Hoosiers had 2.13 GPA last semester

Through an open records law request, we’ve learned that IU’s basketball team had a 2.13 GPA last semester. As we noted in a story on HeraldTimesOnline.com today, that marked a significant drop from the 2.89 last fall that Kelvin Sampson called one of the best GPAs of his coaching career.  

Former player Armon Bassett told H-T reporter Chris Korman  that the turmoil leading up to Sampson’s resignation in late February was the biggest reason for the lower grades.

“Everybody talks about our grades going down, and they did,” Bassett said. “We didn’t go to class for two weeks when everything was going on, when we didn’t know what would happen to our coach. Every day we heard a new story, there were reporters waiting everywhere we went. It was a crazy time for us. We lost focus. And when that happens, you fall behind quickly. But our first semester showed what we can really do.”

Tom Crean, however, has made it sound like some players lost their focus in the classroom for well more than two weeks.  He has said that when he was hired in late April most of IU’s players still needed to pick up the pace significantly with their academics at that point.

The GPAs for all of IU’s men’s sports teams can be viewed by clicking the following link:



  1. I know this isn’t popular but I’ve said all along that the coaching turmoil was the reason for the classroom problems. If I was a player on that team, it would have probably effected me the same way. What bothers me the most has been Crean’s character assassination of the former players and all of the fans who last fall ‘loved’ the team just going along with it.

  2. Boy, I dunno, Kenny_G. Bottom line is, coaching turmoil or no coaching turmoil, you’re still enrolled in college and you still need to go to class.

    I can understand why grades would drop, but I can’t understand why they would stop going to class.

  3. I can see where it would effect anyone going thru turmoil. However, I think its also fair to say, some have been too easy on the situation as well. Giving in or excusing the results to the “fact” these young men were “kids”. The facts, to me, are they knew what was expected and probably used the whole fiasco as an excuse. Im not blaming them entirely. I have always asked, when all this was going on….where was the whole ath. dept.? Looking into the situation? Maybe we just havent heard what all the dept did or tried to do.
    When ever there’s failure..I believe fault is at everyones feet.
    As far as “loving the team”…I’ll admit, I loved the early season results from the scoreboard. However, I had my worries, from the get go, about the kind of team KS was building.

  4. I feel bad for all the players. Character flaws or not, they didnt deserve that situation and I can certainly see that effecting grades and lives.

    However, I still ultimately think it comes down to personal responsibility. Everyone has had some sort of tragedy or disruption or some problem in their lives during school. That doesnt justify not going for weeks or more at a time.

  5. Turmoil my ass. They are college students who got to go to school for free and play basketball for INDIANA UNIVERSITY. The problems were all Sampson’s and he was going to be the one held accountable for them, not the players. The smart players, Taber and Finkelmeier, saw the light at the end of the tunnel and still play basketball for INDIANA UNIVERSITY. I would like to know what kind of grades those two guys got and how they were effected by the “turmoil”.

  6. Agreed Kenny, it probably was the problem, but it shouldn’t have been. This is college, not the NBA. You are there not only for basketball, but for an education as well. You have the obligation as a student athlete to go to class, and get decent grades, regardless of the situation. These dudes are getting full rides!!!

  7. I am almost always a personal accountability preacher, but in this case I agree with a lot of what Kenny said. I put a vast majority of this blame on Sampson and consider a lot of the players collateral damage.

    I’m not saying this to try to sounds smarter or better than anyone else, but I played D2 basketball (I’ve been blasted for bringing this up on other boards) and have seen this first hand, and can only imagine that it’s even more difficult at the higher level. Although I am stunned that it seems that the players completely stopped going to class altogether, that’s just wrong, but I would understand increases in skipping class and grades bottoming out due to the coaching turmoil.

    After my senior year in college our coach retired and many of the underclassmen had their grades drop and attended class far less regularly because the processes in place to monitor weren’t there anymore. Until the new coach came in, kids stopped going to study hall. Freshmen and sophomore also had to call in to say they were leaving for class, but with no coach, that went away too. So, you can see how class attendance and grades can dramatically slip during a coaching change.

    You can’t compare Taber and Fink to the scholarship guys, I know it sounds weird, but there is a huge difference between scholarship guys and walk-ons, there just is. Walk-ons have far less options and usually picked the university, scholarship players have more options and picked the program.

  8. An open records law request? Holy Cats, it’s actual investigative journalism!

    Well done, guys, although I wish this wasn’t something I felt I had to congratulate journalists for. I’m really not trying to insult your profession, but it’s pleasant to see somebody in your line of work doing their job. Not to pick on that nice guy Terry Hutchens, who’s a fine commentator, but access isn’t journalism or expertise. I’m honestly glad to see you looking under rocks and finding information for your public. Keep it up!

  9. B in MD:

    So it is only OK to flush a college education down the toilet if you are paying for it yourself?

  10. Kenny G,

    So if I’m worried that my boss might get fired, I can stop coming to work? I don’t think so. I’m sympathetic to the psychological stress put on the players by Sampsongate, but if you’re a student, you go to class. Maybe it was unpleasant with reporters hanging around, but to just stop going is, in my view, an excessive response to the situation.

    Devin, if you read this blog regularly, you’ll see that the H-T guys often use FOIA request to get info from IU. They got the NCAA docs, the memorandum detailing the offer to Crean, etc. that way. Unlike the sensationalists on TV and the radio, print reporters have to actually engage in the journalistic process, which is refreshing these days, as you say.

    B in Md, I see your point, but again, I’d have to question the players on your team and IU’s if they don’t go to study hall, class, etc. without active supervision by a coach. College is about being a kid but also about growing up, and being a self-starter in meeting your basic responsibilities is part of growing up.

  11. This will sound mean, but I do not feel bad for these kids at all. They should have gone to class, period! For Bassett to admit they did not go for 2 weeks (we know it was longer), I just cannot grasp that. It amazes me! What the hell were they doing for those 2 weeks? I can only imagine! The more I read, the more I see that when this all went down Sampson was not looking out for these kids at all…he would leave campus and go to his 6000 sq ft, 1.5 mill house and have a beer and laugh that he would get his money on the way out of Bloomington. To think I supported his sorry no good butt the entire time makes me sick to the gut!!!

  12. J Pat – how do you know it was longer? Because Crean says so? I love the hypocrisy of IU fans who believe all the rumors and innuendo fueld by Crean to paint the former players in a negative light but when it came to Kellen Lewis it was a completely different story.

    Fact is Crean could have chosen the high road if problems were as bad as he has led everyone to believe but instead he went out of his way to take shots at their character. According to Crean he didn’t lose Holman or Crawford, it was all a conspiracy. The fact that Crean couldn’t work things out with Ellis, Bassett and McGee speaks volumes about his character and people skills. The turnover and dismantling of last year’s team doesn’t make sense and IU fans are so blinded with their Hoosiers movie fantasies they can’t sense there is something rotten in denmark.

  13. Kenny G, back up a minute man. I am the guy who has always questioned whether of not Crean truly showed these guys any love, Sampson kids anyway…especially Bassett and Crawford. Maybe it is because of my current job or because I worked to pay my way to IU and just paid off loans after 8 years, but the least these kids could have done is go to class. If you want to take a day or 2 to gather yourself, but 2 weeks…whatever! Bottom line is they should have had their butts in class. Also, I hate to be the guy that says this but if you live in Bloomington and are a regular on campus, you know fool well several of these guys did not go to class for much longer than 2 weeks.

  14. Eric,
    Exactly, college is where kids grow up and sometimes learn tough lessons. That’s why in may example I noted that the kids on my team at my school were underclassmen. Mostly freshmen and sophomores.

    Don’t mean this derogatory (college isn’t for everyone) but if you went to college then you know that you don’t really focus on graduation and the effect that skipping classes and all of that stuff can have on your gpa until usually your junior and senior years.

    I don’t really know what you’re talking about. My point was that walk-ons are more likely to remain focused on school during a coaching change. The first thought of a scholarship player is whether or not they should transfer and all of that stuff. So sometime academics can take a back seat for a while.

    Most walk-ons aren’t going to transfer because they didn’t come to the school mainly for basketball in the first place.

    It’s not a perfect world we live in, sometimes things get off track. It doesn’t make these kids bums.

  15. Kenny G,

    Your first post was very rational and made some sense, even though I didn’t totally agree with it. Your second one is not rational. I’m not engaging in the verbal ballistics often seen on this blog. But your statement that Crean’s inability to ‘work things out’ with former players is an indication of his lack of character is just as much character assassination as anything Crean has said about Sampson’s players. I believe all he said was that Holman’s transfer appeared to have been orchestrated, which is apparent to anyone who looks at that situation.

    I would ask you, which is more rotten? The roster overhaul Crean has undertaken, or Sampson’s NCAA violations? Surely you’d answer Sampson’s conduct. Are IU fans therefore ‘blinded’ and generally in the wrong for preferring Crean to Sampson at this point? The only rational way you can answer yes is if you consider Sampson’s violations less inappropriate than Crean turning over the roster, which surely is not the case.

  16. Thanks again Sampscum! Hey Armon, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. By the way, BIODTL & Smeagel are still scum.

  17. Everybody has turmoil in their life. Frankly, these guys are at the low end of the spectrum. The coach might lose his job? BFD. My dad died while I was in college. Everybody has some kind of story. If you need that much hand holding maybe you’re not ready for college.

  18. B,

    Yes, I went to Hanover College and IU, and no, I did not fail to think about the effect of skipping classes and ‘all of that stuff’ until I was an upperclassman. Yes, I skipped some classes and other such malfeasance, but I didn’t wake up the first day of classes my junior year and say ‘What a slacker I’ve been! I’d better start buckling down or I’ll have a lousy GPA when I graduate!’ That’s just silly, but we digress. I do not think the former players were bums, but I do think that ceasing to attend class for 2 weeks or more was an excessive response to the situation.

    None of this matters anyway, as IU has received its APR punishment. I say again, we should support the current coach and players and stop worrying about the past, which of course can’t be changed.

  19. Eric is right but we shouldn’t drink the kool aid and give Crean a free pass on all of his actions.

  20. Chet – well said.
    How many people go to work while going thru a divorce? From what Im reading from some..I guess it would be ok..to just not show up during that time. Yeah, that would work.
    To the ones wanting to blame Sampson entirely…I simply ask, how can you blame him once he was gone? Yeah, he was responsible for starting the whole mess. However, I cannnot see how anyone can hold him responsible, after his departure, for not attending class,ec. Thus my comments…accountabilty comes from within. First it lies with each student/player. I also believe there should have been a support unit in tow to see things were being carried on/out as needed. As stated, maybe there was..but I sure havent heard anything about it.
    As far as Crean tearing apart the whole team…I think its fair to say it was torn when he arrived. Most everything I have seen, supports Crean’s statements to what he has done and what has transpired.
    Bottom line, in the end it was probably best for both parties that the players, who left, did move on.

  21. Eric,

    Just to clarify, I wasn’t questioning your intelligence or anything, some people go to college and some don’t. I know nothing about you other than what you write here, so I didn’t want to assume you went to college.

    Also, I think assuming that I meant kids wake up the first day of their junior year with a changed mindset is a little unfair and being way to literal.

    I’ll be honest I really struggled in college my first two years and was nearly ineligible for basketball. For some reason the light went on mid-way through my junior year (probably due to getting more into my major as well as simple maturity) and I raised my GPA incredibly my last year and a half. A lot of young people in college go through this, especially athletes who have very limited free time.

    I also agree that skipping class for two weeks straight is excessive and flat out just not caring. I do not condone that under any circumstances.

    And finally :). I agree we should focus on the future and the incoming team. I can’t wait for Crean to get going the new players to grow together.

  22. You didn’t know what was going to happen to your coach, boo-hoo. I don’t care if it was in fact more than 2 weeks, if you don’t go to class for 2 weeks you are a slacker. You want to know what they were doing? They were partying that whole time, I can promise you that. What would you do if you were in college and didn’t go to classes for 2 weeks? Nothing good. I don’t feel sorry for these “kids” in the slightest. Everyone faces adversity in their lives, it is all about how you deal with it, and these “kids” chose to not deal with it at all and they forgot that they are student athletes that had an obligation to attend class. Sure, what happened to them sucked but they handled it like immature children, not men. They came across adversity, and instead of tackling it head on, they ran away. They missed a valuable opportunity to become stronger for the experience

  23. B in Md,

    Sounds like we’re mostly in agreement, but as is the case on blog message boards, little bits of disagreement get dragged out endlessly. As such I’ve had enough of this discussion. I just want to support the team and coaching staff we have, not worry about those we used to have. And I hope the Hoosiers can topple the mighty Hilltoppers of Bowling Green in the first game on that fancy new FieldTurf.

  24. I know a 6th grader that interviewed Bassett for a school project. They were introduced by a mutal friend. One of the questions asked was, ‘How do you balance basketball and school?’ Bassett’s answer was, I only have to get a certain grade point average, so I do just enough to get by.

    I want to see him after he gets done at UAB and doesn’t make it in the NBA and then does only enough to get by in life.

  25. You reap what you sow.

    Sad, but good example- as of a couple years ago, Mark Duper of ’80s/early ’90s Dolphin lore was working for my friend’s mother in Florida clearing out old houses for renovation/demolition.

    Unfortunately, there are so many more examples. To be honest, even though it may or may not be a good attitude, I dont really care about people like EJ blowing off school–even though I still think he probably didnt do so as bad as others. I mean I dont think it’s right and I want IU to do right by the rules. But, I dont see them as big screw-ups if its not their top priority. If you’re in his shoes, so what? Obviously it’s best to do it while you have the chance, but if you later need the education for a job or have a genuine interest (haha) in learning, you can go back. And those odds are almost zero. If you’re at that level you can get hooked up somewhere anyway.

    The stories that are amazing and SAD are the guys who arent in those shoes. The guys who are in the maybe try out for the league, but are longshots or play overseas or those who wont play at all–the fact that they blow the opportunity for a college degree is amazing.

    And the JUCOs are even worse. I hate to say it and I dont really want to be accusatory, but I’d be somewhat surprised if the Chicago boys have anything close to acceptable 9th grade reading and writing skills, yet alone have anything resembling a college education.

  26. Kenny G –

    I totally agree. Crean’s great with excuses. And he criticized other coaches for doing exactly what he did (talking to recruits about IU before he had even notified MU of his resignation)

  27. I know the players had all the tormoil but u agreed to be a student athlete hits the student part. All the players knew what was going to happen. Even after the tormoil why didnt bassett and ellis show up to run for their punishment.

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