Crean still working out scholarship issue

STARLIGHT — At the end of April, Indiana coach Tom Crean was asked about the scholarship issues facing his roster. The Hoosiers had 14 players scheduled to be on scholarship for the 2012-13 season, which is an issue because the NCAA limit for men’s basketball scholarship players is 13.

“Those things work themselves out,” Crean said then. “They always have.”

Now it’s early June, and those things still haven’t.

All nine returning players are back in Bloomington for the summer. Two of the Hoosiers’ five incoming freshmen — center Peter Jurkin and forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea — are on campus as well. The other three — guards Yogi Ferrell and Ron Patterson and swingman Jeremy Hollowell — are playing with the Indiana All-Stars this week but arriving on campus next week.

So barring some unforeseen snafu, there will be 14 players at Cook Hall next week all presuming that they will be playing basketball for Indiana on scholarship next season.

At least one of them will be wrong.

Crean admitted on Wednesday at an IU Tailgate Tour event at Huber Farms Winery that he still doesn’t know who that might be.

“We have a lot of things that we have to look over and we have to pay attention to,” Crean said. “It’s not an easy process. We’re still certainly dealing with it.”

A big part of the reason Crean is in this position, he said, is he prepared for a number of personnel losses that didn’t happen. For one thing, he recruited this incoming class under the assumption that he might not still have Christian Watford for the 2012-13 season.

“You go into the season last year and we completely felt like Christian Watford, that that would very likely be his last year,” Crean said. “It could’ve been if he decided to go to the draft. But he wants to do more than go to the draft. He wants to be a first-round pick which is what he should be, and a guy that has an opportunity to move forward. You have to balance that a little bit when those decisions were made.”

Crean has become more of a fan of the oversign because unforeseen personnel losses cost him a few times at Marquette. There’s always the chance that a player could become disenchanted or a recruit could fail to qualify, and Crean would rather have too many players than not enough.

But with this group, none of that has come to pass. All nine returnees are back and it doesn’t appear that any of the freshmen will have a problem enrolling. Perea and Jurkin are already in. Ferrell is a renowned student and Patterson and Hollowell both said this week they believe they will qualify.

And Crean still can’t make a decisive action, because he’s still monitoring the possible return of Maurice Creek.

“It’s part of the equation,” Crean said.

From December of 2009 to November of 2011, Creek suffered two fractured knees and a torn Achilles tendon, missing half of his first two seasons at Indiana and all of his third, taking a redshirt.

Crean has sounded slightly less optimistic about Creek’s return in recent months, though he’s always held that he’s operating under the assumption that Creek will come back.

“It’s slow, but it’s not behind,” Crean said of Creek’s rehab. “Put it that way. You just continue to see that it’s a long, tedious process, for him most importantly because he’s had to go through all of this. He’s got gains to make strength wise. His rehabilitation is certainly on schedule.”

Crean said Creek has been finally doing some live, competitive work in half-court situations, but also said he needs to step up his work ethic.

“He’s gotta be a real participant in his own rescue here right now,” Crean said. “When it comes to strengthening his body. It’s not just about playing. If it was just about playing and shooting jump shots, that’d be another story, but he’s gotta get stronger. He’s got to do everything and then some to make sure where his body is where it needs to be. His body has been through tremendous trauma.”

Until Crean finds out if Creek’s body will be where it needs to be, it’s difficult for Crean to know what direction to take to solve the scholarship crunch. It makes little sense to make any move to open a scholarship only to end up one below the limit. It also makes little sense not to hold out for Creek, who was the leading freshman scorer in the nation before his injury.

So that leaves Crean to continue waiting to see if this could work itself out.

“There’s a lot of different factors that go into those things,” Crean said. “Roster management is here to stay, that’s just the way that it is. … There’s a lot of uncertainty and you just have to deal with it and you always have to have a plan. Then you have to be able to work that plan, fix the plan, tweak the plan, do whatever you need to do inside of it. At the same time,  the bottom line is, you’re trying to make everybody better every day.”

 

 

90 comments

  1. So Matt Roth gets the boot and nobody even mentions him–sad. Here’s a tip to CTC–don’t overrecruit then Creek can come back slowly. You don’t need 13 all stars so don’t become another Pitino.

  2. Here is another tip to Coach Crean, do it your way, it is your program to run as you deem best.

  3. I agree with real iu fan. Get a bunch of mediocre players that will give purdump a chance to win.

  4. Van Treese done at L’ville and transferring. Petino told him there are no available minutes there in his future.

  5. From his comments I take it to mean Mo Creek may be the odd many out. As much as I want Mo to get back to what he was before the injury it seems unlikely, at this point. Is it fair to the other guys that have worked just as hard and are physically ready to play to see their spot go to Mo so he might be able to return to form? More importantly, it sounds like Mo may not be doing all he can to get back to where he needs to be. I do not want to believe that but that’s how it reads. Coach Crean has to do what is right for the team and no matter what he will be seen as the bad guy. That’s part of the job.

  6. No team will EVER win a championship because of the 13th, the 12th, or even the 11th spot on the roster.

    Maybe Crean prefers to have too many players. That preference is going to mean a broken promise to a kid. Either a freshman who has dreamed of the day he gets to go to college (remember when that was you and what it felt like?) Or a kid who is on the roster and put up with all that it took to bring the program back. Or Creek, who was injured playing for the program. And Roth, without question.

    Somebody has to actually MOVE. Change college. Or their family suddenly has to budget $20+k in tuition, if they want to stay.

    And if Crean had had his way, we’d have Gary Harris in the fold and be looking to do this to TWO kids.

    I like Crean very much. I’m very glad he’s our coach. But this oversign thing has got to stop. It is absolutely unethical. It is also unnecessary, from a competitive standpoint.

    He’s fond of saying “It’s Indiana.” Well, oversigning is NOT Indiana. Indiana is about doing things the right way and the consequences of oversigning are far, far from right.

  7. Lets say this years in coming are as good as most of last years team. Well who didn’t see hardly any playing time last year? A. E. I am sure he is great kid, but the conversation of not much playing time needs to be had. Let him be a preferred walk-on, still on the team. Matt Roth if he wants to stick around preferred walk-on, he can’t afford to take a couple classes each semester?

  8. For what it’s worth, it recently popped up that Matt Roth got engaged. He has completed two degrees. Maybe he’s ready to move on with his life and not go through the fifth year of the grind of college basketball (or college, for that matter). Just a thought.

  9. guest, oversigns have been a part of college basketball for a long time. Heck, even Bobby did it. Even wonder why there was a kid suddenly going to prep school for a year or why all of a sudden someone was transferring that was sitting at the end of the bench during Bobby’s tenure? More than likely that kid was told that there probably weren’t minuets for him next year and probably best that he look to go elsewhere.

    Also, remember that a college scholarship is not guaranteed for four years. It is a year to year contract that doesn’t have to be renewed every year. That is stated in the scholarship offer and in the letter of intent, so these kids know that going in.

  10. No one (Coach Crean)is saying anything definite about the scholarship situation. The fact is the 9 returning players are all in good standing. There are lots of possible scenarios, but time is running out for one player to make “other” arrangements. And then there is Matt Roth, will he walk-on at IU or not? Let’s hope no one is hurt when this is resolved. Mr. Glass, this means that you need to be on top of this situation!

  11. Matt Roth is a bright kid. As a general rule, bright kids don’t get married when they have no visible means of support. Count on Matt using those degrees he’s earned and moving on.

    Don’t you think that was his plan from the get go? It’s not easy to earn two degrees in that short of a span while competing in any sport at the D1 level. My kids impressed the heck out of me with the schedule they had to maintain just to get one degree while competing. These guys picking up masters degrees in 4 years (if it’s a legit degree) are putting forth near superhuman effort.

    Matt’s gonna be a big success and he’s got other plans. Count on it.

  12. I believe that beginning with IU’s current freshmen-schollies are now 4 years vice 1 year. Matt Roth is a B1G medal of honor winner and deserves another year of bball with a schollie if he wants one. Matt Roth is a perfect guy to have as a 11 or 12 player. Also Creek should be given time after all his trauma.Due to oversigning.CTC created the problem not the players.

  13. I like MR a lot. Reality is if he were a Senior HS baller today he could only be a walk-on at IU. He has done his job and had his time and I agree with Chet he has plans for his future. As far as the over-sign issue is concerned circumstances could easily leave a team with only 11 or 12 scholarship players. Teenagers change their minds. The benefit is not that the 11th, 12th or 13th man can come in and win you a game but that good competition is needed every practice for the team to improve with or without injuries. Full rosters with talented scholarship players is needed in D1 ball. Every recruit knows the programs situation going in.

  14. I see clearly now—-RMK gave his son a 4 year scholly with a redshirt year due to how competitive he was–B.S. Even Calipari doesn’t overrecruit, but Pitino does–but Pitino doesn’t quote the Bible all the time either.

  15. Why would anyone feel that Roth is getting the short end of the stick? He’s a fine young man that has had his time. He’s achieved two degrees. He can be proud of his contribution to IU basketball. Roth is not going to be a significant contributor to IU basketball, either in the immediate future or the the longer term. He is not going to be one of the top four guards on the team next year. It’s time for him to move on, regardless of how much he enjoys playing college basketball.

    If he’s as smart as I think he is, Mr. Roth will want to begin his professional life and begin generating an income. I suspect he will be a very successful man in whatever he chooses to pursue. Crean owes him nothing more, beyond supporting him in his transition into the real world.

  16. I don’t know…Roth made a lot of big shots last year. With Yogi bringing more speed in the backcourt, what a great double dose of daggers we’d have in Roth and Hulls.

    I’m not saying he’s Derek Fisher, but the kid has unbelievable range and no fear under pressure while launching the long bombs. I remember more than one nationally televised game when an announcer claimed 30 feet from the basket was equivalent to a layup for Roth.

    With a big injection of inside presence/athleticism coming in, it’s not such a bad idea to have the perimeter just as exploitable…Sounds like a recipe for winning. Your opponent has very few options to defend you can can cover all the spots on the floor with weapons…plus the addition of a firecracker point guard that can cut through the seams? How do the stop us? Where on the floor do they stop us?

    At the end of the day, if I had to pick between keeping a 5th-yr. Roth or risk losing Remy Abell to the “scholarship crunch,” I’d still rather secure Abell a spot on the team. I love the Remy’s swagger, guts(remember the shot @ Purdue?), bigger body, and energy on the defensive end.

    I don’t think we get to the Sweet 16 last year without Remy. Hulls got pretty damn rattled against VCU. Great card Crean played last summer picking up Remy at the last minute.

    What a horrible position we are in compared to 4 years ago. Now the pot of talent is too big. I guess life’s a bitch and then you’re cut…Won’t stop me from taking a now-ant-then peek at Bobby Capobianco playing for the Valpo Crusaders. I even heard a rumor that Roth may go play for Majerus at St. Louis…Wouldn’t be such a horrible place to land.

  17. Dtfree,

    Scholly players cannot just drop and walk on. They have to be cut outright and go somewhere else. NCAA rule, and it makes sense, imagine how that would be abused if that were not the rule. Now A.E. could drop and become a manager, and still be on the practice squad, but he could never again dress or play.

  18. Sorry for all the ugly typos…too much dark roast Folgers got me in a Colombian funk.

    Still 4 months ’til hoops. Wonder if Tsao and Geoff will have formed teams by then?

  19. CTC is a phony–he lied about recruiting Harris and laid it off on an assistant, he constantly quotes the Bible but let his pride ruin the IU/UK rivalry, he ran off Bobby C., Matt Roth, and one more player TBD. That’s phony.Tell it like a man–you are overrecruiting and casting aside dedicated players.That’s a fact.

  20. Painter ran off Molock. over recruited. Donnie Hale had to go to prep school. Over recruited.

  21. Dustin, this one is for you and a serious point of information. Has anything been decided/acted upon on Roth’s situation with the Hoosier’s? I know he has finished a Masters, but does he continue to have eligibility left? Has Roth himself decided what he wants to do? Will he be given that opportunity?

    I was not aware of any activity beyond the statement that came out of the basketball office that the number of offers to still eligible ball players and the number of scholarships did not balance.

  22. Correct me if I’m wrong, Dustin, but I’m nearly 100% sure Roth can play one more year anywhere he so chooses.

    Didn’t Izzo pick up a very talented guard from Valparaiso that had already graduated? Brandon Wood…? Was that his name?

  23. I just don’t see the logic of Roth choosing to play another year of BB at IU or anywhere else. No matter how much he loves the game or running on to the court with the candy-stripe warm-ups! He’s not going to be a professional BB player. Unless he wants to be a coach, and spend another year soaking up information from Crean and staff, you’d think Mr. Roth would want to take advantage of his two degrees and begin earning a living. He’s a grown man, he’s a very bright man, he’s a married man. Time for Mr. Roth to move on.

    Roth is a great outside shooter, but he is a liability on defense, especially against quick or tall point guards. His experience will not make up for his physical limitations on defense.

    Finally, I don’t think you recruit two of the top guards in the country so they can share time with a fifth-year senior that is NOT going to be a future contributor to the team. If Roth does not leave voluntarily, the right thing for Crean to do is to cut him. That may sound harsh, but it’s the right thing to do for IU basketball and the younger players on the team.

  24. We have a chance to hang the sixth banner next year. You wouldn’t want to be a part of that once in a lifetime experience(especially the rode Roth has traveled with this team from ashes to prominence)?

    And you call yourself a fan of college basketball? It’s Biblical. It’s Hoosiers…It’s Madness! It’s Milan! It’s perseverance…It’s reward..It’s honoring your fellow soldier that went to battle with you when you were outnumbered and slaughtered and kept coming back for more…Now a chance to claim victory on that battlefield? It’s the stuff dreams are made of.

  25. Dustin, Podunker, Harvard- First, I’m just trying to establish the facts. I believe, factually, I had read (here)that Harvard is factually correct. Matt Roth has another year of eligibility if he wants it (though I’m not sure if he has to apply for it to the NCAA). If he does have another year, and since he has graduated, he can play at whatever institution he would want to represent…(that would be up to Matt Roth).

    In the same way that I would never want our program to resemble the pathetically corrupt program that is UK with their ‘we receive fill compost’ recruiting; I would always want Indiana University to be a model of integrity while representing the true nature of competitive sports, even at the cost of seeming naive or innocence.

    The temptation is to field the best XX players as we seek a memorable 2012-2013. Some, including some for whom I could not have more respect, feel that the decision on Matt Roth should be predicated on very practical issues such as his utility to the 2012-2013 effort.

    I can not ignore the nature of the post-Sampson years. How deep we had sunk, how much self-esteem we had lost. How hard it was to regain respectability, even within the state. ‘It’s Indiana!’ had become ‘it’s indiana…”.

    I have to agree with Harvard (not disrespecting you Podunker, just really standing on the side of regaining that feeling of It’s Indiana!…even if it makes our quest more challenging (to be sure, I had a lot of respect for Roth’s contribution).

    And, there is an even more important point for me. We need to stay out of this situation. Dustin has been writing about the dilemmas created by ‘over-offering’ for nearly two years. Tom Crean- who I respect- has to consider this a part of the values he defends so strongly and just simply do the right thing. Whet ever the outcome, Matt Roth has earned that we honor his effort with our actions. (In fact, were him to come back and because he has lived the entire process in such a dignified, selfless manner, he would be the absolute perfect captain).

  26. Some obvious errors I did not edit:

    Par 1- factually used twice in the same graph.
    Par 2- innocent for innocence
    Par 4- (Not disrespecting you, Podunker (close parenthesis)
    Par 6- Whet ever the outcome/ what ever the outcome
    (In fact, were him…)/ (In fact were he…)

  27. Tsao-

    I feel bad for Roth not being part of a chance to hang the sixth banner(especially if it’s what he truly wants though not making the public declaration so as to not put his coach in a predicament), but I think his chances being on the team next year are somewhere between hell freezing over and Laffy voting for Romney. If he wants to continue playing college ball, you might see him in a Billikens uniform.

    I would love to see him back…Never hurts to have another outside shooting threat. What if Jordy catches the flu?

  28. Roth does indeed have an additional year of eligibility and as a graduate, he can use it elsewhere if he so desires. I’m not sure if he wants to do that or not. He does have to apply to the NCAA for a medical redshirt for his sophomore year, but since he only played two games, that’s pretty much a slam dunk. The limit is, I believe, 20 percent of a team’s games and that is far short. Sometimes the NCAA is more reluctant to award a sixth year, but if a player participates in less than 20 percent of his team’s games because of injury, that’s usually a lock.

  29. O.K., so you’re Tom Crean. You choose to bring Roth back for his fifth year of eligibility. Which player gets cut? Come on, name names here. Who do you throw under the buss?

    Do you cut a player that is more talented than Roth? Do you cut a player that has more potential than Roth? Do you delay the development of a high potential freshman or sophomore player so Roth can sit on the bench (most of the time) and be a reserve for a championship team? You see, in this case, if Roth wants to play at IU for another year, someone else is going to be disappointed. Therefore, in a “tough-decision” case like this, you have to default to what is in the team’s best interest! It is my opinion, given the talent on this team, it would be in IU basketball’s best interest to play one of the younger, arguably more talented players over Roth.

    I don’t argue that Roth has the right to attempt to play another year, I question whether it is best for the team for Roth to remain on the roster.

    It’s not like IU is cutting Roth short. He was on the squad for four years. He made a significant contribution, both on the court and off (team GPA). He got his degree, then he got another degree. And let’s not overlook that point. College basketball is supposed to be for student-athletes. What’s Roth going to study for a year? Of course he can take a few classes, but how valuable would those course be after you’ve already earned two degrees. That would seem to me just to be going through the motions to satisfy some NCAA technicality.

    If Roth was a junior, I’d agree with everything you guys are saying. If Roth had not finished his degree, I would concur with your points. He’s already graduated! He got married. He’s a grown man. It’s time for him to move on.

    Think it through guys. Because what you’re saying is that you’re willing to disrupt the athletic career and education of a younger player so that Roth, who has already played and already has two degrees, can come back for a fifth year and be a minimal part of a team that has the chance to win a championship. Really?

    Of course it could become a very tough call, but Roth is the least vulnerable player in the equation. I’m as loyal and sentimental as the next guy, but Roth wanting another year on the team at the expense of a younger, more talented player would seem selfish to me. Frankly, I don’t think he’ll be selfish. My guess is that Crean will not have to cut Roth because Roth will choose to move on with the next phase of his life.

    Then again, we could all be way off. There could be some other player that intends to leave IU after the first summer school session.

  30. If I understand Dustin’s above post correctly, Roth has been in Bloomington five years. That fortifies my argument and solidifies my opinion. A sixth year!? Come on, it’s time for Roth to move on.

  31. If CTC didn’t deliberately overrecruit to begin with, people would not be trying to justify booting Roth and whomever,maybe Creek,maybe not. Its not rocket science, just don’t do it.

  32. Podunker, this would be Roth’s fifth year. (Also, technically, he just got engaged, not married.)
    I’d say this, you will probably find a plurality of people who agree with you that Indiana does not necessarily owe Roth a fifth year and that Crean is better of letting Roth go than trying to cut two players. I think you will find fewer, however, who would not feel empathy for Roth wanting to play a fifth year. There is, I think an implication in your argument that it would be immature of Roth, not necessarily to demand a fifth year, but simply to desire one.

  33. I have no doubt Coach Crean has had the conversation with MR telling him there are damn few minutes for him during a 5th year.

  34. Yet, he tried so hard to get Harris that he conviently overlooked a date every Div. 1 coach knew by heart. If Harris had committed we could be talking about Roth being useless,Creek being a burden, and Elston being inconsistent. Its on CTC’s shoulders pure and simple.It stinks.

  35. Once more with feeling, for ‘a real iu fan’ you sure do hate everything about iu.

    Give it up Boil Boy.

  36. Podunker….etal- I leave it to Roth’s decision, without trying to weight on it either way. Just as you say, he had four/five years here- three on miserable, less than miserable teams. When Sampson got in trouble- because we, IU screwed up and hired him knowing he was bringing the world of John Calipari from Oklahoma with him, the one person who acted with loyalty and integrity towards IU, was Matt Roth who, soon after the scandal broke, announced he was honoring his commitment.

    What would I do (now, after it is evident we already screwed up)? Depends on Roth’s decision first. If he chooses to move on (of his own, free and informed will), he’s got my admiration and my gratitude. If he chooses to stay, I consider the returning and new players at his position. Among the pool of perimeter players, Roth gets priority as does Maurice Creek (he also has paid his spot with blood and pain and deserves his spot- if healthy). From that pool of perimeter players, I choose the one least likely to contribute (candidates Etherington, Hartmann, Yogi etc… and either red shirt hi- I do not know if red shirting reduces the number of ‘active’ playing scholarship players,- (from somewhere, perhaps Dustin touched on it before) I think it doesn’t make any difference and/ or arrange for that individual (if he is an entering freshman) to a prep school for a year. It is the only way we get into a win, win proposition (not like Harvard’s missing prepositions).

    BTW, what happened to the idea of having Hulls play without a scholarship? Are any other player’s economic circumstances such that self financing the year is a possibility and would make a difference? Can you, in fact, play without a scholarship and not counting towards the total count limit?

    Whatever we do; the idea that some here are ‘justifying’ the idea of over-offering scholarship next year repeating this experience would be absolutely insane. We had already faced that possibility last year (I recall similar stories and dialogues to and from Dustin).

    I do not understand how Coach Tom Crean allowed himself to get caught in the same situation. I do not follow his Tweets, but I expect they reflect his values and that these have a foundation in his beliefs. Behavior and practices reflect and say a lot about the depth of ones fundamentals values. I find we are in an uncomfortable and very troubling episode. I hope Coach Crean can resolve it, causing no harm.

  37. How do you feel Dustin? Is there a place for loyalty TO the players? I think loyalty is a big part of what Indiana is about. Tell you what would be a great story…call about 10-12 former players (perhaps, you may not even have to confine it to basketball) and ask them for their view of the dilemma. What do they think is the best way to handle it within the range of options now available?

  38. Beat Purdue, your #10 is very good. That is exactly where it belongs since how it unfolds could impact recruiting and the program’s reputation and integrity for many years. Thanks for suggesting A.D. Glass get involved.

  39. Tsao,
    I’m waiting to see how he gets himself out of this. There’s definitely a place for loyalty to the players. There’s a place for a lot of things. Basically, Crean got burned once in Marquette when he lost a lot of players at once and there were rules in place at the time that no longer are that made it more difficult for him to rebuild. From that point forward, he basically decided to be overprepared instead of underprepared, presuming that there would always be some circumstance that would lead to some kind of player defection and he’d be better off having too many players than too few. (He told us this once)
    Anyway, I’m a little leery of getting opinions from all over while none of us have all of the facts. I figure for the moment my job with this is to shine a spotlight on the issue so this plays out as publicly as is possible and fair, but I’m not necessarily looking to air the opinions of people who, regardless of their credentials, would still simply be playing armchair quarterback like the rest of us. Maybe at the end of the day, Creek can’t play and it’s no-harm no foul. But if Crean cuts somebody in July or August, there are a lot of stories we’d have to look into.

  40. Thanks for the answer Dustin. No doubt Crean did a great job coaching IU lst year and convinced many who needed convincing. Nevertheless, the corner we’re in with regards to Roth and Creek and the +1 is one that can not be taken as just ‘part of the game’.

    I remember the comments by Creek’s mother in a story when he went down. I hope neither family ever has a reason to regret their decision to throw their lot in with the Hoosiers.

  41. Save the sermon how “IU is about loyalty.”

    Davis was treated as SCUM by a large portion of fans, all Knight worshippers, for the simple fact he took the job instead of letting the program implode like their God wanted.

    Fans showed Bobby a TON of loyalty and he STILL pisses all over IU because he didn’t like how he was treated by his bosses.

    Talk about irony.

  42. Its not about loyalty–its about manning up and telling recruits that your modus operandi is to recruit over them.We are over already in 2013-2014 not counting Creek.We have offers all over the place in 2014 even though we already have 2 commits.This will not be a one year problem.

  43. One of the incoming player’s high school coach, Holloway IIRC, said it was the coach’s JOB to “recruit over them.”

    Duke brings in top classes all the time.

    Are you giving Coach K crap too?

  44. Let’s remember folks that receiving an athletic scholarship is not the same thing as being promised or guaranteed that you will a) get playing time, or b) remain a part of the team for four or five years. Being recruited and offered a scholarship, to me at least, means that you’re being provided an opportunity to play. Nothing more, nothing less. Any coach worth his salt must convey to recruits that it’s a “what have you done for us lately” world in college sports. I’m sure that all good coaches convey to their new recruits that they need to keep pace with the competition, work their asses off, improve their skills, get decent grades, stay out of trouble, and etc. If the players fail to do those things, the players know they are at risk of losing their scholarship. Seems pretty straight forward to me. It’s not the least bit unethical or immoral. It’s a contract. You do these things, and you get these benefits and continued opportunity. You stop doing those things, you forfeit the benefits and the opportunity. If we find someone that can do what you were brought in to do better than you can do it, he’s going to play and you’re not. Successful people, whether it be in business or athletics, understand this. People earning a living in academia may not, since “tenure” tends to shield them from real world consequences.

    I believe the vast majority of college scholarship athletes understand and appreciate the fact that their coaching staff is trying to bring in the best talent possible with every recruiting class, to upgrade the team, to sign players that may be more talented than they are. I think most college scholarship athletes understand that they have to improve, or risk getting passed by and sitting on the bench or losing their scholarship. That’s the way of big time college sports and the real world. Is it “athletic darwinism?” It absolutely is! It’s survival of the fittest, the most talented and the most likely to help the team, wins. And that’s how top teams continue to remain top teams.

    Look at Florida football under Urban Meyer. From year to year, they’d go through High School All-Americans like they were changing their shirts. Bring in a five star High School player, he plays, he gets hurt, or they find a better player in the next class, and boom, the next thing you know, the player is “transferring” to another school or riding the pine. Urban Meyer is considered a great college football coach.

    So, in my opinion, Crean’s moral and ethical obligation to Roth, and all the other players on his team, is to be honest with them, convey his expectations of them, give them an opportunity, and provide them honest feedback. And most importantly, make every effort for that player’s team to achieve success (win). If, in Crean’s opinion, a player is no longer capable of helping the team win, Crean’s obligation is to replace that player with someone he believes can perform better.

    D-I college basketball is not little league. Not everyone gets a trophy for participation. It’s a tough business and it requires tough people, both physically, mentally and emotionally. From time to time, it requires the coach and players to make tough decisions.

    Matt Roth has been exemplary. I salute his contribution to IU. He got his opportunity and it appears to me that he make the most of the opportunity. If, in Crean’s mind, he is a player that can contribute to the success of IU basketball, then he will be given the opportunity to play another year. If Crean does not believe that keeping Roth on the roster is in the best interest of the team, than Roth should be cut.

    I once had a boss that gave me a performance review. It went like this: ” (My name), you know I think you’re doing a good job, because you still have one. Now get out of here because I have work to do.” That was it, from beginning to end, it lasted about 10 seconds, but said everything that needed to be said.

    Who ever said life was fair?

  45. Podunker— It is not whether Roth is capable of helping the team win–he is and has proved it. Its about overrecruiting . If a coach asks for 110% from his players on the floor and off–no one is more desrving than Roth. If Creek needs another year to be 100%-he deserves. Utimately, overrecruiting will backfire for CTC.

  46. Podunker, I have appreciated your thoughts and comments since I first started reading them. I consider you one of the best contributors on this blog and a passionate and great Hoosier fan. I say that here because I hope that as we disagree on the issue surrounding Matt Roth and Maurice Creek, we can set an example of civilized though intense debate.

    Having said and meant that, I think your position is wrong and myopic.

    I agree with all your assumptions about the level of quality we should be recruiting, the expectation that each individual perform to their highest level and obligation to meet the standards set by their coach (in this case Tom Crean). Each should be expected to contribute his best qualities and talents to the goals of success of Hoosier basketball (at their highest levels- championship basketball). All of those assumptions we share and I would demand them from Mr. Roth, Mr. Cheeks or anyone else, ‘eyeball to eyeball’.

    That being the assumption…

    At no point did Matt Roth deny us (Hoosier fans) his talents, skills or hardest work. At no point did Roth (or Cheeks)fall below the standards we expected from them (I am not aware of anything where Coach Crean spoke to the contrary) as was physically possible given their best physical health.

    When recruited I am absolutely sure that both Roth and Cheek were under the clear impression and understanding that if they performed at that expected level a 4-5 year scholarship would be provided by Indiana University whether or not other better players were recruited behind them.

    Here, I will also agree with you wholly that playing time are issues entirely up to the coach and should remain so now and for the rest of his tenure at IU. And, should remain so with the coaches to come as well…based on the goal of success of the team, always!

    But, the understanding about the scholarship, the length of time the understanding of the items it covers: (room…board…tuition…books…incidentals…supplies) is a contract entered into between the student-athlete (maybe his/her family depending on age) and the University. If Matt Roth or Maurice Creek says, “Coach Tom Crean always made it clear the agreement was year to year and could be lifted without cause anytime before the four (five) years I was recruited for”, then Crean would probably be legally right (though I would still feel he would be morally compromised). I will bet you that conversation never took place.

    If, on the other hand, the player’s behavior (on and off the court,

    Crean, of course, has standards and if these were made clear to Roth and Creek, they become the definition of the conditions under which their scholarship is based and define the limits of Coach Crean’s options. They (Roth and Creek) have an obligation to meet those or, in fact, if they fail to comply with them, release Crean’s obligations.

    By your definition Podunker, Bob Knight should not have kept Landon Turner on scholarship when he was paralyzed in a car accident, and had an obligation to cut Glenn Grunwald when he blew out his knee playing basketball in his back yard…Grunwald was no longer a Big Ten competitive athlete. If you argue ‘that’s correct’, then we just simply are not talking about the same thing.

    I do believe we are a markedly ethically and morally superior program to a Kentucky, a UCLA, a Tennessee, a Miami (Florida). That’s why I believe (perhaps innocently and naively) and get worked up about “Being Indiana”.

    In 1975, when we went undefeated until we met Kentucky in the NCAA (having already beat them by two or three hundred points), we lost our best ball player, Scott May, to a broken arm. Someone suggested since the season was nearly over that a hard cast was not necessary (arguing surgery could have been done afterwards). Knight, absolutely correctly so, would not hear of it. The program, the reputation of the University is more important than winning a national championship.

    I simply argue that- considering the Roth and Hall dilemma- Its Indiana has a real and deep meaning. There is a difference. I actually think you already know this.

    (Ironically, as I write this I am listening to reports of I’ll Have Another, the first race horse to have a realistic chance to go for the Triple Crown in decades, tomorrow was sidelined and retired 24 hours before he could make history because of the strained leg. Should the soap factory be next?- the irony of the coincidence hit me).

    I do mean it Podunker. Have at it; but please let’s just argue it like two good rabid Hoosiers and friends disagreeing.

  47. Podunker, I have appreciated your thoughts and comments since I first started reading them. I consider you one of the best contributors on this blog and a passionate and great Hoosier fan. I say that here because I hope that as we disagree on the issue surrounding Matt Roth and Maurice Creek, we can set an example of civilized though intense debate.

    Having said and meant that, I think your position is wrong and myopic.

    I agree with all your assumptions about the level of quality we should be recruiting, the expectation that each individual perform to their highest level and obligation to meet the standards set by their coach (in this case Tom Crean). Each should be expected to contribute his best qualities and talents to the goals of success of Hoosier basketball (at their highest levels- championship basketball). All of those assumptions we share and I would demand them from Mr. Roth, Mr. Cheeks or anyone else, ‘eyeball to eyeball’.

    That being the assumption…

    At no point did Matt Roth deny us (Hoosier fans) his talents, skills or hardest work. At no point did Roth (or Cheeks)fall below the standards we expected from them (I am not aware of anything where Coach Crean spoke to the contrary) as was physically possible given their best physical health.

    When recruited I am absolutely sure that both Roth and Cheek were under the clear impression and understanding that if they performed at that expected level a 4-5 year scholarship would be provided by Indiana University whether or not other better players were recruited behind them.

    Here, I will also agree with you wholly that playing time are issues entirely up to the coach and should remain so now and for the rest of his tenure at IU. And, should remain so with the coaches to come as well…based on the goal of success of the team, always!

    But, the understanding about the scholarship, the length of time the understanding of the items it covers: (room…board…tuition…books…incidentals…supplies) is a contract entered into between the student-athlete (maybe his/her family depending on age) and the University. If Matt Roth or Maurice Creek says, “Coach Tom Crean always made it clear the agreement was year to year and could be lifted without cause anytime before the four (five) years I was recruited for”, then Crean would probably be legally right (though I would still feel he would be morally compromised). I will bet you that conversation never took place.

    If, on the other hand, the player’s behavior (on and off the court, including his efforts to maximize his talents and contribution to the team) is lacking, given proper and timely advice by Coach Crean, then Crean has sufficient cause to terminate their relationship. Nothing, absolutely nothing in Roth’s behavior or his intended contribution seems justifies his termination.

    Crean, of course, has standards and if these were made clear to Roth and Creek, they become the definition of the conditions under which their scholarship is based and define the limits of Coach Crean’s options. They (Roth and Creek) have an obligation to meet those or, in fact, if they fail to comply with them, release Crean from any obligation.

    By your definition Podunker, Bob Knight should not have kept Landon Turner on scholarship when he was paralyzed in a car accident; and had an obligation to replace and cut Glenn Grunwald when he blew out his knee playing basketball in his driveway…Grunwald was no longer a Big Ten competitive athlete. If you argue ‘that’s correct’, then we just simply are not talking about the same thing.

    I do believe we are a markedly ethically and morally superior program to a Kentucky, a UCLA, a Tennessee, a Miami (Florida)(I’m sure there are others). That’s why I believe (perhaps innocently and naively) and get worked up about “Being Indiana”.

    In 1975, when we went undefeated until we met Kentucky in the NCAA (having already beat them by two or three hundred points), we lost our best ball player, Scott May, to a broken arm. Someone suggested that since the season was nearly over that a hard cast was not necessary in his final games (arguing surgery could have been done afterwards). Knight, absolutely correctly so, would not even hear of it. (You can imagine his comments). The program, the reputation of the University is more important than winning a national championship. Knight was right.

    I simply argue that- considering the Roth and Hall dilemma- Its Indiana has a real and deep meaning. There is a difference. I actually think you already know this.

    (Ironically, as I write this I am listening to reports of I’ll Have Another, the first race horse to have a realistic chance tomorrow to go for the Triple Crown in decades, was sidelined and retired 24 hours before he could make history because of a strained leg. Should the soap factory be next?- the irony of the coincidence hit me as I listened to the reports).

    I do mean it Podunker. Have at it; but please let’s just argue it like two good friends and rabid Hoosier fans disagreeing- because we both love IU; I’m a bit tired of some of the tones and language used in this blog from time to time.

  48. Landon Turner was a completely different situation. At the time of his tragic car accident, he had not graduated. Glenn Grunwald, I believe, injured his knee playing basketball and had not graduated. And, in Knight’s opinion, GG was capable of making a significant contribution to the team upon his recovery. But remember, Landon Turner’s continuing education did not count toward an IU BB scholarship. That was a special circumstances case. Both those men deserved the opportunity to continue on with their education and pursue their degree. Roth has his degree. He has two of them!

    Last year, IU’s football team had a linemen that had to stop playing football because of a serious back injury suffered playing football for IU. He was provided the medical care and allowed to try to come back. He chose, or was unable to continue playing football. However, he was allowed to continue his education at the university’s expense. He was not on the football roster and his “scholarship” did not count toward IU football’s total. This happens all the time, on every team across the country.

    I’m not saying Roth should not be allowed back on the team, I’m saying he is not necessarily entitled to be on the team. This is supposed to be all about getting an education. An athletic scholarship is supposed to be about a young adult trading their athletic talent in exchange for a college education. Matt Roth has gotten his education. As a result, and in these circumstances, I do not believe he is entitled to automatically take a spot on the IU roster next year, especially at the expense of a player that has not completed his degree.

    Maybe it’s a “lessor of two evils” situation. We all agree it could be an unfortunate situation, but I can’t automatically justify giving Roth another year on the team at the expense of a younger player that has not completed his degree. I believe in situations like this, when someone is going to be disappointed, or when a young man’s immediate future is going to be affected, the “decision tree” requires that the coach think in terms of what is best for the team. Otherwise, how does this get resolved? What other criteria can be used to resolve this? I’m obviously not the coach, but in my opinion, given the talent on next year’s roster, Roth would be odd man out, because #1) he already has his degree, and #2) the other players in question are more likely to help the team, next year and in future years, more so than Roth will (in my opinion). Furthermore, cutting Roth would, in my opinion, produce the least amount of disruption and/or damage to any of the people involved and to the future of the team.

    As one poster said previously, “Roth had his Senior Day.” The other players in question have not.

  49. Criticism directed at Tom Crean for over-recruiting may be justified. However, I think the unusually dynamic situation that was IU basketball over the last four years may provide him some cover. Who could have anticipated last year’s success? Just a year ago, who could have anticipated that Crean would have signed one of the top recruiting classes in the country? Because of the highly dynamic circumstances surrounding IU basketball over the last few years, I’ll cut Crean some slack on the issue of over-recruiting.

    I”ll also go so far to say that if IU basketball had suffered through another losing season in 2011/2012, Crean would not be in this current predicament with too many players and not enough scholarships. I believe several players would have left the team in May, and Crean would have needed another recruit of two to fill the roster.

    Having said all that, I think most top coaches feel that it is safer for them to over-recruit as compared to under-recruit. If top players leave a team early, and the coach is not prepared to replace him, and as a result the team’s performance suffers, most coaches are going to be subject to criticism for not being prepared. It’s a no-win situation, so coaches do what they feel they must do to cover their butts and keep the program successful.

    Again, the NCAA could fix a lot of this problem if they changed the rules about players leaving early for the pros and the scholarships available to the schools.

  50. But Podunker, Crean continues to add players so that it appears likely that he’ll be in the same situation in the years ahead. This seems like standard operating procedure at this point, not an anomaly this year. I’m a Crean supporter, but I don’t support this practice.

  51. Likely scenario, Matt moves on with his life with his 2 degrees in his hand. Mo, unfortunately, is not able to perform at a Big Ten level and does not take up a roster spot. We end up not even using our full allotment of scholarships and everyone winds up wondering what all the hand wringing was about.

    This may well be a debate about how to resolve a problem that doesn’t exist.

  52. Obviously, Crean feels that he’s going to lose players to more than just graduation after next season. My guess is he believes he’s going to lose Cody (and maybe on of this year’s freshman) to the NBA and a few of the less-talented players to transfers, which will likely be the case.

    But let’s look at this from the other perspective. What if Crean was not “over-recruiting?” Let’s say he loses Cody to the NBA and one or two of the movement does not pan out, transfers or turns pro after a one-and-done year. IU’s 2013/2014 team then has a sub-par year. The Hoosier Nation would be very upset and Crean would have to endure enormous criticism.

    The reality is we Hoosier fans have very, very high expectations of our basketball team. We want our head coach to recruit the best players, win Big Ten Championships and make it to the final four every year, play by and follow all NCAA rules, graduate all the players, and make sure they are solid citizens while on campus. If a head coach does all that, with the exception of winning Big Ten titles and going to the final four, we want him fired. The bottom line is we want it all, and if we don’t get it, we want a new basketball coach.

    If Crean does not “over-recruit,” he risks subjecting himself to criticism because his teams did not win enough. If he does “over-recruit,” some of us criticize him for that unseemly tactic. Crean can’t please everybody all the time, so he does what he needs to do in order to fulfill the most vital expectation, which is to win.

    College basketball is a lot different today than it was back in Knight’s prime. Most Hoosier basketball fans were heavily influenced by Knight’s success and the way he did things back in him prime. But the college basketball world has changed, and if Crean does not adapt to it, he risks losing his job. Because we all know that down deep, Hoosiers will not tolerate a basketball coach that does not win.

    Here’s one other thought. Because of the way Kentucky won the championship last year (with five one and done players), it is more likely that other top college coaches will place even greater emphasis on over-recruiting. These days, a college team needs a couple of “NBA-quality” players to win an NCAA championship. Since those are the players most likely to leave college early for the NBA, coaches are going to over-recruit to keep the stream of talent coming in and continue putting top teams on the floor.

  53. Here’s the reason why this entire situation is awkward. Not necessarily right. Not necessarily wrong. But awkward.
    Since Creek was injured in November, this has been a potential issue. It’s June, and it’s not solved yet.
    I don’t say this to blame Crean or say that he’s done something wrong, because I legitimately think he believed something would work itself out by now and the obvious decision would materialize. If he didn’t think Roth could be valuable to next year’s team at all, he would have told him during the season, and this would have ceased to have been a discussion on Senior Day. But Crean is obviously keeping him on retainer to a degree because if a spot were to open up, he would not want to throw away another season from one of the best pure shooters in the Big Ten.
    But there comes a point where the maybe, maybe not deal becomes unfair to the player. Roth has always given us the impression that he would be satisfied with however the situation worked out. If it were his choice, he would want to play, but if it wouldn’t work out that way, he would understand and live with it and move on to the next chapter. If he hasn’t gotten word from Crean one way or the other yet – and he may have, we didn’t ask about Roth Wednesday — he’d probably like an answer one way or the other so he can either get ready for his last year of basketball or go get a job.

  54. If the priority at IU is to graduate degreed student athletes then it is mission accomplished in the case of MR. Time for a graduating HS Senior to earn that scholarship and start his journey.

  55. I try not to be an old codger but when this kind of stuff crops up I just think ‘isn’t this a helluva note’.

    College scholarships for athletes was once (in 1908) a way for an outstanding athlete to pay for a college education by their athletic prowess. For a couple of my kids this kinda held true (they were in non-revenue sports so they got table scraps). The third was dumb enough to choose an Ivy League school so athletics didn’t help at all.

    Now, the scholarships don’t mean anything for the top athletes. They don’t care about college. It’s just their NBA tryout. Colleges should count themselves lucky to have their campuses graced by their 7′ frames. Education? Give me a break.

    How did it all go so wrong?

  56. Chet, Your perspective through personal experience cannot be far from 100%. It has developed from the 1908 model to the modern day universities selling entertainment in 1 fashion or another. The flip side to that is I enjoy much of that entertainment they sell. Old codgers or not I believe that makes us at least part improvisor to that original model. But I ain’t turning back.

  57. Podunker, I think we agree on the perimeters of what we both want…a top notch program in every way that reflects the traditions of Indiana. Details here, details there we may have differences on a point or two.

    SOmething that always stuck in my mind was Knight’s reaction after Landon was hurt. He not only cared, it became his mission. I know he personally made the calls to create a fund to pay for his care and expenses. I’ll always remember the night Landon was brought on the floor at Assembly Hall and RKM’s public declaration that “Landon was still a team member….and then, rimming him out for something as we all cracked up.”

    Glenn Grunwald was hurt playing basketball in a pick-up game on his drive way just before his freshman enrollment. Knight never hesitated. Grunwald had signed an Indiana scholarship and, therefore, he was getting his four years.

    I do think that you have a point that Roth has had his ‘four years honored’, especially since he has earned his degrees. Personally, I believe he’s entitled to the entire period of his eligibility while at IU. But your view is as valid as mine. We may diff on Maurice Creeks. There, I still think we have a moral obligation as long as he complies with Coach Crean’s demands and expectations.

    I do have a very big concern with the approach of ‘over-offering’ (along the lines of another contributor- Red- on the possibility of putting ourselves in the position of being forced to take our commitment to a player back. Personally, I would probably make one or two ‘irrevocable’ whereby I would be willing to wait as long as needed for a particular player (say, a Zeller); and perhaps offer the balance (the remaining 2-4to say the next 4-6 players, making it very clear from the onset to each that the scholarship goes ‘first come, first serve’ basis. (BTW, I believe that’s how RMK handled it).

    Thanks for your thoughts. There are some contributors who make this blog special and you are one of those. Go Hoosiers!

  58. If we needed a center, and his name was DJ White, we would break both [of] Creeks’s knees again to keep him eligible.

    Honor is a hard word for some [of] you.

  59. Just had a chance to read from Podunker’s #56 through HC #64. My greatest concern is that Maurice Creek get a chance given the fact he has already sacrificed so much. I’m hoping he’ll settle the issue with great play and that Coach TC’s statements reflect an attempt to keep Maurice motivated to improve to a level we knew was there two years ago. That would settle a lot of this discomfort wouldn’t it?

    I think Dustin has captured the jest of the issue, especially in regards to Matt Roth. From my stand point, Matt has been a great individual to have as a Hoosier. He deserves the respect due a brother. Yes, you can lose it, but it can’t be taken away from you.

    Chet, I believe this statement is based on feelings similar to those you’ve stated. (From HC’s 1908 Model-T) Ain’t this a helluva note!? (I should go watch a black and white Jimmy Stewart movie or somethin’). Mayv be, as HC suggests, they should stuff me and put me in the museum at Cook Hall with a sign that says “Old IU Alumn”.

  60. I love the two headers in red bold face at the bottom of the story, titled “Related Content”… it includes:

    • Matt Roth, Margaux Farrell named IU’s Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients
    • Crean on IU-Kentucky: “We should all move on.”

  61. I was there, in the upper deck, the night Landon Turner returned to Assembly Hall. I believe, as I have posted before, that it was the longest and loudest standing ovation in the history of Assembly Hall, if not in all of College Basketball. I cried like a baby for about ten minutes. I did not feel embarrassed because everyone around me was crying too. It was a beautiful moment that I will remember for the remainder of my life. That is Indiana basketball!

    Do you remember, everyone thought that Landon was totally paralyzed from the neck down, then as he’s being wheeled out, he raised his arm and waved to the crowd. I thought my heart would burst before my eardrums did. The cheers doubled in intensity and the Hoosier Nation could not be silenced for a very long time.

    I too want Creek to come back healthy and play again for the Hoosiers. I believe he will get the chance.

    Right now, in spite of the potential awkward situation, I trust Crean to manage the recruiting process correctly, with integrity and fairness. And after he wins a national championship, this issue will evaporate, because recruiting won’t be a problem.

  62. Great story…I was down behind the basket ….and do remember Landon’s arm going up…we all cried together that night. I hope Landon felt how much we loved him. I share your thoughts, especially the hopes for Maurice Creek.

    We’ll share many games Podunker and Hoosier Happiness.

  63. Let’s keep it in perspective. There were plenty of guys that RMK did not keep in the fold for four years (in fact, fair or not, he had a rep for ‘running off players’) and you can’t blame it all on the players. A lot of guys down the roster just passed quietly (or not so) into the night. Landon may have been the best returning player in the country. Let’s not pretend that didn’t make any difference.

  64. Why all the long wided diatribes on this topic. The answer is short but not sweet–CTC has and continues to overrecruit for 2012,2013, and likely 2014. Either supoort it as some do or don’t as I do.Rationalizing it is silly.

  65. I remember that Tommy Baker’s family felt like, when Tommy most needed a father figure (which he didn’t have at home) to guide him, RMK tossed him under the bus. I’m not saying he did or he didn’t, I’m just saying that’s how his family felt. There was still lingering bitterness toward Coach Knight expressed at Tommy’s memorial. For what I am sure was a myriad of reasons his life did not go well in the years that followed (though he was a great player for EKU).

    Coach Knight could be, and was, every bit as spiteful as he could be magnanimous.

  66. No Chet…Landon was emerging as a great player, but that had absolutely nothing to do with RMK’s concern and commitment to Landon. You can have your own opinions about players who left the program (Miday, the kid who went to Iowa…the majority were players whose character did not match Knight’s vision of a team made up of ‘good kids’. I’ll give you your opinions on that; but to say Landon’s playing status was the reason Knight dedicated himself to helping him post-accident is unfair and not consistent with your usually sober judgment.

    Also consider that Landon had only just emerged as a top player. One of the most interesting things to watch that season was Ray Tolbert’s teaching and mentoring Lando on how to play his position and for Robert Knight. I still have an engraved picture in my memory of Tolbert more than frequently doing his teaching and Landon just nodding.

    But Knight dedicating himself to Landon for any reason other than his great love for his players- yeah…that’s right love-, just plain wrong.

  67. …except for those he didn’t. There are plenty of players that left who probably didn’t feel very loved (to say the least).

    I think the Bobby Knight/Landon Turner story is great and very touching and brought me to tears, as well, but let’s be honest about it. There are plenty of players, and people in general, that he treated like dirt. Perhaps even more than the people he treated well.

    Let’s not pretend he deserves to be put on a pedestal for his treatment of other human beings.

  68. I’ll say this about RMK there are more things not known I’m privy to that he did generously than there is about the questionable things most people complain about. A hell of lot of personal actions he took for people were kept private at his instruction and rightfully so. He deserves his pedestal.

  69. Chet- my experience with him is just as I described. A generous, funny and truly warm individual. There certainly was a ‘hard side’ to him but very consistent with his values. There was also a ‘public’ face. Personally, I always thought he was so amused with ‘public images’ he decided to play a role based on people’s conception of ‘hard ass’ Bobby Knight. You could literally see a smile in his eyes when he ‘acted’ that one out.

    And, as a competitor he was fierce, beyond anything most of us would ever understand.

    On balance, he just didn’t have much patience for the ‘wishy, washy’ nor much tolerance for people who could not compete ‘fairly’, nor the bs’ers that populated his profession and didn’t mind telling them. Personally, I found it a quality to admire. People in general are afraid of such people, generally because they don’t measure up to those standards.

  70. HC and Tsao; Both posts were well said. I witnessed Knight’s generosity, warmth and total selflessness on more than one occasion. I also witnessed him directing anger at a couple of adults (not on the basketball court), and it certainly got one’s attention.

    As for his treatment of players, he had very high standards. If you could not live up to them, it was best you transfer. But I believe the majority of players that played for Knight feel that his positives far outweighed his negatives and were better off for having had the experience.

    I don’t care who the coach is, he/she will never satisfy every player they coach. Not all players are going to love their coach or agree with their coaching philosophy/behavior. Personality conflicts are inevitable and when things don’t go the way certain people want them to go, the first thing many people do is look for someone to blame. Everything is relative to one’s expectations. I don’t think Knight loses any sleep over how he treated any of his players throughout his coaching career.

  71. Tommy is a good case in point. At first I thought about recalling the entire episode, but then thought better of it. I do think that the best defense of Bob Knight in this episode (which involved 8 players; 3 were dismissed, 5 suspended)came from Tommy Baker himself:

    “You can’t put this on the man”, said Baker, quoted at the time by the AP, “he was put in a spot where he had to make a decision…”, according to an AP story of the dismissal.

    Tommy himself spoke of Knight going to lengths to help him transfer to another school (eventually Eastern Kentucky I believe). This one was typical of the type of stories that were spun at the time to create a bad image of Knight; where in fact those that knew the insides of this story were very aware of his attempt to help the players involved.

    Unfortunately, the actors rarely get to tell the real story. The truth is usually the victim of a journalist with an agenda or, simply the need to create a sensationalized reality that can be manipulated for a purpose. This one clearly was such a story. The truth is that 35 or so years later inaccurate portrayals using words like intimidation, vindictive, controversial etc help to perpetuate the idea that Tommy was thrown under the bus. Just simply not so. To the contrary, Tommy’s own statement describe it much differently that the fictionalized perception..

  72. I’m just going from speaking with his family and relating their feelings. I knew Tommy since he was about 11-years-old or so. We grew up together. He was a great guy to know but, obviously, a troubled individual. His fate was not determined by Bobby Knight.

    Every Hoosier fan has their own opinions about RMK. I am not dismissive of anyone’s experience. Nor am I placing an extremely flawed man above the scope of individual interpretation of his actions.

    He did good things, he did bad things. To deny either is a disservice to everyone who interacted with him.

  73. Completely agree. I’m still trying to come to terms with the Jekyl and Hyde in me Chet. I’m sure, just as you say, there was a lot of good in Tommy and many, including you, miss him; and I know there is a lot of nobility (that’s a good word) in RMK.

  74. Dustin, gonna shoot you an email. Can you please post it for me since it won’t post when I hit submit… thanks.

  75. They are not only 1 scholarship over for this year, but the next 3 years. They have verbal commitments all the way to the Blackmon/Lyles class. Sure Zeller could go pro, that is the last thing I would like to see to open up a scholarship.

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