Commentary: Balancing the present against the future

Photo: Chris Howell | Herald-Times

At first, admittedly, I did not understand why Indiana was recruiting Remy Abell.

When word got out that he would visit campus earlier this week, my initial reaction was that Indiana did not need another 6-foot-4 guard and that using the last scholarship in the class of 2011 on one was a mistake.

But I forgot that we are dealing with Tom Crean, the man whose recruiting mantra is that he never stops. To him, recruiting Abell was not about 2012 and the future. It was about 2011, and making sure the Hoosiers do not make it four 20-loss seasons in a row.

Taking a commitment from Abell, like Indiana did on Wednesday, is the epitome of a short-term decision. He replaces Jeremiah Rivers and insures walkon Daniel Moore is unlikely to see the court for significant minutes during the coming season. Those are positives.

At the moment, Indiana’s roster for next season includes eight guards, one wing/forward (Christian Watford) and four big men. That is heavily weighted towards smaller, quicker players and there will be issues to resolve.

Expect Watford to play the 3 the vast majority of the time – Indiana promised Cody Zeller he would be the 4, and that is the best position for him right now.

And then you have three combo guard options in senior Verdell Jones, junior Jordan Hulls and Abell. Plus five wings in Maurice Creek, Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey, Matt Roth and Austin Etherington.

Crean loves players with strong work ethics, and he has repeatedly praised Hulls, Creek and the two soon-to-be sophomores for the way they raise the level of expectation within the program. Crean, though, has given Jones a long leash, allowing him to score more than 1,000 points and often serve as the primary ball-handler despite consistent turnover issues.

While every indication remains Indiana will add a big man this spring, I still expect an opening game starting lineup of Jones, Hulls, Watford, Zeller and Tom Pritchard. Abell, it seems, slides in as, at least, the third point guard and, at best, the bench’s top defender.

For now, that’s enough. In fact, it is plenty. Because Indiana has to win next season, and Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea, Ron Patterson and the rest of the verbal commits are not going to win one game next season.

Patience has worn thin around this program, inside and outside of it. The national media has started hinting that it’ll begin circling the program like buzzards, wondering just how much time Crean has to make the team a title contender.

Crean’s most difficult challenge since the moment Zeller announced for Indiana is trying to manage the short-term needs of the program against the hopes and dreams of the future.

A rabid fanbase is now wondering how Indiana will sign all five members of the class of 2012, and for good reason – right now, Indiana cannot. It has 15 scholarships committed, and the Big Ten only allows 14 to sign.

It’ll work out. There’ll be transfers, as guys find themselves on the short end of the stick when it comes to playing time and realize their future is elsewhere. If Gary Harris wants to commit, Crean will make sure it happens – he has to.

But he also had to continue recruiting the class of 2011 this spring, because the simple addition of Zeller was not going to make the team dramatically better. Indiana needed better decision-making at the guard position, as well as a big man who can rebound and defend without fouling.

It’s time for Indiana to win basketball games. If Abell can help, then the Hoosiers need him.

67 comments

  1. The title of this piece really confuses me. This seems like an addition both for now and the future, given he can play the point (which I assume is a big reason Crean recruited him). Nothing we’ve seen from Oladipo, Patterson or the other wings seems to indicate they can run the point for much more than spot duty.

    If we want to talk about the future, let’s talk about his junior year when it’s possible that Yogi Ferrell and he will be the only two point guards on the roster. I expect Abell to be a valuable part of the IU depth chart not just next year but in later years as well.

  2. Hugh – I have seen you say several times that IU has 15 signed for 2012 but they have 16! How can you continue to exclude Roth in the numbers? The only difference is if he takes a 5th year but his scholarship is no different than Watford, Jones, Hulls, etc…it is renewable year to year. He has 1 year of additional eligibility and until Crean says he will not be playing in 2012 you need to count him just like the others. Pulling Roth from a 5th year is just like pulling Elston for a 4th year…etc

  3. I would suggest you guys talked to someone in the big 10 office who confirm exactly the rules on oversigning for basketball. I think we can not sign more than 14 at the time of fall signing. So I think we might not be able to sign 2 or 3 of these guys in the fall but have to sign in the spring after the players who are leaving announce that they are gone. I think we have to proof to the big 10 the intentions of the oversign so a plan is needed and not we will see and trust us…an assingment that I think is a must for IU nation

  4. Great article, and i’m thrilled that Tom Crean is trying to improve this team immidiately. People seem to get upset about the fact that he continues to sign for next year. My response would be let’s just trust Tom Crean, and understand how awful we have been from a talent standpoint since he stepped in as Coach.

  5. I’d be VERY, VERY surprised to see Watford at the 3, Zeller at the 4 and (presumably)Pritchard at the 5 for more than a handful of minutes a game. It may be “natural” for the individuals, but the team is probably limited as a result.

    Whether Crean promised Zeller something or not, the roster is overloaded with guards/wings, so you’ll be seeing at least 3 of them on the floor (if not 4!) most of the time. My guess: Zeller and Watford as the forwards with three guards accompanying them, whether it “natural” or not. Pritchard will sub in for either Watford/Zeller and I’d guess that would be the main frontcourt rotation… until there’s foul trouble. Don’t be surprised to see Oladipo or Sheehey play some “4” in certain occasions.

  6. I agree that Pritch and Elston won’t see the floor much anymore unless they vastly improve.

    I see Watford, Zeller and 3 guards and running like crazy.

    How many teams have a real center anyway?

  7. Yes, the pressure is on Crean and he knows it which is why he’s still adding talent. I expect another big this year as well and we should have 3 players leaving. I hope Glass stays strong and allows Crean to work through 12, 13 and 14 because our talent base will be as good as any program in the country.

  8. I just don’t think that Hugh actually knows much about basketball. Indiana will start Zeller, Watford, and Hulls. The other two spots are up for grabs. Mo Creek, once he is totally healthy, will start, but who knows when that will be? Until then, our next best players are Will, Victor, Austin and Remy. Verdell must learn to play hard nosed defense and hit 35% from 3-point range. Pritchard must learn to hit 60% of his FT’s, have some offensive game from 5-15′ and to control his fouling. Elston is an enigma, talent yes, game no. Those three have contributed to the 20 losses per season, two as starters and one as a top reserve. They will be very valuable off of the bench as experienced players with talent. But Indiana needs better players on the floor. So if you can add a player who will be one of your first 8 players, why wouldn’t you? The scholarship numbers will work itself out, even if Hugh is confused about it!

  9. 2011 is going to be Horrible. Lets face it…We were 3-15 in the Big Ten this year and we’ll be 7-11 tops this year. I refuse to have unrealistic expectations. I do that enough with the Cubs year in and year out. We have two more years of building so patients is going to be Key here. I just hope the administration stays patient as well because I believe in 2012 we will crack the top 5 in the Big ten and 2013 we’ll be back in Business. Go Hoosiers!

  10. You folks need to get off Daniel Moore’s back. I’m getting real tired of reading about how IU has to get Daniel Moore off the floor. Here’s a kid that’s going to school on his own dime & has worked his rear end off to carve out a place in a D1 program. It’s sickening that he’s getting ripped at every turn. We should be proud that he’s in the program & what a “mere” walk-on player has accomplished. The kids that should be getting ripped are the scholly players that can’t beat him out for playing time. If Jones, Hulls, Roth, & Rivers, had played to their potentials last year, Moore would have never seen the floor. That’s not Moore’s fault. Give the kid some credit for taking advantage of the situation.

  11. I had a comment for Drake, but for some reason it got deleted. I don’t have any idea why, it was basically me saying that this year will be anything but “Horrible,” like Drake thinks.

  12. The scholarships may be goofy, but the playing time isn’t. Roth won’t get minutes because of his lack of speed and a no pick offense. Given his lack of strength this year, wouldn’t redshirting Creek seem sensible? After another year off, his leg strength will be worse yet. Playing on weak legs will change is game entirely as he tries to compensate. Ethrington won’t be a big minutes eater for a while if at all. So, if Abell is capable, the minutes are there and waiting. Ideally, he can add defense and penetration immediately with low turnovers and some point play against lengthy fast opponents.

  13. The whole concept of “holding” a scholarship for Gary Harris, or anyone else for that matter, is ludicrous. There is no guarantee that he will commit to IU. So why hold a schollie for someone who may not ever don the candystripes?

  14. Hugh, I need educated. In your piece on 4/24(Reports: Abell, Djimde will visit IU)you stated “Watford will certainly play the 4, but we’ll also see him at the 3”. In this article you state that we should expect to see CW playing the 3 because Zeller is promised the 4 spot. Did you change your mind or just need more verbiage in the 1st article? As stated in this article I find it hard to believe that you believe CW is our only wing/forward. Help!

  15. “Patience has worn thin around this program, inside and outside of it. The national media has started hinting that it’ll begin circling the program like buzzards, wondering just how much time Crean has to make the team a title contender.”

    Really? The steady stream of commitments from recruits sure doesn’t indicate this. Crean’s 10-year contract certainly doesn’t indicate this. Remy Abell’s comments upon signing certainly don’t indicate this. If anything, patience is persevering in this program,

    Journalists often believe that they speak in constative terms in articles like this; that what they say reflects genuine, proven, factual information.

    The truth is that journalists more often speak in performative terms: they create realities through their words…they attempt to bring into existence what wasn’t there before, by naming it.

    While IU fans are rabid, passionate, and have grown understandably restless with the rebuilding project, the impatience that floats around out there is more likely a product of the journalistic castles made of sand than anything else.

  16. “Patience has worn thin around this program, inside and outside of it. The national media has started hinting that it’ll begin circling the program like buzzards, wondering just how much time Crean has to make the team a title contender.”

    Really? The steady stream of commitments from recruits sure doesn’t indicate this. Crean’s 10-year contract certainly doesn’t indicate this. Remy Abell’s comments upon signing certainly don’t indicate this. If anything, patience is persevering in this program, thanks to recruiting, the cornerstone of a good program.

    Journalists often believe that they speak in constative terms in articles like this; that what they say reflects genuine, proven, factual information. The truth is that journalists more often speak in performative terms: they create realities through their words…they attempt to bring into existence what wasn’t there before, by naming it.

    IU fans are rabid, passionate, and have grown understandably restless with the rebuilding project. However, in my opinion, the negativity about the program has a lot to do with journalistic castles made of sand. Let’s try to keep this in mind as we scrutinize every twist and turn over the next year.

  17. Great points, H.T., best points i’ve read in a while. It’s comforting that patience appears to be persevering for most Hoosier fans. Crean has been recruiting has tail off for the last 2 years, and it’s going to be fun to watch everything play out. Go Hoosiers.

  18. HT, I have to agree with Hugh. He was referring to the national media that will become critical, but your counterpoints were from players. During the second half of the Big 10 season people on this site were calling for his head every day, and many fans were expressing their misery. The articles I read basically gave him 3 years to rebuild, and now its time to produce. I still have faith in Crean right now, and anyone who speaks to him in person obviously does ( recruits), but NOBODY wants to suffer through a season even remotely similar to last season. Crean is under a lot of pressure to produce some wins NOW.

    Regarding Moore, I think everybody loves the kid and admires his dedication, but we need real talent on the floor, people who can play defense AND knock down the shot if you back off a step. Point well taken that we should blame our scholarship players for not beatig him out for minutes, and that’s why we just picked up Abbel.

  19. Finally a guard that brings the skill set necessary to unclog the arteries a stagnant offense losing its heart and we’re worried about a little scholarship crunchy doo-doo in our shorts? I sense some guys will be working a lot harder this summer to not be completely embarrassed on the court by this kid. Hugh is no different than every journalist covering Hoosier sports. They didn’t see this coming. Was there one blogger on Scoop that was advocating putting this kid in a Hoosier uniform a month or two ago? Crean will prove that this his most ingenious recruiting move to date. Let some future prospects be perplexed. If you want to be a Hoosier you should have signed and got on board. This is a player that didn’t have to spin a web or make us feel like chopped liver. He’s excited to wear the Cream and Crimson and it will be contagious. By way of energy, unselfish play, and excellent quickness, Remy will make everyone else on our team better. Hulls can catch a breath and we don’t immediately suffer the consequences. The signing of Abell will pay dividends far more than in just the short term. If you can’t find the positives for the Hoosiers basketball team, then you may as well write a commentary about JPat’s pancake blues.

  20. John-

    Good points. Hugh was talking about the national media, but remember the ocean that is the national media is fed by local tributaries. The locals make the stories and the big boys package them up and sell them to the wider market.

    Grumbling fans exist everywhere, even amongst winning traditions. You’d be surprised how many people in Urbana want to fire Bruce Weber, for example, despite a 193-86 record and 7 postseasons in 8 years. There is also a Fire Bill Self! Facebook page. Google “Fire Coach K” and you will find an entire website listing the reasons that the Duke coach is horrible. Get my drift?

    Just because the internet and journalists give them a wider audience, does not mean that they represent the general sentiment.

  21. Despite what you all may think about Verdell, he will be in the starting lineup, GUARANTEED. anyone who thinks Crean wont start him has lost their mind

  22. I don’t believe for a moment that the national media is circling Crean. They could care less. Face facts folks: IU is not a top program right now and so the attention from the national media is virtually nonexistent.
    Let Crean run the program his way; he has at least 3 more years before any decision will be made one way or the other about him. Next year will not be dramatically different from last year if the players don’t improve and play better during the games.

    Go Hoosiers!

  23. Hoosier Clarion,

    The earlier story could have spelled it out a little bit more, but I see Watford as the only 3/4 in the program right now. How much he is at either is to be determined, obviously, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 75/25 or 60/40 split.

    WO One,
    Jason King from Yahoo has repeatedly written about the program and suggested that Crean’s time is short. A few national guys have also Tweeted on the subject. They’re not really focusing on it, obviously, and you’re right that Indiana has gone largely unnoticed for some time, but I’ve seen signs of the national guys taking an interest again.

  24. just read on cbs that Ibrahima Djimde’s coach says they might not visit IU as they are out of scholarships. I was never upset with Remy coming to IU but if this means we miss out on a somewhat legit center, I am pissed off!

  25. Crean isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. There’s too much money left on his deal and there are too many good players in the pipeline.

  26. Dustin, Hugh….why the promotion pushing Hoosier players out-the-door. Over and over and over.

    In the very least call the Department of Athletics (preferably Crean or Glass) and seek explanation. That’s what reporters do. Are they aware of the imbalance in numbers? What is that number imbalance exactly? ASK? You think it is Roth?…ask and then contact Roth….Elston? Pritchard? Moore?….ask…ask the coach, the AD, go ask the Faculty Representative if this institutional behavior (oversigning) represents an IU recruiting attitude. Call the Big Ten Office and ask if it meets the letter and spirit of the rules? Or does it call into question the ethics? Get quotes…not your now-famous ‘sources’ game.

    Then, you’ll have a basis to write the stories/opinions you are inventing while sitting on the can. Simply, there has not been a ‘national wave’ of speculation about Tom Crean’s status other than the one you are trying to start. Nor have you shed any light on the status of any one single player on the Hoosier team.

    And truthfully, they all deserve better than to have their lives destabilized and their status put in jeopardy by speculation that comes from your need for a story.

  27. PLAIN AND SIMPLE……
    ROBERT GOFF needs to be a part of the 2011 recruiting class. This kid is being slandered by some twitter feeds and forums. There is nothing to the academic issues. This kid will be suiting up in the ACC or other power conference, book it. The kid asked for a release back when Capel was fired. Goff was the first recruit Crean and McClain visited on the first day of contact period back in September. #1, not yogi, cody or harris, GOFF! Goff visited Cook Hall on several occasions. Bring him on and make the sweet 16!!!!

  28. Tsao,
    We will. At the moment talking to them is useless because, at least as far as they’ve told us, they don’t have a binding letter of intent on it so they’re not going to be able to address it with much honesty because of NCAA rules. Next time we get Crean, trust us, we’ll ask and we’ll go from there. If I could get him on the phone anytime I wanted, trust me, I would do it. It’s a waiting game for us sometimes, and I don’t like it any more than you do, but that’s how it is. I know you think I could get this accomplished if I went in and bashed skulls in athletics, but it doesn’t work that way.
    I’ve pointed out, of course, we can’t contact players directly, and If I’m not mistaken, you think we’re jerks if we ask them about transferring anyway.
    And really, did Hugh even suggest anyone specifically should go? No. He said things will work themselves out. Really. Go back and read the column. That’s what he said. He said there will be transfers, but that’s simply a mathematical fact. He didn’t say how it would go down. They have 15 players committed to play for 2012. You only get 13. Someone’s gonna have to go or be off scholarship or something. He didn’t say Crean would or should run anybody off. He said he thinks players will find themselves on the short end of the stick in terms of playing time and look for somewhere else to play. That happens. Everywhere. And with this many guards on the roster, it’s logical to believe someone’s going to see writing on the wall and not be satisfied.
    You want an in-depth piece on oversigning? Fine. I can do that. But at the moment, it’s jumping the gun a little because it hasn’t actually occurred yet. They’re overcommitted for next season, but they’re not oversigned. I think they will oversign, and when they do, I’ll do a piece on it.
    For now, Hugh is our columnist, so he can write an opinion column about the issue based on what has happened and what he thinks will happen. That’s his job.

  29. Over signing is the possible rule violation (allowed +1, so if they over sign by 2…?). Over committing would be the unethical behavior if, in fact they (I am assuming TC and Glass both know the numbers) know one or more players will end up without a scholarship, have possibly turned down other schools, lose a chance to a top tier academic education.

    In my eyes, it would be a lesser violation of ethics if we over signed by two accidentally, a technical violation; than knowingly (and as part of a recruiting scheme, over commit by one).

    I perfectly and intimately know the job of a columnist…it is the one area of the paper where personal opinion can be offered without reservation; other than the argument must be honest in nature. Opinions must be based on the facts as they are known; not as manipulated by the columnist to fit his/her argument. It then ceases to be opinion because it loses the basis of truth.

    I also question the relationship with IU athletics. Hos is it they must give you ‘permission’ to ask question (they won’t call back, etc). Reporters insist and ask their questions all the time without need to kiss the coach’s or a.d.’s ring. And, you need to get their permission to talk to their players? Off athletic department property? Doesn’t sound like a very professional relationship to me.

    The experience with Sampson and the arguments about Tressel, Calipari, etc are based on their careful orchestration of honest, ethical behaviors and truth and carefully designing nuances to completely control and conveniently justify desired outcomes. I don’t want our Hoosiers to join that world.

  30. Tsao,
    First, as far as overcommitting, at the moment, we’re still talking about verbal commitments. They’re along way from going over and a lot can happen in that time. If they are oversigned by two players, that’s a violation, but 2012 players can’t sign until at least November.
    The players are told not to give out their phone numbers. I suppose I could find their addresses and sit outside their apartments, but they’re not going to handle it any better than their superiors will.
    This sucks for us, don’t get me wrong, but the point of such policies is to decrease stress on student athletes. They don’t want them getting calls from everybody all the time. I get that. I don’t think it would be nearly as bad as they think and it certainly hurts my stories, but I realize that yes, Maurice Creek’s life would get harder if every IU beat writer had his phone number and could call whenever because we would. So they set up policies, we push and pull to try to make sure it’s as good for us as it can be. We argue with them about lack of access and sometimes we get some victories and some times we take some losses. It’s a negotiation like everything else in life. We’re not kissing anybody’s ring.
    But we’re not having this conversation again. I’m not writing treatise after treatise. Call me if you want to hash this out.

  31. Geez. I know Cinco De Mayo is coming soon, but must we treat Hugh like a pinata?

    However, if Big Z stuffs him full of airplane bottles of Jameson, well, where’s my stick?

  32. Its simple. The NCAA has noted CTC’s obvious weakness as a bench coach and player developer so they have granted him 16 schollies for 2012-13 to even the playing field so IU can have a shot as the #8 team in the tournament. My golly, the guy makes $2.3 million a year and he is now asking people for suggestions to get better! If he sends me just $100,000- I’ll tell him the obvious.

  33. Your sentiments about not wanting to bother the players or intrude in their lives unnecessarily seems noble enough. It would be even more noble if it wasn’t soaked in speculation about their losing their scholarships, having to consider transferring in May, stripped naked in the columns…make my point? Strange contradictions.

    As a fan, I’m not happy about how very poorly IU played either, I’ve had expectations and have been very disappointed as well. But, to be fair, it is not just about the player talent.

    I really think it is important to deal with the players honestly, even bluntly but always, always with respect. Sometimes, what is written about these players seems to me to be disrespectful, even abusive.

    They, indeed, the readers deserve better.

  34. Is there a remote possibility that Watford, aided by a legitimate presence on the inside from Zeller, will have a huge season and be an outside candidate to enter the NBA draft?
    I don’t think Crean is doing anything unethical. As much we all love to honor commitments, there has been plenty of trashing the names of ex-Hoosiers that many fans have claimed dishonored great tradition by leaving for the NBA instead of capturing the unforgettable and unique experience a determined drive for a championship. If we had a team full of McDonald’s All-Americans that could give a crap feelings hurt when the big bucks come calling, nobody would give a hoot about oversigns(unless, heaven forbid, another reason the NCAA makes mountain out of molehill and slaps unfairly the good guy in sports). This is college athletics today. There is no loyalty anymore to school and coach when a top prospect may choose to drive a Mazerati down Sunset Boulevard when he turns 19 years old over humble thanks a university he used like a sleazy one night stand in the sack your gullible daughter that believed he’d stay with her when the guarantees of a lifetime wealth came knocking his famous dorm room door. Until players show they’ve been brought up with the same values we’re building a mountain of sticks to burn Tom Crean’s ass to the ground, maybe we should all take a breath and see the hypocrisy in this over-critiquing a coach trying to rebuild from scratch in a unfair system by design. Zeller may even leave in one year for all we know…And the way I’ve heard bloggers talk on here like Yogi is the next Isiah Thomas, the hoopla over this program’s turnaround saviors could fade very quickly and the bucket of anxious stars wanting to wear Cream and Crimson appear far from our overflowing concerns. Let’s be thankful we have a kid in Remy Abell that helps level the playing field. Talent that stays loyal is rare. And if the curve his growth from three to five star a Scout.com ranking is timed just right for Hoosier fans, he may just need to keep your daughter coming to his room for four very productive years(in a Hoosier uniform, of course). Coaches always have to want the best for the players, but when do players want the best for their coach?

  35. The policies put in place by CTC seem pretty reasonable Every year there are stories about a coach having to deal with untoward player comments to the press that result in taking time away from basketball to put out a media fire. He simply has the foresight to put policies in place to prevent this type of thing.
    Opinion pieces are just that, but Hugh certainly stretches the bounds of journalistic license with his interchangeable use of statements and assumptions.

  36. Tsao,

    I want to get this straight – I am a jerk for asking Derek Elston and Bobby Capobianco after the last game if they planned on returning. But now not doing so means I am an idiot?
    If you mistakenly oversign, you should be fired from your job for gross incompetence. There is no one in the basketball office that is not aware of how many scholarships they have out now and what the numbers are for the future. They also cannot talk about Remy Abell, because he signed a financial aid agreement and not a letter of intent (you cannot sign a NLI twice in one year, and Abell previously signed with Bradley).
    But guess what Tsao – oversigning is part of the game. I would bet even Bob Knight did it a time or two, but no one noticed or cared. Transfers happen, and holding back scholarships because you could be oversigned in two years is setting yourself up for failure.
    Also – where did I say who was going to transfer? Where did I speculate? Where – point it out to me. And Derek and Bobby isn’t it, because that wasn’t speculation – that was asking a question and reporting an answer. Because until then, you’re just a pest.

  37. Hugh, Dustin, we love ya or else we wouldn’t read this site. Most of us anyway. Geez, it’s just a commentary people, relax. Without over-analyzing every word, I thought it was balanced and reasonable. This is a sports blog, not a scientific journal.

    Now I’m bored, post a new article please!

  38. You already have my feelings about asking these players about their transfer plans immediately (first minutes available) after the buzzer went off at the last ballgame.The issue then was timing and the way the issue was introduced.

    But, since you introduced the issue and have done nothing factual to further enlighten us readers, you may be a double-jerk for speculating about their transferring/ being pushed out, without any comment or hint (except celestial revelation)from any of them. You are jeopardizing both their standing with the fans (the comments on this blog are evidence this has already happened) and their standing within the team.

    You do absolutely right in questioning Crean’s approach to recruiting. It is, at best, confusing. If it is our miss perception of his vision, then he should say so and explain it (through the press), allowing for questions and accepting challenges rather than tweeting us devotionals. If he is recruiting sort of the way I rampage through a super market…it needs to be pointed out and, perhaps, public concerns about this addressed.

    Silence and the absence of a critical eye has already bitten us very badly. Allowing Sampson to operate with no oversight from the outside or Greenspan to set rules that were obstacles to transparency, clouded the truth and made accountability impossible to the tune of millions of dollars in wasted resources. The shadiness of this approach led directly to the situation Hoosiers are in.

    The press can not be complicit, nor can it become a participant by not being aggressive in seeking the facts.

    I have read your justification of inaction that the [University] is not commenting. Probably, if there has been ‘over-offering’ TC will not want to….but, that is exactly the point…what is going on??!! The players live within blocks, several have Twitter accounts for which you do have addresses, there are areas of campus which they frequent with regularity and which are public…all the things real newspapermen/women do to get a story. That’s why they call it work.

    The story- as you’ve led us to believe now- appears to be or ‘looks like’ it could be the team’s/coaches’/university leadership’s obligation and its actual behavior towards their players. That, is an important story, deserving of good journalism. And, without the information and verification and confirmation, it is impossible to question or critique.

    I also think that IU’s Athletic Media Office “off-limits instructions to the press can not stand,(hear that Mr. Glass?) given the transparency expected of public institutions and public access protections of information. Your newspaper’s attorney could tell you and IU’s attorneys would have to insure they comply. But you can not accept their self-serving limitations as an absolute.

    Until then, and until you get the correct and true information regarding whether we are going to force scholarship players out the door by withdrawing our financing of their education it ‘appears’ that the ‘spaghetti up against the wall approach’ rules on Fee Lane and a chaotic misuse of scholarship money will lead to very badly needed wasted resources.

    That’s the very important issue for a journalist properly doing his/her work. Until then, there is one other thing good journalists do. They say to themselves…’no story yet…let me keep digging’; get comment (parents, school officials, Big Ten officials, NCAA officials, review publicly accessible information as protected by law, consult education attorneys (there must be law on the contract validity of athletic scholarships). It should be a very good story, as long as it remains credible and as long as an enterprising reporter wants to put the energy into it Hugh.

    I don’t know whether, as you ask, you are a jerk or not. I do not know you, so I can not say. But, I do know that your ‘thought pieces” often sound somewhat contrived, informal, lack substance and research, are poorly sourced and too often for my taste border on sensationalizing, whether intentionally or not. Is it by design or a lack of effort or energy? I don’t know (see it is ok to say it).

    But, the result so far (especially to the players)is a mess that has dramatic impact and consequences…sort of like getting hit by friendly fire in war.

    Hope you reflect on this.

  39. Wow, now recruiting withnin the rules of the NCAA = being killed by friendly fire in war. This blog is too dangerous for me!

  40. I agree, absolutely …it’s become a favorite site. In part because it deals with something I care about; in part because it has some great characters…Chet, Hoosier Clarion, (dare I say)… Dustin, JPat (yesss!)… many others, even Hugh(after the spanking…).

    What else should we think about? Elston or Moammar Qaddafi? Coach Simpson or global warming? the Pentagon or the Assemby Hall administration?

  41. Tsao, you really, really jumped off the deep end with that one. I promise we haven’t sent any of these kids into deep depression by pointing out that 15 is greater than 13.

  42. Tsao, You need to grow up. Guys, keep up the good work you do here. I for one appreciate it. Verbal Commits and Letter of intent are two entirely different things. I am sure the coaching staff knows more than all of us “Second Guessers”. I also am quite sure that Dustin and Hugh are more informed for it is their livelihood to be so. I personally like what I see. Anyone expecting immediate gratification is either out of their mind, don’t know sports, or wants the program to cheat. Remember Sampson!!!! Give me a break!!

  43. 1. Has CTC or, any school he has been associated with, ever gotten into trouble for recruiting irregularities?
    2. Is CTC doing anything different in his recruiting process than he has done in the past?
    Don’t these two questions cover the whole issue?

  44. Dustin, the metaphor on being wacked by ‘friendly fire’ is based on the good intentions of those firing (press, some bloggers) and that the assault on their status was probably unexpected by them. The players mentioned over and over as candidates for ‘transferring’ or counseled by bloggers to change schools are now in a vulnerable position …and not one they put themselves in.

    I certainly appreciate that several bloggers have stated that they too are uncomfortable with IU pushing players out the door who have met their academic obligation, work hard to maximize their contribution, have created a culture of solidarity within the team and do honor representing us with their honest effort and solid academics.

    I truly believe my position (which I have examined carefully) is properly and defends the ethics of competition in a prestigious collegiate program. I stand on that position.

  45. SITE WARNING

    Warning to all fans of Indiana Hoosier basketball, journalists, or other poor souls that just found this website as means of diversion the extreme tediousness their daily lives: The Blog Terrorist Alert Level of Arrogance(BTALA) has been officially raised to Severe Redneck Level(TSG). Please seek immediate shelter at your nearest Bullslingers Bunker(BS) located at every Starbuck’s until further notification.

  46. People keep talking about how we should be back in winning form in a certain amount of time. I’ve been a fan since around 1960. There’s only one time that I’ve heard of a rebuilding to this extent. I’m not sure which school it was, but the entire team died in a plane crash. We lost our couch, Athletic Director, and basically the whole team. If a school’s team is devastated, say by NCAA sanctions, it takes 3 or 4 years to rebuild an existing organization, let alone a team the was gutted like ours was. I, like every other fan want a contending program A.S.A.P., but I want a program that will endure also.

    My fathers tombstone has “No.# I.U. Fan” on it. I would be proud if my old lady carves it in the stump where she dumps my dead stinking carcass.

    Peace on you all and GO I.U.

  47. Remora takes on Clarion, in a battle for the ages. This one should last a while.

    Why don’t you guys meet at Nick’s to settle the score? I think JPat and Tsao have two seats available at their table.

Comments are closed.