Sampson: NCAA was harsh, unfair to me

Mike DeCourcy of the has put together a fairly long Q&A from an exclusive interview with Kelvin Sampson in which Sampson says he was numb when he heard the NCAA had given him a five-year show cause penalty, saying, “It just didn’t register.”

Sampson continues to maintain that he had no idea that he had participated in any three-way calls and bristles that the media used the word unethical to describe his behavior. He says he never had any intent to break any rules and the NCAA treated him harshly and unfairly.

You can read the entire Q&A by clicking here.


  1. Interesting Q&A there. Kelvin seems pretty confident about his side of the story. However I recall the actual phone records (or player testimony) indicating he must have known the calls were 3-ways. So it seems to me that he was a bit more knowledgable of the situation, but still could have been a slight victim of poor monitoring.

  2. For the record, I’ve always supported Coach Sampson. After hearing about IU’s compliance department catching an extra call this week, does it make you wonder if we had a competent compliance department in place under Coach Sampson we wouldn’t be going through this current debacle? Right now, we’d be a top 10 team with Ebanks and with all the winning there’d be no “issues” with the IU basketball culture.

    A lot of IU ‘fans’ need to ease up on their criticism of KS.

  3. Aruss,
    OK, so perhaps the compliance aspect at IU was not up to speed under the Sampson regime. Does that mean that Sampson should be forgiven? I seriously doubt it.
    As for the IU basketball culture, what a joke. The culture was not damaged. The won-loss record has suffered but not the culture. No one coach can destroy the Branch McCracken and Bobby Knight legacy. Also don’t forget that high school basketball was around and strong before McCracken and Knight, that’s the culture of basketball in Indiana.
    You can continue to support Sampson, that is your choice. I would advise you that you will not recieve much support.

  4. Of course Sampson is confident. He’s not going to show any sign of hesitation or admit that he did anything wrong. His ego is too big for him to admit anything. It’ll always be someone elses problem.

  5. I still believe Sampson got a bad wrap, but again he is responsible for his assistants and what goes on under his watch. I do believe most of what he says, but the main point being that some other programs got caught all-out cheating with recruiting(payments and automobiles) and test taking by coaches(ala Georgia) and weren’t in the news nearly as much as Indiana. I don’t remember Jim Herrick getting a 5 year show clause when he was fired from UCLA and eventually went to Georgia and cheated again?? Rules are rules, but excessive phone calls aren’t the same as money payments, car leases for $1.00/month, or even promising hiring a parent or AAU coach if a recruit comes to a school(even if this one is currently legal)! I think the NCAA, Athletic Directors and Coaches need to tighten some rules and relax some other rules to get this right. Not to point fingers, but I guarantee that nothing will happen to Kansas and Coach Bill Self even though he admitted that he had contact with a recruit during a game after he got outed by a recruiting analyst………That’s all I have to say………..

  6. A lot of IU ‘fans’ need to ease up on their criticism of KS.

    For bringing disrepute to IU and its programs KS can burn in hell.

  7. Tod,
    Sorry there were no $1.00/month car leases. Now there were false expense accounts and sexual misconuct and giving students grades they didn’t earn.
    While you don’t agree with hiring an AAU coach it’s legal, today.
    As for Self at Kansas, Kansas reported the incident, Self wasn’t outed.
    What NCAA rules would you tighten and what rules would you relax? Keep in mind that freedom as we know it is at stake. And that’s all I have to say…

  8. I’m tired of this being brought up, It’s over I don’t need to see Sampson’s dumb face or comments ever again. I don’t care what he does, or if he ever coaches college ball again. I just know there is a warm spot waiting for him you know where and that is comforting.

  9. If compliance does their job last year and corrects Sampson after one call like this year’s staff does with Crean, is KS still the coach and are we ready for a strong NCAA tourney run now?

  10. So was the compliance staff bad at Oklahoma, too?

    And who would’ve led us to a long tourney run? Bassett, Ellis and Thomas? Yeah, they’ve done well for themselves since they left IU……It doesn’t matter anyways because they all woulda been academically ineligible for skipping all of the classes last season, as they even ADMITTED IT!

  11. Last year’s first semester GPA 2.9
    This year’s first semester GPA 2.9

    They stopped going to class after they felt betrayed by the AD and administration.

    As for talent, compare a team of Crawford, Ellis, Bassett, Ebanks, Holloway, Holman, McGee, Pritchard, Thomas, Tabor, and Roth vs. this year’s team that played a freakin’ manager last night.

    Any sane person learns their lesson after Oklahoma. IU Compliance was a joke.

  12. Gone, done, over, good-riddance, TIME TO MOVE ON.

    Won’t give him credit for being able to win a game this year with his “superstars”. Probably would have just been more assinine headaches and embarrassment.

  13. Whos idea was it to let aruss talk again? Why don’t you move to Milwaukee and start a Sampson fanclub? Just because the compliance department did not pick up on it right away does not mean it’s still not against the rules and wrong. The guy had prior violations which esculated the implications of the circumstance which ultimately led to his leaving IU. I’m also tired of hearing about things at other schools like USC and Georgia. “It’s Indiana”. We should be held to a higher stand and not use the, well they do it so why can’t we excuse. Sampson was a habitual offender and got everything he deserved. Once a cheater always a cheater. They’re probably juicing up Richard Jefferson and michael redd as we speak!

  14. Aruss, these guys were not going to class well before Sampson stepped down, I’ve been here on campus. I’ve also not run into any of the guys on this years team buying drugs off a neighbor of mine, and I laugh when people ask if it was pot. Just keep hanging on to your little GPA thing though. It’s cute.

  15. I thought this was in our past. I don’t think KS is an evil person and all the best to him, but he’s a dumb ass for even letting the appearance of an impropriety exist after the trouble he had been in at Oklahoma. Risking an entire career to get to a big-time job just to have a slightly better chance to get a recruit.

    Anyway, I thought we paid for this to go away. So, I wish it would. Hopefully, Crean can make us forget about all of this in the next few seasons.

  16. How can anyone support a liar? Sampson has and continues to lie. He says he never knew Senderoff was on a phone call, yet recruits (and their parents)have said that both spoke at the same time.

    I still do not buy that he never looked at his caller ID. 4000 calls equal out to 333.33 calls per month, 10.96 calls per day.

    Hate to burst your bubble Sampson, but I receive more than 11 calls on a daily basis.

    On average I receive 15 calls a day on my office line, and reviewing my incoming cell phone calls for the last 3 months, I average answering 193 calls every month. That does not account for those calls I ignore or calls I get while my phone is turned off.

    Just those I answer would total 7,791 INCOMING calls in a 12 month period, or almost double what Sampson said he received. I can tell you this, I do not answer the phone before looking at the caller ID. If I have time to look at who is calling me on my almost 7,800 calls a year, I can safely say Sampson was capable of looking on 3500-4000.

    Yes compliance done a poor job, that is easy to see. I for one can’t sit here and believe for a moment Sampson didn’t know what he was doing.

    I’m glad Sampson is gone, and I am confident IU will be back on top and will be back the right way.

  17. If Sampson was so bad, why was he rewarded so well by IU and IU penalized so bad by the NCAA? Well, penalized itself. And Brand, an ex prez of IU, who do you think he will lean toward, IU or Sampson? Isn’t that a cozy gang rape? Brand should have excused himself from the argument for fairness to the system. IU and brand were a lynching mob. Result: everyone lost. I liked Sampson’s public presentation better than Creen’s. Sampson looked more professional. Creen’s nervous pacing drives me nuts. Somebody should throw some glue on his chair.

  18. Lala, Crean reminds me of Coach Hep. There are few that want to win as bad as I do and Crean and his body language make me feel great. Also, Sampson was arrogant and could be unfriendly, Crean has gone out of his way to shake my hand and I do not contribute and am not a celebrity, just the avg joe.

  19. To quote Johnny Damon, “Well, murdering somebody would be worse.” I am not saying that what Sampson did (in terms of violations) was the worst thing that could have happened (see above). But, to get caught doing the same thing that you were already punished for shows incredible arrogance or incredible stupidity. You HAVE to self monitor reagardless of the compliance department once you have been caught. This guy was the NABC ethics president! He must have had a grasp of the rules. I was a wait-and-see guy with Sampson, but I thought his first team played incredibly hard and I gave him a chance (to root for him), but it seems that below the surface (the things he let guys get away with) there was more trouble brewing than just phone calls. Although, to quote Dan Dakich, I wasn’t there.

  20. I’d rather see a coach up out of his seat than sitting there while getting beat with his head in his hand. Mike Davis. Sampson had a good team, but he cheated, and his players were not examples of the kind of young men we want to represent IU. Crean has done an excellent job with what he has had to work with, how many other teams start four Freshmen that get out there and scrap like they do. Crean came to IU with nothing, and I believe in a year or so we will be winning games, and doing very well. I want him on the sidelines coaching his team, that is what they pay him for.

  21. We are really lucky to have a coach as clearly clean, hard working, motivating, good coach, rally the fans, great recruiter as Tom Crean. He didn’t need us, Marquette is doing fine. But boy, did we need him.

  22. Jamie J,

    Pacing is not coaching. Half the time he is facing away from the game, disturbing others who paid to watch the game.

    The current impermissible call infraction, how are you going to categorize that? Not cheating? Perhaps, sloppiness. Well, then, IU tolerated Sampson’s sloppiness for a looooooong time.

    Of course, we all expect IU to be better in years to come. Jeez wheez, we are at the bottom.

  23. Lala, you are the only one on any blog about IU ball or from any circle of IU friends I have that has this particular opinion. I will gladly take your seats if he is bothering you. I have personally, alone and with my family stepped in on Creans practice and he coaches and you can believe that! There is a small minority of IU fans that just cannot handle the losing this year and have to put it than Crean. I have not disagreed with someone as much as I do your comments in a long time and I wonder if you are a PU or Illini fan in disguise???

  24. Let us simply this debate.

    If you support KS you also support:
    1. Smoking dope=Failing drug test
    2. Failing drug test number 2, and still on the team.
    3. Shop lifting
    4. Cutting class
    5. Not even knowing where your class was located
    6. Breaking NCAA recruiting rules
    7. Breaking NCAA recruiting rules, AGAIN!
    (anybody noticing a pattern)

    And don’t say for second that you don’t support the previous list! Those were all situations that were ALLOWED to happen under his tenure. PERIOD. Indiana under KS was a slippery slope that would have brought even more disgrace to this university. I’m glad it ended as quickly as it did, and someone of your are right. The university does have some culpability in this. THEY HIRED A KNOWN CHEATER!

    In order to support KS, you really must love winning more than your own soul.

  25. Sampson lied and cheated and is responsible for his actions. Nobody made him do it. I wish he would stay out of the news so we wouldn’t have to think about him. Its bad enough that we have to live with the mess he left behind.

    As far as Crean’s pacing goes: You’ve got to be kidding!!! It’s not an issue, or even a transitory thought, but more like the nattering of a ninny of negativity.

  26. Just a side note: did anyone hear Dakich’s rant on his radio show this morning? He reiterated much of what he has already stated time and time again. I thought it was very interesting that he was assigned to Mike White, Finklemeier, Taber and Alhfeld. The four best students on the team according to him. Sounds like too much of a coincidence.

  27. The arguing will stop when when you stop blaming Sampson for what Crean cannot do.

    Winning is almost everything. Some pace for it.

  28. what??? I do not expect anything from Crean this year and I think I speak for most IU bball fans. Next year, a little different story!

  29. To aver that Crean is a bad coach because of how this group has performed is ridiculous in the extreme. After Sampson left, the program was blown up. Just about all the players left or were asked to leave and so the talent and experience just isn’t there. IMHO the combined coaching abilities of John Wooden, Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Phog Allen, and John Naismith would not have made a difference for us this year. Given time Crean will get it done and I have total confidence in him.

  30. My point again – if this year’s compliance team was in place last year and notified sampson after the first call like they did crean, would sampson still be here and we be on our way to another big ten title?

  31. 02/26 vs. Memphis L 60-71 35 0-17 FG 0-12 3pt

    Robert Vadens stats last night in case anyone was interested!

  32. I’ll revert to the simplest of quotes: “Attitude reflects leadership.”

    Cheating and deception aside, no one can argue that the attitudes of half the team were troubling. Basset, Ellis and Crawford were all suspended on separate occasions for undisclosed reasons. Couple that with the fact that when things started tanking with the program, many players stopped attending class, didn’t show up for Dakich’s first practice, and then refused to run after being late for a team meeting. If attitude reflects leadership, then the attitudes of half of our team last year reflect that fact that the leadership was terribly flawed. Crean described it best when he said that the players had gained a sense of entitlement, rather than being thankful and appreciative of the amazing privilege they’d received. So cheating aside, Sampson still wasn’t right for the job he was doing.

    And seriously? Who doesn’t look at their phone to see who’s calling? It’s practically impossible not to whether you want to or not. Think about it–if Sampson was only permitted to speak with recruits a certain number of times per week, then shouldn’t he be checking to see who’s calling, to ensure that the person to whom he was about to speak was someone permissable? There are too many unrealistic and unbelievable excuses in this story for any rational person to truly believe it.

  33. I feel no sympathy for sampson . He blatantly broke the rules and in my opinion should have been banned for life by the ncaa !!!!!!!

  34. Uh, somebody help me here.

    Aruss remembers KS winning more BigTen titles than I do. He couldn’t stay off the phone, or out of trouble long enough.

    Thanks GFDave and JPat, there are still a few supporters of common sense and reason out there.

    If either of you guys get a hold of those tickets behind Crean, let me know on here and I’ll split them with you!

    Last time I say it.
    Good riddance…TIME TO MOVE ON.

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