Crean performs random act of kindness

This story has made the rounds today and I just found it. This story by David Kaplan at CSN Chicago relays a story about Indiana coach Tom Crean. There was apparently a young man milling about Cook Hall recently who appeared severely upset. Crean took him into his office and spoke to him, got him a job in the athletic department and contacted the young man’s parents, giving them his contact information and promising that he would make sure the young man was OK.


  1. Get rid of him. Obviously he is too soft to coach the team. What is he going to do next … make Cook Hall a homless shelter? There, I beat the naysayers to the punch.

  2. Why was he wasting time with that sad sack when he should have been out recruiting Harris?!?

    Just kidding people. You know, we’re not all head coaches of a big university, but I bet we have lots of opportunities to spread random acts of kindness in our own worlds. Give it a thought, do something when you can…

    (but don’t ever be nice to PU fans)

  3. Mark82 needs to get a grip. That is what this Coach is about and i am proud that he choose to come here. It not only what he has done to get this team back on its feet but what he does as just being human. I have enjoyed Coach Crean he means everything not just Basketball but what he does in the Community of Bloomington. Mark82 you need to look at the picture not only going at Championships but what means to have people help people is reality……

  4. Just to change the subject a bit…

    The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that a tackle at the U. of Florida was suspended by the NCAA for accepting benefits and travel money from a non-profit foundation.

    “‘Florida sophomore defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd must sit out two games and arrange payment of approximately $2,700 to charity before he can compete,’ the NCAA announced late Thursday.

    “The NCAA declared Floyd ineligible for accepting $2,500 cash over several months from a person not associated with the university. He did not play in the season opener vs. FAU and will miss Saturday’s game vs. UAB.

    “It’s a move criticized by Steve Gordon, president of the Student Athlete Mentoring (SAM) Foundation in Delaware, who said it was one of the organization’s board members who provided Floyd with money.

    “According to the NCAA release, Floyd used the money for living expenses, transportation and other expenses. He also received impermissible benefits while he was being recruited, including transportation and lodging related to unofficial visits to several institutions.

    “‘It’s just incredulous,” Gordon said when told of Floyd’s suspension. ‘The kid didn’t take $800 from some Ponzi schemer guy. He didn’t try to negotiate a discounted tattoo. He wasn’t selling autographs. He wasn’t doing anything.

    “‘He was just a kid who came from the mean streets of Philadelphia, had nothing and had people supporting him when he needed help.'”

    “According to its website, the SAM Foundation provides student-athletes with academic support as well as helping with recruitment by organizing trips to camps and combines. Gordon said Floyd had been involved with the program since he was a sophomore in high school.

    “‘The foundation helped Floyd take unofficial visits to schools,’ Gordon said.

    “The NCAA reduced Floyd’s suspensions from four games to two based on mitigating circumstances, namely the ‘personal hardship that led to the impermissible benefits being provided to the student-athlete by someone other than a legal guardian or family member.’…”

  5. A guy who did a lot for me in high school (Gary) has a little boy now. In one of the infinite examples of life being completely unfair and at times downright miserable, the little boy (Jamison) developed a form of leukemia at the age of two. He’s now six, and has been incredibly sick for two-thirds of his young life. Chemotherapy shouldn’t be a part of anybody’s life, and it damn sure shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence as a six year old kid.

    I took a coaching class last fall semester taught by Coach Grossman and the other assistants. It was awesome, and everybody involved in it was just great. Spent a lot of time after class talking to people, especially Coach Buckley.

    Back to Jamison, a benefit was held to help raise funds for his medical bills. It should be a crime to charge somebody for getting cancer, but that’s another subject. Part of the benefit was an auction. I asked Coach Grossman if it would be possible to have Coach Crean autograph a poster or something to auction off. I wasn’t sure how to go about those things, so I just asked. Coach Grossman said that they absolutely would be able to give something, and even found some tickets to give to Gary to either auction off or keep for his family. The thing that was awesome, however, was his interest in the situation. He asked how long he’d been sick, how his treatment was going, how his family was holding up, etc. And he was genuinely concerned. Things like that are life affirming to me, knowing that people actually probably aren’t all selfish and hateful, as I tend to think.

    Eventually, I met the assistant in the office of the basketball team that organized everything. In the end, Coach Crean ended up signing a very nice basketball and donating it to the auction. It was more than I had hoped for, and I was thrilled that something like that was able to be donated. I thanked the assistant (Beth) and Coach Grossman to the point that they were probably sick of hearing my voice.

    Fast forward a few days after the benefit. I was walking out of class at Assembly Hall when I saw Coach Crean walking outside of the new and incredibly nice Cook Hall. I wasn’t going to approach him. He gets enough of that, and probably savors every minute he gets by himself. I know I would. He also looked like he was in a hurry, walking quickly with his keys and cell phone in his hand . An older couple, however, did approach him. I figured if they were already bothering him, I might as well take this opportunity to thank him. After the couple left, I walked up to him. He immediately shook my hand and introduced himself. In hindsight, that cracks me up.

    He asked me how I was doing and all of that, and then I explained how he had signed a ball, and the benefit went really well (over $5,000 raised), and how grateful we all were for doing it. Just like Coach Grossman, he spent several minutes asking me about the details, with genuine concern. Then, he stopped mid-sentence, and told me to follow him into Cook Hall. We went into his office where he preceded to sign a poster, even taking the time to write a message along with it. He even offered to mail it to them, so that they would get it sooner. I had to call my mom to get the address. I never thought I’d start a phone call with, “I’m standing here with Coach Crean and…” I thanked him one last time, and he was off. The guy seems to have a perpetual motor, fueled with almost certainly unhealthy levels of caffeine.

    Coach Crean and his staff deserve a ton of praise, and it doesn’t have anything to do with recruiting or his fast break offense. They’ve done a fantastic job getting and keeping the fan base together, and things like donating autographs to a cancer benefit certainly help with that. A cynical person would say that it’s only to keep fans happy and to get good press. After all, a significant portion of his job security depends on those things.

    It’s not for his job security, though. Every guy can tell if another guy is a jerk or a decent guy within a very short amount of time. Coach Crean and Coach Grossman passed the test with flying colors. They both were genuinely concerned. To me, that means more than all the signed basketball, jerseys, and posters in the world. There are painfully few instances when the world seems like a good, or even decent place. Coach Crean and his staff provided a few of those to me, as well as to Gary and Jamison.

  6. Sorry for that long post. I posted that to my facebook page last year when it happened, but felt this was a good place to share it and give Coach and his staff the recognition they deserve. Coach Crean and his staff really are all incredible people.

  7. Notice the only semi-negative comments were generated by users who were jokingly attempting to pre-emt negative sentiment.

    Instead of attempting to get ahead of the negative commenters, why don’t we try to ignore those types of posts instead? I don’t see anyone skewing this as anything other than a great little story.

    This blog would benefit from simply ignoring anyone who may or may not feel the need to spew negativity. Bringing it up before it arises really isn’t any better…

  8. So, Casey does your comment not fall into the same category of semi-negative ? I normally agree with your comments and I respect your opinions. Not that I don’t still respect your opinions but have to go hmmm a little bit on this one. I normally do, just ignore the negative commenters on here. The mere fact that it is such a great little story made me, for better or worse, pi$$ed off to think that someone would probably come along and try to crap on it so I left just a couple of lines kinda saying what I thought about that. Up to this point no one seems to have done that and I’m glad, but I think you will agree that that is not normally the case. If none of those type of comments get posted I’m OK with it making it look like I jumped the gun a little bit on this one. Isn’t expressing one’s thoughts and opinions not one of the reasons that blogs such as this one exist ? I started to tell how I can really relate to this story but since many who read this blog also read the blog that I did leave that on I figured no one wanted to read it again as it was not short and a little mushy in a couple of spots. I don’t know Chet but from his comments, that I have read, he is normally a very positive poster. This time around I guess you and I will just have to agree to disagree. I guess this could also be considered a semi-negative post so I’ll stop now.

  9. Joey, Thanks for posting that story. Judging from Coach’s reaction to the phone call in the original story I’m betting there are countless similar stories we will never hear about. I’m also betting that the reputation he is earning is going to result in a lot of happy afternoons and evening for IU fans at Assembly Hall.

  10. …and people bitch about Coach Crean’s tweets about religious faith…Joey’s experience reflects the top notch character our BB Coach possesses…my own opinion when considering the Coach’s actions in both stories, is why would I expect anything less of him???

  11. I met Coach Crean at last years Towson game. We were out tailgateing by Cook Hall, and he just walked right up to us, reached out and shook our hands. The fact that he introduced himself to us amused me as well Joey. We didn’t even have to ask for autographs, he just pulled a Sharpie out of his back pocket and said “I’ve got recruits to meet with fellas, so I’m kind of in a hurry. What do you have for me to sign?” I had gotten an autograph from Bill Mallory earlier that day on my hat(who was just as nice and gracious as Crean) and I was more than happy to have Crean sign his name right next to Mallory’s. He walked with us all the way to the stadium, talking baseball of all things(he’s a Cardinals fan by the way, which is the only thing I could find wrong with him lol) and we were having to almost jog to keep up with him. The guy has a high motor to say the least. But after that 5 minute interaction, Coach Crean had made fans for life out of all 5 of us. Needless to say, meeting both Crean and Mallory made that a day I’ll never forget.

  12. I’ve loved the hiring of Coach Crean from the beginning. I had no idea who we would get to replace You-know-who but I couldn’t be any happier than the man we got. I’ve met him a few times and he’s been nothing short of extremely nice and giving. Love hearing stories like this that happen anywhere, not just IU, but it makes it even more special that other people notice our coaches in the positive light.

    Go Hoosiers!

  13. I’m not a big religion guy (I don’t care for bureaucracy between me and God) but I don’t generally have any problem with someone else’s unless he’s got a megaphone shouting in my face.

  14. IUMIKE,

    See your point, but the reason I posted that is exactly because neither you nor Chet are negative posters in general. I guess I was just proposing keeping that up and not even worrying about the prospect of negative comments. The people who find enjoyment by spitting on every post will eventually stop doing it if they realize their comments are simply getting glossed over.

    Wasn’t taking a dig at ya, though.

  15. Casey, you are spot on and, in general, I tend to ignore those posts as well. There are some really sad folks out there that have some sort of compulsive need to be the rain when everyone is enjoying the parade.

  16. Casey, no problem. The vast majority of us on here all want the same things for the same reasons. Hope my reply didn’t come off as a dig at you cause it also wasn’t meant to be one.

    Chet, some people are the rain that you speak of and then there are the ones that aren’t just rain but acid rain, with most pUKe and PU fans falling in the latter of the two and that IS meant as a dig. LOL

  17. Once a random act of kindness is made into public spectacle it cheapens it. We brought him here to be an effective coach. Did somebody ask for Mother Teresa? If he’s a truly compassionate man he would have never publicly put many the Sampson kids’ names through the mud. Where was Crean’s ability to stay away from the “negativity” in the same manner as many of you accuse posters’ inability to take the high road? He could have said “move on in peace” and not found the mistakes of a few young men a reason for a “19 Fs!” crucifixion party. Throw the kid that lived in a car and has rarely known a night in a safe and loving home to wolves and take into your heart the spoiled cushy brat that misses mommy and daddy. I’m touched. I’m touched for almost 19 SECONDS! Now I want the hypocrite to go away with his busload of plastic heart followers.

  18. What in the blue hell are you talking about, ferngourds? Nobody with the staff ever named names, and all the Sampson holdovers had their chances here, while Sampson was coaching and/or afterwards. They blew it themselves. I’m glad some of them moved on and found success, and I wish all of them good luck in the future, but they had their chance(s) here and blew it. Coach Sampson let them down, and they let themselves down. It’s sad and tragic, and I genuinely liked most of those kids, but it’s the truth. Hopefully they all learned from it and have been able to move on and build or at least work towards a successful and happy life. Even if Coach Crean came right out and named all of the people who received all of those F’s, there’s a real easy way to avoid that: Don’t get any F’s! Go to class!

    And your comment about the “spoiled cushy brat that misses mommy and daddy” just makes you out to be a gigantic dick. You don’t know that kid. You know nothing of his situation, yet you have to crap all over him, because that’s what @ssholes do. Jesus Christ…. What a miserable world you must live in.

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