himself up to look like he was violating the sanctions. A second is that the NCAA’s follow up report provided credible evidence that there were additional situations where the recruit said both coaches were on the line and talked alternately which would indicate to me that both coaches had to be aware that they were on a three way call. That was really the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for me.

  15. HoosierFan You wrote: “…The first time Kelvin Sampson was involved in a three way phone call, Rick Greenspan should have known about it. IU should have done something about it…”

    I agree that soon thereafter IU should have known and initiated progressive discipline.

    I also say that Sampson should have known, without reliance on IU, and not done it.

    He did what he did at OU…cheat. And IU screwed up, hired him at Herbert’s direction, and Greenspan didnt watch him closely.

  16. Hoosier Fan

    Do you believe Kelvin has injured indiana university at all? Do you ever think he’d do this level of destruction to Indiana and their basketball program within this short time span? Do you think he’ll coach college basketball again?
    How long before you think Indiana men’s bb goes bback to the NCAA end of season tournament? Just curious.

  17. Hoosier fan,

    KS did not cause any damage to anyone. The damage was done by others who went berzerk over the phone calls. Not very smart moves.
    If everyone would have been patient until the NCAA had done the full investigation and judgement, as it should have been, the penalties would have been imposed by the proper parties on a timely matter, the players would have not been sacrificed and millions would have been saved.

  18. As has been the case since this whole sordid episode made public, there have been issues with dichotic listening across Hoosier Nation. Some people have expressed anger at Sampson’s actions and the breech of trust they created. Others, myself included, have taken exception with the administration for their handling of the matter and their perceived breech of responsibility as stewards of this esteemed and revered institution. However, as is often the case in complex and dynamic situations such as this, no one party is wholly responsible for the ultimate outcome, no matter how tragic and unfortunate it may be. Rather, each of the parts must be credited for the resultant sum of the equation. Sampson clearly and unequivocally violated the terms of his sanctions. Whether or not he acted deliberately in doing so or in failing to report his violations, we will likely never know. Criminal intent can be extremely difficult to prove in the absence of overt actions or statements. The very same can be said for Senderoff’s violations. This, however, is where I’m forced to echo some of HoosierFans’ frustrations with the media’s coverage. Since the beginning everyone has reported that Sampson made approx. 100 impermissible phone calls, without distinguishing the fact that he never initiated a single call. Perhaps this oversight is simply the result of IU promptly whisking Rob out the back door when the story first broke. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. For whatever reason, it is still poor journalism, but not a sin I can recall seeing in the HT. In the end, I suppose there are several individuals responsible for landing IU in its current situation. Everyone involved in the decision to hire Sampson took a calculated risk. The same is true for those charged with the duty of keeping his program on the level. The coaching staff assured us they knew what was expected of them and promised we’d once again have a program to be proud of. All the while, every party was undeniably under tremendous pressure to bring the program back to the prominence expected of IU basketball. But here we are today. As Stanley Kubrick told us in Full Metal Jacket, “it’s a huge sh*t sandwich and we’re all going to have to take a bite.” I just hope every party who bears responsibility for this mess will be served up their proper portion.

    That being said, I appreciate all the work the HT has done in delivering us this story. Hopefully, your continued pressure and diligence in the matter will someday reveal a fuller picture of how we managed to get ourselves in this position. Only a full accounting for our errors will enable us to prevent them from being repeated in the future. Keep up the good work and please keep pursuing those FOI requests. We know there’s a boatload yet to be discovered which is not rightfully privileged and protected from disclosure. Hoosier Nation deserves the truth.

  19. I agree that the FOIA pursuit will bear much more fruit. I don’t know the extent of the coverage for FOIA within Indiana, but have benefitted in other litigation cases (in other states) based on state FOIA disclosure laws. I believe the HT is trying to do a diligent effort to discover the whole truth.

  20. Thanks for your updates on lunch and bathroom breaks. What did everyone eat? What kind of TP do they have in the bathrooms there? Did it rain there today? Keep up the great work.

  21. Gotta wonder if HoosierFan calls KS “Dad.” He sure knows a lot about the details. And it is hard to belive a Hoosier fan had never been to the Hall until the Illinois game. Sounds like BS from lil KS.

  22. KS did not control himself or his staff and team. He was in charge and needs to take responsibility for staffs actions. Own up to your mistakes and show the class that IU had hoped you would. I wish he had never come to IU, but that is now in the past. We now have to play out the game while he gets to escape with only minor blemishes on his tarnished name. A once proud program now has a black eye that will take years for the marks to go away. A lifetime ban from college coaching would be appropriate if IU has more sanctions.

  23. Indykev,

    Couldn’t say what everyone ate. They mostly split up and went their own ways. Sampson, I believe, stayed inside the hotel. Maybe he brought a granola bar, but I would hesitate to speculate further.

    As for toilet paper, alas, I had no occasion to use it.

    Not a drop of rain so far this trip. Just a constant chill.

    Thanks for enjoying the blog.

  24. Not even going to lie, the mention of Qdoba in this blog made me go out and get dinner last night at Qdoba.

    BTW – it’s the first place I’ve seen that actually serves tomatoes after the salmonella scare, even had a sign assuring you the tomatoes were fine

  25. So much drama over phone calls. Yes, it is a violation but most of it was a violation of the limites that came with Sampson’s probation. And bigger still is the fact Sampson mislead the NCAA when questioned about it. I still think the NCAA would be wrong to hammer IU over phone calls when other programs are being caught committing academic fraud and paying/providing benefits to players. Ban Sampson from returning to college basketball. Put the former assistants on probation. Accept IU’s self-imposed penalties for next season and move on.

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