Lyles pulls back commitment from Indiana

Trey Lyles, the 6-foot-8 forward from Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis, has decommitted from Indiana according to a Twitter post from Tech coach Jason Delaney.

“Trey Lyles has decided to open his recruitment,” Delaney said in his post. “He loves IU & it is still #1 but he would like to have something to compare it to.”

Lyles has been committed to Indiana since before his freshman season at Tech and is rated as one of the top 10 players in the Class of 2014.

UPDATE: Tech coach Jason Delaney said Indiana fans shouldn’t read Lyles’ decommitment as an expression of displeasure with the program, but said Lyles simply wants to make sure he makes the right decision.

“The biggest thing we talked about with him, his family and myself is that he just wants to make sure,” Delaney said. “I want to preface this by saying he loves IU. He loves the coaching staff. He loves the fans. He just wants to make sure he makes the right choice for his future. At the end of this whole process, he just wants to know for sure that this is the right fit.”

The reason Lyles was feeling uneasy, Delaney said, is simply because he hadn’t really experienced the recruiting process. Lyles committed in the fall of 2010 before he’d even played a high school game at Tech.

Delaney asked for understanding from the fans.

“My biggest hope for the fans and everything — he’s such a great kid, he’s the kind of kid I want my son to grow up and be like — is I hope they support him,” Delaney said. “I hope they keep it in perspective.”

Delaney said that Lyles has not been contacted by any other schools yet and has no timetable in terms of when he wants to begin making visits or eventually make another decision.


  1. I don’t like our odds after a decommit. I feel like that never goes the original school’s way.

  2. Uh-oh… Could he be the source of the scandalous “thinking of you a whole lot” tweet?

  3. This doesn’t come as a total shock to me due to numerous conversations I had with his father (but still very dissapointing). I was the only IU fan who spent a lot of time when they were at the Nike EYB event in Dallas (was in Frisco by my house) Mother’s Day weekend. I sat next to his father often over for a couple of days and had some conversations with him as well as Coach Bluiett. Was told by his father when I asked if it was 100% positive about going to IU that it wasn’t in his mind but it was Trey’s decision. He wanted Trey to play for a coach that had a better record of developing players and getting them into the NBA and wasn’t excited about Coach Crean’s record in that respect. We discussed that Coach Crean had some players who showed immense improvement from last year (Oladipo, Sheeley) and how the team had outperformed almost anyones expectations. We agreed that next year would be the year where the horses are there to prove it to him. Suprised that it happened now, rather than after next season’s results were in.

  4. I’m guessing he heard about all the attention fellow recruits were getting and he felt like maybe he was missing out.

  5. I am still going to go watch him with my iu hoodie on just so he knows the iu fans love him. Now we the fans need to recruit him not crucify him. Have to make the right choice for college.

  6. Delaney says Lyles has not been contacted by any schools. Really. How many schools have you been talking to for him Delaney? He hopes the fans keep it in perspective. HAHHAHAHA Depends on the outcome…..obviously. I think it’s silly to think Indiana fans arent going to be outwardly disappointed if he leaves after two years of committment because he’s jealous of his friends and the attention they are getting. No sir. He’s a kid I get it. He’s free to do what makes him happiest. Hope its at IU

  7. While I don’t like this decision, I can’t blame the kid. Who hasn’t dated someone and known that it was the right thing, but wanted to experience the single life for a little bit? Trey is going to get that experience and hopefully realize that IU is the right school for him. This whole thing is definitely fishy, but until someone provides legit proof that something illegal went on then there’s nothing anyone can do. The kid is 16 and still figuring things out. Let’s not get on him too much and show him why he should come to Bloomington to hang another banner.

  8. While its a little nerve racking for IU, what high school kid wouldn’t want to be flown all over to see great basketball and football games and have the experience of some of the greatest coaches in the game plead for him to come to their school. However, with all the love he gets from the fans here, I couldn’t imagine him going anywhere as long as this year doesn’t become a complete disaster.

  9. He’s a probable 1 year player and based on his father’s comments UK would be the destination. He’s a terrific player. My concern is the impact on other recruits. Maybe will slow down these early offers since they mean little anyway. Also the shoe companies play a role.

  10. Can’t blame the kid. He committed when he was an 8th grader. He’s now a top 20 player and wants to experience a real recruitment. He wants to feel like a king with all these coaches coming after him. But MOST IMPORTANTLY REMEMBER:”We’re not Purdue, if Lyles doesn’t come back we’ll sign someone else, desperation is for second rate programs”!!!!

  11. Bookmark this thread and the next time you question why Coach Crean keeps recruiting come back and reread the title to bring yourself back to reality.

  12. I believe Lyles has every right to revoke his commitment; not only because commitments per se are meaningless as per NCAA and Big Ten rules; but, because it is simply wrong for a coach/program to ask a 14-year-old to pledge his word before he is considered of age to agree to any contract or be held legally responsible for anything (except for those acts considered so heinous a court must first declare him an adult).

    We are just asking for trouble on this issue. The age of majority in most states is 18 or 19. No child could even enlist for the armed forces or marry without parental consent. Parents are legally responsible for the sustenance of the children until the age of emancipation. Recruitment pitches and requests for ‘commitments’ by an adult are simply not legal nor proper. And, in making that request coaches (indeed who claim to be educators) may be undermining the authority of the family and the parents.

    Personally, I feel strongly that the NCAA needs to step up and mandate that commitments nor promises not be requested from prospects until they reach the age of majority or are legally emancipated.

    The NCAA should consider that the line between this issue and a major scandal of Penn State magnitude is very thin. What will happen when a child ‘commits’ and the parents object? What happens when the parents acts on that objection? Do the parents have the right to sue the school to overturn a commitment? Do we want to be a part of that? What if it is your kid?

    (BTW…it has happened before and it involved IU- though IU was on the right side of the issue and the parental right to object to a non-emancipated athlete’s decision was enforced. The athlete involved eventually attended IU and was an athlete of national significance at IU).

  13. Frisco…sure do hope you registered properly with the IU athletic department and notified it of the contact. Not sure if, as an obvious IU follower and, possibly, alumn you come under the heading of ‘a representative of IU athletic interests’.

    And, I hope the NCAA is not sending someone to get details of the contact your way.

  14. Tsao,
    Verbal commitments aren’t legally binding. A player can not sign a letter of intent until his senior year, so your hypothetical is impossible.
    The purpose of a player making a verbal commitment, perhaps more than anything else, is to end the recruiting process. In basketball, by and large, coaches tend to end or at least tone down the recruitment of players who are verbally committed. Football, because the recruiting process is packed into a smaller window, operates differently and coaches tend to recruit players until they sign, but for basketball players, committing early allows a player to play without the distraction of constant phone calls and texts and e-mails from coaches other than the one to which they are committed. Some players like the process and want to see everything that’s out there and weigh all of their options. Some don’t, see what they like and decide to stick with it. It depends on the kid and the family.
    Coaches don’t demand commitments, they offer scholarships. How pushy they are about those offers differs from coach to coach, but there is nothing legally binding behind any of it.

  15. Maybe this is best for him at this time. Tweeting Christian thoughts and actually practicing them are two different things. Maybe Lyles figured that out.

  16. Nothing smells fishy to me in the Lyle’s handling. We approached Lyles before his voice stopped cracking. We asked him (at 13 or 14) to commit and he did. Now he wants the attention and maybe, just maybe sees it as a chance to see some schools and a bit of this beautiful country. So, he decides to give himself some freedom and space while making it clear he’s still likes IU a whole lot. His dad defends that right and protects his kid. Well done! And well done Mr. Delaney for acting as a shield for them.

    Someone tell me what is wrong with this. That is exactly how I would handle it as Lyles (had I made the original mistake of prematurely giving my commitment); and how I would handle it as his father. Violate the rule and automatically fall out-of-consideration.

    I would also give notice to recruiters. Not one word about commitments to my kid until the spring of his junior year at the earliest. (And, no talk of one-and-dones either). That is left for the immediate (parents) family circle only.

  17. And as you’ve pointed out, I’m not super comfortable discussing Penn State but no, the difference between that scandal and the worst that could possibly happen by recruiting a player early is not a “fine line.” For any scandal that could be caused by this practice to reach that magnitude, you’d have to inject a party somewhere along the way that is criminally insane or a sociopath and committing actual felonies. You can use SMU or Miami or Ohio State or some other scandal and use it as a potential worst-case scenario, but something on the Penn State scale requires a party that is in someway shape or form causing actual physical and emotional harm.

  18. CTC should treat him the same way he did Matt Carlino when he decommitted. If you’re not 100% in, the offer is off the table.

  19. DD- I believe that is exactly what I said two or three times; commitments are not a document or a legally binding obligation. One sentence in my statement read “…because commitments per se are meaningless as per NCAA and Big Ten rules…” In other words, have no value, zero.

    The truth is that the “commitment” process and asking for “commitments” is an invention coaches use to pressure a player prospect kid- usually a minor, in many cases a child- into rejecting all other advances while accepting to submit to the coach employing the tactic. As for your statement that ‘it stops the recruiting’, we both know that rarely happens when a kid is that sought after. The OSU football coach came in announcing he had not intention of respecting commits. Sampson sure as hell did not respect Illinois’ commitment.

    As for telephone calls, time to study, meeting other obligations while being pestered and harassed by 30-50 year-old-men, that’s where the family must take charge, set rules, pursue ways to keep their kid their own and high school coaches to assist by enforcing these rules with any and all predators.

    But, I’m just repeating what I said in my earlier posts, I believe Dustin.

    And, furthermore, ironic that as you’ve written about numerous times the converse is also true…the commitments don’t hold much water when coaches decide not to respect their own offers top kids and over promise.

    Please DD….we can’t defend the indefensible.

  20. He’s dead to me until he signs his LOI. It looks like his head blew up more than his game at all the summer camps. I’ve unfollowed him on twitter.

  21. Dustin, I think you miss my point in your second post. Not against Penn State, the tactic the predator used was to isolate kids who were wanting for attention, gradually moving into the ‘yes’ zone even though these were kids whose judgement was both precarious and vulnerable. It’s a gradual, subtle pushing of the limits…just look at the transcripts from the trial by the mother of victim #2.

    Likewise, “commitment’ is nothing but a tactic to push things along to achieve an end. Penn State did not do that, Sandusky did. Penn State’s role was in permitting the environment and, later, in attempting to hide the horrible outcome.

    Know you are bruised and sensitive, but…

  22. Where’s our ‘commitment’ to honor Matt Roth’s eligibility? Did he ever decommit to IU? Did he ever do anything to deserve the abandonment of trust in the unwritten grays of honor as we attempt to go after children ready to be Hoosiers in five years?

  23. Aruss, why am I not surprised. But, I am glad that young Lyles is dead to you. No, I don’t believe he has gotten the big head…I just think he decided he was too young to make a decision of such magnitude at that young age and needed a breather. As the adults say, we may still be #1 with him…he just want the chance to chew on it.

    Now…why should we be offended by that?

    And, if anything will chase him away it is reactions like yours.

  24. Dustin – are you going to ask CTC if he will stop recruiting Lyles? Is CTC even able to speak about Lyles at this point per NCAA rules?

    I agree with Mike P.’s comment and he and I NEVER agree. That right there shows you how low Lyle’s action is.

  25. Tsao,
    I guess I see your point, but the “end” in this case is a really big part of the discussion and not a “thin line” at all. I see how you might say the means are the same — in both cases it’s slow persuasion — but when the difference in the end is the difference between getting someone to commit to play basketball for you for a free education and getting … well… what Sandusky did, that’s not a thin line in the least bit.
    You did point out that verbal commitments are non-binding, but then you also presented the following hypothetical.
    “What will happen when a child ‘commits’ and the parents object? What happens when the parents acts on that objection? Do the parents have the right to sue the school to overturn a commitment? Do we want to be a part of that? What if it is your kid?”
    I have no idea how, with the understanding that verbal commitments are non-binding, you would suggest that parents might possibly want to sue the school to overturn a verbal commitment. But you threw out the hypothetical.
    You used Ohio State football as an example. Not sure if I mentioned this or not, but football and basketball mostly view verbal commitments entirely differently, and that’s mostly because of the recruiting windows. Because of the brutally physical nature of the game, it takes much longer to identify potential Division I football talent because they actually have to build muscle first to prove they can hang. In basketball, they simply have to display skill. Plus, even with the rise of 7-on-7s, football recruiting isn’t as nationally interconnected as basketball recruiting is. For that reason, few players have an idea of their stature and what their options actually are until they’re seniors, so if a player takes his first offer in say, spring of his junior year, it’s not considered to be an extreme faux pas in coaching circles to commit recruited players. There’s more of a gentleman’s agreement in basketball, and that’s part of the reason why more basketball players do it. There are backchannel for a committed player to find out if another school is interested or vice versa, but it’s not open season like it is on football players before signing day.
    I’m not suggesting at all that Trey Lyles’ decision to de-commit was wrong or that it is in every player’s best interest to commit early. I’m not saying that nothing could go wrong with early recruitment and that there aren’t some potential pitfalls. What I am saying, however, is that your suggestion that there’s a Penn State level scandal in the making here somewhere is extreme hyperbole.
    Aruss, Crean is not allowed to speak about Lyles because of NCAA rules.

  26. Furthermore, even when players do make early commitments, they don’t do so without input or at least discussion with the parents. If you’re taking it down this road anyway, it’s not like Crean saw Lyles at an AAU tournament, lured him into a van with candy and then tortured him until he gave his commitment. According to the story Hugh did on the commitment at the time( ) Lyles’ father had some misgivings about the commitment. However, after talking to his son at the time, he believed enough in his son’s convictions to allow him to make the commitment. Of course, he was also fully aware that his son still had three more years to potentially go back on that decision if he changed his mind. These decisions are rarely made without at least some consultation between the recruit and a parent/guardian/high school coach or other trusted adult. Sometimes a coach or even parent can be unscrupulous, but that’s an entirely different story altogether.

  27. DD- again…we may agree to disagree. As you state, “commitment’s” literally (and legally) don’t exist but they are a major force in college athletics where I think they serve the purpose of ‘pushing the envelope’ that brings the kid around. Just as the S. pushed the envelope in a subtle and (to some) not immediately perceivable manner. The goal in both cases to reach a goal. Push the envelope.

    Again, I think the NCAA should outlaw ‘commitments’ (while perhaps advance the NLOI date).

    To extend this just a bit, I think recruiting almost forces many into disgusting, unethical practices that often cross the line of corruption. And corruption is a all-inclusive term that had no limits in terms of field, magnitudes, etc. ‘It is’; or ‘one is’ corrupt; whether in recruiting, politics, religion, etc. And the ‘commitment’ is one of those acts that ‘corrupts’ the sport/activity (since it doesn’t exist or gives value where none is there to begin with) from the inside. From there my logic sees no difference in the corruption of recruiting, cheating through extra-incentives, ‘doctoring’ grades or the act of taking away a scholarship… or ‘over-offering’ scholarships with the knowledge that the numbers may not balance.

    Like being pregnant, one can’t be a little corrupt. Exceeding the number of phone calls seems a bit absurd…now (that it is no longer a limit). Nevertheless, Sampson was and continues to have used a ‘corrupt’ method of recruiting (and compounded it by attempting to cover it up)(and went after an already committed Eric Gordon -UofIllinois)…

    So it comes full circle to the issue we discuss.

  28. DD- Interesting…you use the word unscrupulous, I use corrupt. There’s a subtle difference on how I think about these words. An unscrupulous person is always aware of the limits to his behavior just doesn’t care and is willing to cross it every time.

    On the other hand, in my use, a corrupt person may or may not be aware that theirs is a ‘corrupt’ act and that it crosses line. Take the example of over-offering. I don’t think that TC thinks there is anything ‘wrong’ in so doing but, as the Roth -1 and Whoever -2 there is a very concerning negative impact to someone in both. The corruption comes in accepting the negative values that lead to the outcome (offering w/o regard to the numbers and their impact), whether one is conscious or not, The outcome is just as bad as with the unscrupulous individual who was aware of the bad to begin with.

  29. I think the very basic difference here is that I think there very much are varying degrees of corrupt. One can definitely be a little bit corrupt or a lot corrupt. We’re all sinners, but there’s a reason there were different circles of hell in Dante’s Inferno.
    The reason you think there shouldn’t be verbal commitments is that you don’t actually follow recruiting even though you constantly wax philosophic about what the ethics of it ought to be. You haven’t considered the absolute mess that would transpire if players weren’t allowed to make their decisions known before signing day. You don’t realize that a verbal commitment is a device that actually gives the player the power. It is non-binding and therefore it doesn’t limit what they can or can’t do, but it does allow them to turn off the noise. All it is is a player saying “I have made my decision. This is where I’m going to school. Everyone else, stop recruiting me. I’m set.'” Does it help the coach to have a more concrete idea of what he has? Yes, it does, and that’s good for him. But it is more a player’s tool than a coaches tool. It eliminates more stress on these players than it causes, because not only do other coaches call less, the media calls less. “Verbal commitment” is not even a term in the NCAA rulebook, so to them it would be outlawing something they don’t even recognize. And what they would really be doing is saying, ‘Players, you can not make a decision until we say it’s OK.’ Because that’s really all a verbal commitment is. A player saying, ‘I’ve made a decision.'”
    I get that you want to stuff all the demons back in Pandora’s Box, and there’s nobility to that, but they’re out and there’s no getting them back in. The best the NCAA can do is contain everything. Verbal commitments actually serve a self-policing function that makes that easier.

  30. Without wading into a Kant-ish discussion of ethics and whether one can be a “little corrupt” or “only corrupt,” I do believe Dopirak is overstating the benefit of a verbal commitment to a player.
    First, let’s not kid ourselves that it stops recruiting from other coaches. Is it the same as football? No. Is it moving in that direction? Absolutely. And even in basketball, other coaches have always ignored them. After all, it was Lefty Driesell who stated that the main purpose of a verbal commitment was to let him know who his competition is.
    Also, let’s not pretend that Tom Crean, to a degree other coaches do not do, ASKS for verball commitments at very young ages. Coach K or Roy Williams recruit at young ages. They’ve never taken a commitment from someone in middle school.
    Most importantly, a verbal commitment does produce inherent pressure on a kid to remain faithful to his original promise. The degree of that pressure is different for different kids in different places. In the State of Indiana, the pressure is tremendous. Think the kid does not hear about his commitment all the time? Think he now will not hear about his DE-commitment all the time? The kid is going to receive hate messages now, for crying out loud.
    And all because of a promise he made AS A CHILD.
    Whether decisions can only be “ethical” or “unethical” or “a lot unethical” or “a little unethical,” it is unethical to allow A CHILD to make a promise of that level of importance, with that level of consequences. The NCAA needs to disallow it. Whether they do or do not, Tom Crean needs to get out of the business of asking for them.
    I’m glad Crean is our coach. But what is similar to the Penn State case is the way that fans and alums are being attacked for questioning some of Crean’s practices and the way an enabling culture is emerging. Oversigning, pushing kids like Roth out, taking commitments from 14-year-olds, a growing focus on one-and-dones, hiring AAU coaches because of their recruit connections…none of which were necessary to secure the forthcoming #1 ranked team in the country but seem to be future practice…these things are unethical. Common to varying degrees, of course, but they are still not right.
    And do not tell me that is what is necessary to run with the big dogs. It isn’t. And the whole point of “It’s Indiana” is to PROVE that it isn’t.

  31. The NCAA can’t outlaw a high school underclassman saying he’s decided to go to XYZ University any more than it can outlaw the same kid from saying, “I like pizza.”

    They are just words. As Dustin stated, basketball coaches (most, anyway) have adopted a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ toward it. That’s all. There isn’t anything there to outlaw.

  32. If he is a one-and-done guy, he may be looking at Kentucky. But he has to realize, that if you are talented enough to be a one-and-done player, you will be there no matter where you play. I’m hopeful that it is just that, him wanting to experience the recruiting process more and be able to compare IU to other places. And I’m confident that he will find out…..that nothing compares to INDIANA!!!!

  33. I totally agree with Mike P.

    Recruiting is a non-contact free-for-all and we are in the enviable position of having at least 7 or 8 coaching staffs who are relentless, tireless and clean, producing positive results with near every phone call or trip they make. AD Glass has indeed created an atmosphere for the golden age of IU sports. I find nothing unethical about it and I see no reason for it to change.

  34. Dustin, stop trying to use logic. It rarely works here…

    That being said, I’d like to ask a couple questions:

    1) What is the downside, for the kid, of making a verbal commitment?

    2) Aren’t the top in-state recruits constantly getting pressured by fans (of all ages) to go to IU? How does a verbal, lack of verbal, or de-committment change that?

    3)Why is it unethical to hire a coach because he has the potential to be a good recruiter? That is really confusing to me. What are acceptible criteria for hiring assistant coaches?

    Tsao – I don’t agree with your philosophical argument, but I definitely agree that there is nothing wrong with Lyles backing out of his verbal. Personal freedoms man… I still hope he chooses us.

    Aruss – you and Mike P. are embarassing yourselves.

    Guest, there are so many silly statements in your rant, but one of my favorites is the “growing focus on one-and-dones”…

    By whom? IU? college basketball? The USA fan-base?

    Who is a one-and-done? Every top 100-ish player thinks they are going to the NBA. Most top 50-ish players think they are one-and-done talents. Very few can actually pull it off.

    Is IU not supposed to recruit top 50 type players because they have visions of making millions in the highest level of basketball in the world? Are schools supposed to shun the Lebron’s of the world because they are too talented and the NBA won’t accept them for a year?

    ALSO – MATT ROTH WAS NOT PUSHED OUT! He received multiple degrees from IU and had his scholarship honored for 4 years. If he wants to play this year I find it hard to believe he couldn’t make the team. There are tens of thousands of students who pay full tuition at IU every year. I’m pretty sure if Matt desperately wanted to be a part of this team he could figure out a way to pay for one year.

  35. Mike P – Do we have to take every offer off the table?

    I mean, unless they have verbally committed to IU, they aren’t 100% in, right?

    I’m hopig you can go find us some top-flight talent, that we haven’t recruited yet, that is just waiting for IU to offer a scholarship so they can verbal.

  36. Actions have consequences. You decommit and the programs commitment is then pulled and now is available to a talent who wants it. The next recruit who before he exercises that action will know where he stands. For instate players it will be especially easy to figure out. Each does what is best for them.

  37. Geoff,

    You may not like or agree with my statements, but I assure you that they are not “silly.” Don’t be so disrespectful. I would not marginalize your arguments that way, just because I do not like them.

    Let’s not confuse the one-and-done aspirations of a kid ranked in the 40’s, with the same aspirations of top ten kids like Trey Lyles. Lyles WILL go to the NBA after a single year in college. The 6’0″ shooting guard ranked #57 coming out of high school will not, no matter what he or his handlers think.

    There are many reasons to dislike the recruitment of one-and-dones and many of those who dislike them are quite serious and anything but “silly.” By the way, as IU’s forthcoming #1 ranking suggests, one of the reasons to dislike their recruitment is the fact that they are unnecessary to win a championship, and it is therefore possible to win at the highest levels with actual student athletes. In my book, that is the better route to go, then.

  38. Oh, and as for Matt Roth, using your logic concerning his academic achievement, it would suggest that if, Matt were a less ambitious student, who did not have a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, then Crean’s actions would qualify as pushing him out. Personally, I don’t think academic success should be used to punish a kid. If anything, in a world that appropriately prized academics, Matt’s academic success should be a REASON that he is awarded with his full eligibility, not a reason that he should not.

    In any event, though, no kid should have his scholarship taken away prior to his eligibility being exhausted, unless it is for breaking program rules or failing to maintain academic requirements.

  39. I wouldn’t be surprised if his dad had reached out to Calipari and a few other coaches. I am not reading too into this. If he comes here, great. If he doesn’t, we will be just fine. I wouldn’t say that Calipari is so great at developing NBA talent. They come to him pretty well developed. Same with UNC and Duke.

  40. It’s silly because YOU can’t define a one-and-done.

    There were only 9 freshman drafted this year… 7 were in ESPN’s top 10, but Harkless was #39.

    Only 3 players from the top 10 in the 2010 class went into the draft.

    5 of the top 10 from 2009, 5 from 2008, 5 from 2007…

    So if only 50% of top 10 players from each class leave after their freshman year which ones can you recruit and which ones do you stay away from?

    Do you stay away from Austin Freeman? He played 4 years at Georgetown and was a clutch performer. How about Nolan Smith? Can’t recruit him… even though he helped bring a national championship to Duke in his 4 year career. Do you think that OSU fans would give back Sullinger’s 2 years of service in return for 4 years of another player like Ravenel?

  41. Guest – no that is not an extension of my logic. Nothing was taken from Roth. He was given 4 years of free schooling and he took advantage of it. A scholarship is a year-to-year contract, nothing more. He CAN be awarded full eligibility, all he has to do is come back and play. If he wants to do it at IU that is possible. He is not being punished in any sense of the word.

  42. Still would love to know what’s unethical about hiring a coach for recruiting… that is silly. What are the acceptable and ethical criteria for hiring assistants?

  43. My response to “Guest”. Wow! Logical, sensible, well informed analysis and positive arguments like yours detailing an issue and explaining a position as clearly as ‘Guest’ has, would not only draw me to the blog, it would also allow me to cut my own arguments on some issues to a paragraph or two. (The sound you hear is the noise from the rush of bloggers to write in support of ‘Guest’ contributing more often).

    I thought ‘Guest’s’ analysis and conclusions were brilliant. I can not do it better.

    And, I do hope you will continue to add your wisdom, thoughts and analysis to this blog. It only makes it better and more fun to read. Thanks!

  44. I could be wrong, but didn’t we offer DJ White five years of paid scholarship?

    Tom Crean simply believes Roth is expendable. When you carry the Bible under your armpit you can play God, justify all arguments against the evolution of a kid’s talent, prevent a healthy Matt Roth to show what he can do in back-to-back years of being his fittest. Isn’t eligibility a form of natural evolution? I look at scholarships as the first building blocks of life as a college athlete. To not honor the evolutionary process of an athlete spits in the face of the spirit of games. It spits in the face of all the extra hours Matt Roth put in the training rooms to fight through an injury that could have put to end many weaker species with less heart and desire to survive at his sport. He loved the game enough to make himself better than that untimely injury in the early stages his maturation on the basketball court. Now we play God and tell Matt he’s not worthy our race of premium hot prospects created in the image of LeBron? He’s not worthy to evolve because he’ll never see the heaven of the NBA?..It was all God’s work anyway? In a hundred years we’ll never care about those fossilized remains; the barrage of 3-pointers you put up and buried in one of our most important road wins in a historical rebuilding year of IU basketball?

    Sorry, Mr. Roth, you’re a fossil that never existed. You have been declared extinct and the ripping of the nets from your Mr. Basketball hands was merely an illusion made with the hand the Lord’s trickery in testing our faith in the everlasting perfection of Jesus and his return to Indiana. Walk with him and do not question. His deeds are far bigger than your lousy four year attempts to be the best you can humbly be.

  45. Tsao – It was a philosophical and opinion-based argument. It didn’t include fact or logic, but whatever… that doesn’t mean it was devoid of value, just the things you labeled it.

    Clearly, you never took a critical thinking class in college. Philosophy will only take you so far before people start looking for rationality. Opinions only have so much value if not backed up with facts.

    I don’t want Guest (or anyone else) to go away. I don’t always disagree with you or him. In fact, I spent almost the entire season agreeing with you. The more I read this blog, the clearer it becomes that ethics are largely a matter of opinion and often defined by generational perspective. What is commonly accepted as “ok” by my peer group is seen by yours as unethical. My guess is your response to that is that society is eroding… and that’s fine, but my response is that there were plenty of attitudes and actions that were “ok” when you were a young man (segregation, extreme prejudice towards homosexuals, paying women far less than men, etc) that are considered unethical by my generation… so maybe society has progressed… or maybe we compromise and say society is always changing and ethics are a matter of perspective.

  46. Harvard – 100% false. Matt Roth has not been kicked off the team. I am sure he is more than welcomed to play on the team if he chooses. The only person preventing Matt Roth from coming back is Matt Roth.

    Also, I would say that it is the absolute exception, not the rule, that a player doesn’t take advantage of a medical redshirt to re-hab and try to return (unless they are going pro anyway). This isn’t a disparagement of Matt Roth’s toughness, just an understanding that any athlete would do it. Almost every athlete has to fight through injuries in their careers… it doesn’t take a rare species. I am clearly not a rare species and I did it twice without athletic scholarship money on the line.

  47. Well, I’ve read all the serious posts on this string. Thought I’d weigh in on a few points.

    Something has caused Lyles to open up his recruiting. If he really “loves” IU but is now hesitant, something has changed. That’s obvious, and I don’t think that change occurs without outside stimuli. My guess is that his criteria has changed. Instead of going to a good school, with an ethical coach, and playing for a program that demands he be a “student athlete,”, based on the reputed comments made by his father (post #5 FriscoDad) his new criteria may now be to attend a school that he perceives will help him transition into the NBA with the least amount of difficulty or risk. I can hear the recruiting pitch now; “Hey, come play a year at our school. You’re not going to get your degree, you’re going to play in the NBA. Look at our recent track record of helping young men just like you become first round NBA draft picks. You won’t have to go to class while you’re hear, you’ll get maximum exposure, you’ll be coached by a man with NBA head-coaching experience. And you’ll be a part of a team that plays in the final four. That’s how to maximize your draft status and the value of your first NBA contract. If you want to get to the NBA as soon as possible, you need to think about the culture of the program, and that’s the culture we’ve created here at (fill in the blank).”

    Of course Lyles has every right to change his mind, that’s a given. Enough said.

    No, Crean should not stop recruiting him, or pull his offer. That would be stupid. Why do anything that would push the young man to another college team? “The selling begins when the customer says no.” Dialogue is now the key. Crean needs to get Lyles to “open up” and express the reasons why he is wavering. Crean is going to need to convince Lyles that he too can help Lyles become a first round draft pick in the NBA after only one year of college. I mean, that’s the real issue. Everything else is just window dressing, so Crean needs to focus his recruiting effort on Lyles’ primary “buying” criteria.

    Going forward, Crean is going to have to decide if he wants to go all-in for potential “one and done” players, and in so doing, modify the culture he is working so hard to establish at IU. I mean, IU’ basketball’s culture seems to be the opposite of Kentucky’s basketball culture. Student-athlete vs NBA mini-camp. A program that values balance between academic and athletic achievement compared to a nine-month NBA training camp. IU may sign a one-and-done player from time to time, but it’s either going to be the exception, or Crean is going to have to modify the culture of IU basketball. And as long as Calipari is at KY, IU will never be perceived as the best program for transitioning young men into the NBA. If that’s a young man’s primary objective, it’s obvious that IU is not going to be the best place for him. I can hear it now, “What do you mean I have to go to class and study? Man, that’s B.S. I’m just hear on a short lay-over en route to the NBA.”

  48. Geoff- you would really benefit from a close reading of “Guest’s” arguments; particularly his response to you in #42 and #43.

    Still, it’s clear that you are a ‘relativist’ when it comes to thought, ethics and values. However, I am hopeful your generation is not as flippant and dependent on ‘winning and losing’ as a determinant of ‘good and bad’, as you seem to suggest. Still, having met and admired many committed(there’s that d*mn*d word again) brave, selfless men and even boys and visionary leaders in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s (not all of them in basketball, much less the NBA), I hold out hope.

    Finally, I do have an idea…why don’t you resubmit (to the blog) that first posting I seem to recall when you introduced yourself as the ‘ultimate analyst’ given a ‘great and precious gift (you didn’t know why) from God to analyze to near-perfection ‘everything’ when it came to basketball. Perhaps, if ‘Guest’ read it he would understand you better. I know I did then and probably need to review it now.

    You’ll forgive me if I don’t get involved further with you for help or discussion/consultation of my limited knowledge of Philosophy, History and Philosophy of Science, Epistemology, λόγος, Ethics, Analytical Thinking, Advanced Mathematics, Statistics, Advanced Statistics and Discreet Mathematical Models as they apply to the dialectics of basketball and recruiting; but remembering that presentation (ca. Sept/Oct/Nov 2011?) completely inhibits me.

    But do share that with us again. I am anxious to be awed.

  49. Podunker, I enjoyed your post,,,thought provoking. After reading it, I thought it a great statement when one takes your last paragraph and has it lead the post. It seems to contextualize where the dilemma is. The comments regarding Lyles are much more dependent on the issue you introduce.

    I read (at Dustin’s suggestion) Hugh’s writings and commentary at the time Lyles gave his commitment and his father’s clear apprehension. It seems to me the entire episode (regardless of the ultimate decision by Lyles and family) is a great argument why there is something wrong in recruiting and ‘offering’ kids before they reach an age where reason catches up with emotion and hormones.

    I now admire Mr. Lyles, the coach who stepped up and can easily see their influence on young Lyles. We should and would be proud to have them at IU.

  50. Dear Matt,

    Why no call? I miss you. My door is always open, but just remember to bring cash if you want to put that uniform back on. Keep in mind, due to our mutual ongoing silence concerning your eligibility, I’ve already verbally agreed to Jonny Marlin serving as designated Christian walk-on scrapper to take a chair next to Austin and the rest of Cody’s chosen foot massagers.

    Life is good here in Bloomington this summer. We are far more attractive to NBA humpers than that first day Kelvin fell in love with thugs and your outside jumpers. No need for the old-fashioned courtship you once heard whispered into your ears from that 3-way calling louse. With such talent abounding in Assembly’s halls, and too many ‘Movements’ signed to the last of our newly remodeled private locker room stalls, I am unfortunately providing official notification that your quirky specialization of being the 2nd most prolific outside scorer in all of college basketball is no longer needed in this b-ball brothel house.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Crean

    P.S. I thought you might enjoy knowing that Joani thoroughly surprised me the other night when she named our stove top after you…..(in honor your range). Hope it gives you a chuckle. I could not stop laughing when she told me to fire up the tea kettle on the ‘Roth top.’ She is one clever lady.

  51. I don’t have the gift of Harvard to be able to pull up old posts and quotes at will. I do know that it wasn’t my first post. I’m also sure it was a response to something and therefore it should be put into context of that conversation. Also, as I’ve said to Harvard many times, I write plenty of things in jest or sarcastically (although probably not my unnatural gift to analyze and break down basketball).

    I have no doubt that you are an extremely learned man Tsao, both by book and experientially. You clearly are a gifted philosopher and writer. Its rare that you write something that doesn’t have value, but usually it’s just a perspective and not rooted in reality or fact.

    It’s kinda hilarious that you would begin to think my generation cares too much about winning and losing when almost always we are accused of the opposite – giving trophies to everyone, getting rid of letter grades, not allowing coaches to criticize players because we might hurt their feelings, trying to include everyone instead of cutting kids, etc, etc, etc…

    Clearly our leadership cared more about “right and wrong” over “winning and losing” when the Enola Gay was given its orders. I guess we still have lots to learn in that respect from the people you learned from…

    As far as Guest’s posts go…

    #42 is hardly rooted in reality. First, there are very few 6′ SG’s ranked #57… Look at Stanley Robinson for the mold of a #50-ish SG. Heck there are a lot of people (including me) in love with Buss, who is ranked out of the top 100 and is 6’3″ and the top scorer in his schools history. Guest was just grasping at straws with that statement. Second, IU hasn’t won squat yet, so for him to assume that we don’t need to recruit the type of players that the other top programs are recruiting is silly. Not to mention that Zeller is a one-and-done type player and will most likely be 2-and-done. Lastly, why would he make the statement that one-and-dones aren’t unnecessary to win national championships when UK just went 38-2 and won it all with 3 one-and-dones? I AM NOT SAYING THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO WIN, there are lots of ways to win, but his entire post is silly.

    #43 was already addressed in my post #46. I did read his post closely, apparently you didn’t read mine.

  52. The same kid who wore IU gear at the Adidas nations? The same kid who rushed the floor after the UK game? The same same kid that has been a solid commit for 2 years?

    This was not his decision.

  53. If MR were a HS Jr. or Sr. today IU would not be recruiting him. That supports why athletic scholarships are year to year contracts.

  54. #55—Podunker-my alter ego

    Thanks for finally writing your post. Until you posted, it was looking like I would have to try writing one explaining my point of view. Then every reader would have been left scratching their head wondering what the “H” my view is.

  55. “Clearly our leadership cared more about, “right and wrong” over “winning and losing” when the Enola Gay was given its orders.” ???`+?>_%?)*???>>??<<?…???,,??..//??.<,,??????//?????

  56. Any word about a potential Lyles transfer to a basketball factory aka prep school a la DSR?

  57. I don’t think anyone, in a perfect world, would disagree that young teenagers should not be recruited by college coaches until they are at least sophomores in High School. Having said that, until the rules are changed to prohibit such behavior, coaches have no choice but to recruit kids just after Junior High. If they don’t, they risk losing out on great talent and failing to meet the expectations of their schools most enthusiastic fans. Crean did not create this tendency, he may not even like it, but he has to remain competitive, and therefore start recruiting kids at a very young age.

    I submit that once Crean wins a couple of NCAA BB championships, he will not need to approach kids at such a young age. He’ll have the luxury of letting kids mature a couple more years and wait longer before offering a scholarship. Until then, he’s going to have to do what it takes to remain competitive, whether we like it or not.

    With the NCAA, if its not forbidden, its allowed.

  58. Sorry, all, work called.

    First, Geoff, no, I am not one that thinks society is eroding. That does not mean, however, that any sort of behavior is okey-dokey. Some of what is acceptable changes with the times, just like hemlines. Some of what is acceptable or unacceptable is universal across every era. I cannot imagine anyone arguing otherwise on that point.

    I also cannot imagine anyone arguing that gaining more power, or earning more money, or winning more games, or whatever other measure of getting ahead of the joneses one wants to choose, should be the sole determinant of what is acceptable and what is not.

    Moreover, the issue of values and ethics which are immutable is not just germane to amateur student athletic competition, they are the WHOLE POINT of amateur student athletic competition. That was the ultimate point that the NCAA was making in its punishment of Penn State, the source of the authority it claimed, and the target of both the punitive and the corrective justice it sought to exact. Penn State did not break technical rules. It broke bylaws associated with the spirit of competition. The NCAA then reaffirmed, in its punishment, that these bylaws come first in the NCAA manual because they are what is most important.

    I assert, and so did the NCAA in its press conference, that, while it is difficult to imagine violating those principles as egregiously as Penn State did, it is not only possible to violate them less egregiously, MUCH OF THE CURRENT SYSTEM VIOLATES THEM LESS EGREGIOUSLY, even though a large percentage of this “much” is in compliance with the technical rules.

    I do not want my alma mater to be a part of the “much of the current system,” whether they are in technical rules compliance or not. As such…

    Despite the technical rules, I do not believe it is in keeping with the spirit of what college sports should be to recruit a player whom the coach expects to leave school before he completes a degree. Would the admissions department admit anyone else if their essay stated they intended to only stay for a year?

    Despite the technical rules, I do not believe it is in keeping with the spirit of what college sports should be to revoke a scholarship before a student’s eligibility is complete, unless the player in some way violated the stated or unstated spirit of amateur student athletics participation.

    Despite the technical rules, I do not believe it is in keeping with the right values to over-sign in recruiting, which means that either a) a coach has brought in a player the coach expects to leave prior to a degree, b) forces the revocation of a scholarship from an existing player prior to the exhaustion of his eligibility, or c) forces the coach to place undue pressure on a player to voluntarily surrender his or her scholarship.

    Since the spirit of a coach’s proper role is to teach his players about life (through basketball and otherwise), I do not support the emphasis on an assistant coaching candidate’s recruiting contacts over an emphasis on the candidate’s teaching and coaching abilities.

    I do not support asking a 13- or 14-year old to commit to a decision as monumental as choosing a college, especially when that decision is monumentally more public than a 13- or 14-year old mind, which is still structurally that of a child’s, can possibly appreciate, and consider it doubly inappropriate when a 13- or 14-year old’s parents do not support the decision of THEIR CHILD.

    What I do support is for IU basketball (and football and soccer, etc.) to be a program that is a model of three things: a) what is not wrong, b) what is right, and c) what wins at the very highest level.

    What I will never believe is that a team cannot achieve all three, even if I accept that it is difficult. However, I would suggest that doing the right thing, even if difficult, is the very value that amateur student athletics is meant to teach. As such, those coaches and teachers who can do this, including in recruiting, are the ones I would call a good coach and a good recruiter. I want very much to have a good recruiter at IU, even a great one, and I want very much for Coach Crean to be a great recruiter, which I believe he can be.

    I will not believe these challenges are any more than difficult because I have seen otherwise, and I was not looking particularly far when I saw it. It’s not like 2011 was the first season coaches first began to stretch NCAA recruiting rules. Yet, well, “That Was Indiana.” I just don’t believe that that sentence cannot be present tense in reality instead of just rhetoric. In fact, I believe Coach Crean can make it present tense.

    But he cannot be if he tries to avoiding being wrong while ignoring the need to be right; and he will not be if the fan base insists only on winning, while focusing on the rules only for the purpose of pointing out when and where “everyone else is doing it.”

  59. Kids can truly get screwed by the people they trust. There’s a local kid who was the western NC football player of the year (QB) as well as a 27/10 hoopster. His high school coach thought himself really clever and convinced the kid to try to play schools off one another and not jump on any of the pretty good offers that had been tendered.

    He ended up out in the cold. He’ll be walking on at East Carolina this fall.

    He declined to talk about his high school coach for an article in the paper.

  60. Guest, you truly are a welcome Guest. I truly admire your values, your thought process and your ability to communicate them.

    It also makes me very proud to know that we are both a product of Indiana University, share a great love for it and care that “It’s Indiana” keep its deep meaning.

    Thank you.

  61. I have to agree a bit with Geoff. The fact we have this many posts, primarily the result of our feathers getting ruffled over one recruit pulling out of his verbal, speaks volumes to our insecurities. Hoosier basketball is still very vulnerable. I still believe we have a lot worth cheering. Remy Abell is enough for this Hoosier to have hope in the power of the unsung.

    And let’s remember, it’s basketball, folks. We were rarely favored to make a single Final Four…We have always been the underdog. We have always been the Minutemen, the scurrying and hurrying Hoosiers, against the King’s rule. It’s not life and death on the battlefield of hardcourt. It’s not Penn State. It’s not atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Lastly, it is my humble opinion that we should honor those players that came in our darkest hour with heart invested in cream and crimson. Roth will not go stomping away as a bitter young man if we don’t do the honorable thing. Isn’t that all the more reason to put our arms collectively around him and make him never believe we sold him out or didn’t wish him to be part of the party that may go down next season? Is that what we’re about? And why should we succumb to the hype of journalists and the sensationalism of every hot prospects wavering decisions as if all hope was conditional upon their loving our basketball program? Why is the bitter sky falling when someone prefers a different experience than what Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers have to offer?

    We have the best center in the country leading us next year. He’s no God, but he’s damn good. We have a group of great young men with unique personalities.. We have some high-flying athleticism to make for some very memorable moments to watch Hoosier hoops. Let the others whine and the sportswriters live in worlds of prognostication far less divine…When it comes to the passion for basketball in Indiana, there is no finer table to dine. Be thankful.

  62. Guest – Regarding post #65, I agree with your first two paragraphs 100%. After that it’s not so much that I disagree as that it just isn’t realistic. The system you described is DIII athletics, where coaches aren’t paid huge sums, the players don’t have a pretense of making it big, and classes matter because your degree is your future.

    The reality of big time DI sports is that in order to compete you have to do everything you can within the rules. Once you have talent then, if you have the right coach in place, you can ALSO teach life lessons, keep players on track to graduate, and hold them accountable to the team. That is definitely NOT the WHOLE POINT anymore, and for the NCAA to try to use that as their justification for action against PSU is just more evidence of their hypocrisy.

    There are several (assumably) clean programs in DI that are successful and respectable, but none of them would pass your test for ethics. It’s just not an achievable reality in the current landscape. There are too many dollars at stake.

    I do take exception with a couple of your points:
    1) once a scholarship is signed it cannot be revoked. Matt Roth did not have a scholarship revoked nor was he pressured to give it up. You didn’t mention him specifically, but it was certainly insinuated.
    2) do you have specific knowledge that Coach Johnson isn’t a quality teacher or coach? You are certainly throwing out that accusation. If I were him I’d be offended…

  63. “Despite the technical rules, I do not believe it is in keeping with the spirit of what college sports should be to recruit a player whom the coach expects to leave school before he completes a degree. Would the admissions department admit anyone else if their essay stated they intended to only stay for a year?”

    guest, certainly you will acknowledge that “spirit,” just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Different people have different ideas of what is “good” and what is not good, what is “right” and what is not right, and what “the spirit” of college sports should be and what it should not be. And while I have my own ideas of what college sports should be, I would never endorse anything that would erode personal freedom. I welcome and value your opinion, but please be careful not to represent yourself as an arbiter of what is right and wrong, or of what the spirit of college sports is or should be.

    Because not everyone agrees with your understanding of what that spirit of college sports is or should be, entities such as the NCAA, or any other significant organization, creates rules intended to govern/control behavior. And typically, the rules created by those entities are intended to be as tolerant as possible while assuring that minimum standards of behavior are followed. I don’t like the idea of college coaches recruiting one and done kids, but who am I to try to impose my values on others that may have a different opinion? The question then becomes, what harm does a certain behavior create, and are innocent people being damaged because there is no rule that prevents that behavior?

    While I believe offering a likely one-and-done player a college scholarship is untoward, denying him that opportunity is a far greater risk and a far great violation of the spirit of academia, which is to prepare young adults to survive and prosper in the real world. And please keep in mind that in the USA, freedom, for adults, which all of these adults are, must remain the ultimate trump card.

    To answer your hypothetical question, I guarantee you that a high school kid with an IQ of 180 would be offered academic scholarships by every top University in the world, even if that young genius made a public announcement that he intended to stay in school for only one year. The academics running those universities would fall all over themselves in competing to get that kid to enroll in their university. We’re talking about exceptional levels of talent, and Universities will go to great lengths to have access to that exceptional talent for as long as possible. Besides, the great genius or the great BB player may change his/her mind and decide to stay for a second, third or fourth year. To not offer them a scholarship would be to increase the likelihood of the outcome you’re trying to prevent.

    Do you remember those days when the NCAA had a rule that prohibited college freshmen from playing for the college’s varsity team? A lot of people thought that was a good rule because it protected the student-athlete’s health while promoting academic achievement. But then some people came along and said, “hey, those freshman athletes are adults. They have a right to play at the highest level and pursue the opportunities provided by their athletic talent. What right does the NCAA have to discriminate against an adult based on their age or the number of semesters they’ve been enrolled in college?” Some of those young people may become a professional athlete a year or two earlier as a result of playing as a freshman, allowing them to earn even greater sums of money and provide financial security for themselves and their loved ones. And just like that, the NCAA eliminated the rule, and for decades since, freshman have been allowed to play for their colleges’ varsity teams. To have denied them that opportunity would have been to deny them freedom, regardless of the spirit of the original rule.

    Freedom comes with risk, but the ultimate risk is to deny freedom.

  64. Po – a few thoughts on your posts

    1) I think it’s just as likely that the “external stimuli” was seeing his friends courted with big time sporting events and college coeds, and he just wanted to experience that too.

    2) I believe its quite an assumption on your part that Crean’s culture resembles anything like what Hoosier fans have grown used to in Bloomington. When Crean was at Marquette he didn’t have the clout, school, or city to attract big time talent. When he came to IU he clearly didn’t have the atmosphere to attract top in-state talent, much less national talent. Now that things are turning around we see that he works as hard as any recruiter out there and goes after the big names. He may not want to be UK, but I would guess he wants to have 1 or 2 one-and-done type talents every class, just like UNC, Duke, KU, Syracuse, OSU, etc. (not “the occasional one-and-done”).

    3) #64… Exactly!

  65. Dustin – can y’all put a character limit on the commenting functionality of these posts?

    Looking at these long replies makes me think some of these people need to get a life.

  66. Geoff; not sure what you meant in your point #2 of post #73. It appears to me that Crean is working very hard to build or rebuild IU’s basketball culture, which has for decades emphasized academic as well as athletic achievement and playing by the rules. I mean that’s what BK established and I’ve heard Crean speak on that on numerous occasions. More importantly, most, if not all the players he’s had since arriving in B town have exemplified that culture with pretty good grades, good citizenship, etc. That’s a far cry from the culture at KY and other college BB programs, which are thinly disguised NBA mini-camps.

    But sustaining a program that emphasizes academic and athletic achievement, and good citizenship, is not at odds with recruiting a kid that may turn out to be a one-and-done player. The truth is, no one really knows if a HIgh School kid, no matter how talented he is, is going to be a first round draft pick after one season of college basketball. A coach can project, but injuries, or performances below expectations, or character problems can derail even the most talented player from getting drafted by the NBA is the first round. So, in the end, you stay true to your principles, give the kids opportunities while insisting that they honor the program’s values and rules. It’s a given that they can leave the campus after a year, for all sorts of reasons, the NBA, transferring to a different school, getting kicked off the team, etc.

    As for the implication that Crean is over-recruiting, while it is true, the downside of not over-recruiting is far more dangerous than than what Crean is doing now. Yes, it is untoward and a bit awkward, but once again, it is the reality of today’s college sports free-for-all.

    Regarding Roth. I love the kid, I honor his dedication, courage and determination over the four years he played for IU, but he is NOT entitled to a fifth year of eligibility. In fact, I don’t think anyone thinks he should be entitled to anything more than what he has already received. He was a reasonably good player. He worked hard, on and off the court. He had some success. He made the most of his opportunity. He got his undergraduate degree and then his masters. The rules allow him to play another year, but that does not mean he should be entitled to play. In my opinion, while in a perfect world he’d be allowed to play another year, he is not as good as IU’s other guards. And it would be even an even greater injustice to deny one of IU’s younger players the opportunity to continue his education and BB career so that Roth could be on the team for a fifth year. Let’s be honest. Roth was a great three-point shooter and a scrappy player, but he was never a top-flight Big Ten guard, was a liability on defense, and would not be good enough to be a starter on next year’s roster. Crean has to do what’s in the best interest of his team, and in this case, given the circumstances, that means Roth will be denied a fifth year of eligibility. It’s not a perfect world, but it’s the right decision for IU BB and for the other players on the team.

  67. Po – apparently Tsao and Guest think that Roth should be entitled to another scholarship year. Maybe Harvard as well, although its tough for me to figure out exactly what he is serious about sometimes. I’m sure there are others…

    It seemed to me you were bordering on assuming that Crean wanted a culture similar to what Hoosier fans were used to through the Knight years – success with 99% of players staying through their senior years. I just don’t really think that is possible anymore, and I don’t think Crean is aiming for that type of culture. As is said I think he is trying to duplicate a culture similar to UNC, Duke, KU, OSU, etc that have 1 or 2 one-and-done types every year (not the rare exception), but appear to be clean and have classy programs. I don’t think you can compare the type of kids he recruited pre-success with the types of kids he is going after now though. Time will tell on that part. Sure he had to bring the program back to respectability, but a big part of that was making sure he had good citizens because they were coming off recruiting AND academic scandals. Now that he has restored a semblance of tradition, the priority will be winning. It doesn’t mean he stops recruiting good kids, but i think talent will be a bigger factor.

    We are in complete agreement with your entire second and third paragraphs of post #77. In fact I think we are in agreement with most of this stuff.

  68. Podunker…with respect, we differ on Roth. He’s a magnificent kid who stood firm under the most horrible of circumstances. He immediately made it known he was staying at Indiana; not because of the incoming coach but because ‘it was Indiana” and he felt he owed it allegiance. We should have his sense of honor.

    His basketball play made significant contributions last year. We should avoid rationalizing his worth just because we(underline we) have created an over-demand for his scholarship. Let’s, as you suggest, do be honest. Is the loss of integrity (technically we can do whatever in the h*ll we please) to our program worth it?

    Podunker, I’ve been reading you too long to believe you feel Roth is that easily expendable as a team mate and a person and a brother alum. No Podunker, I have much more faith in you than that.

    But, the problem is already out there. If not Roth…who? Tom Crean represents all of us as IU and this is not a situation I can support or ignore despite my satisfaction with his on-court results thus far. Underlining a very lucid (and basically simple) argument by Guest; it can’t be about avoiding doing wrong, it has to be about doing right. Mr. Roth and all the student-athletes who accept our uniform deserve no less.

  69. I completely disagree with the premise that Roth would be our weakest player if he were on next year’s roster. I tend to believe the addition of a heady and electrifying point guard will make Hulls and Roth all the more dangerous.

    Roth didn’t earn Mr. Basketball in Illinois because he was a scrub. He’s battled through injury while a Hoosier and just started to find a comfort level on the court last year. He did not “play” four years at Indiana. He only “played” in the first two games of the entire 2009-10 season. He missed the first four games of the 2010-11 season with a knee injury.

    This is not your typical sharpshooter. This kid is a center of the rim assassin. He found the nets at a rate of .545 from 3-pt. land last season(2nd best in the country) and hit 15 of 15 free throws. This is not a charity case. This is an insurance policy that could have costs us very little. Roth contributed last season and he could definitely contribute next year. I think we were damn fools for not finding a way to take advantage of the chance to secure an additional perimeter threat coming off the bench. We are the fools for squandering his available eligibility.

    And don’t for a minute believe that the poker hand he was playing in Dustin’s “Roth on the outside looking in” piece…Marriage, find a job, and settle down, my ass. If he doesn’t play in Bloomington, he will be on a roster somewhere within a five hour drive of the IU campus. There is a coach out there champing at the bit for a chance to add an impact player to his bench. It isn’t always about total points or minutes played..Roth can change the momentum of a game with one cannon shot. A couple timely 3-pointers can be back breakers and can fuel the energy of a crowd and light the spark a normally lackluster off night for a team. There’s nothing worse than being on the other side of the equation…Anyone remember a kid named Rob Wilson?

    Mark my word, you will see Matt Roth playing college basketball this fall. He’s playing it close to the vest until all chances at being a Hoosier are gone. I would not be surprised to see him playing for Rick Majerus or Bill Carmody. I’m pretty good at hunches.

  70. OK, let’s go off on a wild tangent here and assume that Matt came to IU for an education (I know, it seems crazy). What exactly would he be doing if he stayed? I know he’d be playing basketball, but what would he be doing in the classroom? Starting another graduate degree that he couldn’t complete in 2 semesters? Taking 5 PE courses?

    Just asking.

  71. ^ Yeah, let’s assume he came to IU to play basketball too.

    I know, it sounds crazy.

  72. Petition for the first offering a Done-and-One degree at IU with an NBA exemption clause?

    There will obviously be outrage from the NCAA. Can you blame them? The thought of a kid wasting one year of college, achieving two degrees, and not going to the NBA? Could there be anything more offensive to our standards of excellence and expectations in allowing only the ‘best of the best’ to be solely allowed the blowing off of a year our cherished institutions of learning? The Done-and-One?..The nerve.

    I do like the thought of how Matt Roth could be a little cute with a resume reviewed by a potential employer…..


    OUTSIDE INTERESTS: 20.5 feet and upon request.

  73. Wow! Some of you guys must work for political campaigns, because some posts are putting words in people’s mouths and taking things way out of context.

    #1. Roth played BB and got is his degree. No, make that got two degrees. Mission accomplished. He was not deprived of anything.

    #2. I never said anything that implied any criticism about his character. From all accounts, he is a GREAT young man, honorable, smart, classy, etc. But he is NOT a great college BB player. Great shooter, yes, great BB player, no.

    #3 What loss of integrity? That’s a completely false assertion. Did Crean promise Roth that he would be on the team for a fifth year? What promises did Crean make that he is now breaking? The NCAA allows players like Roth to be eligible for a fifth year, but that is not a guarantee. Being eligible for something and getting something are two different things. I’m eligible for an annual performance bonus, but that does not mean I’ll always receive a bonus.

    #4 I see some people confusing eligible with entitled, there’s a huge difference. Roth is NOT entitled to be on the team in 2012/2013.

    #5 Would I like to see Roth on the team in 2012? Yes. Do I think he could contribute to IU’s success? Yes. Would I give Roth a spot on the roster at the expense of a younger, potentially better player that has not completed his degree? Absolutely not. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    #6 Crean’s professional obligation to his employer is to put the best team on the floor and prepare them to play at the highest possible level, according to the rules and in keeping with the values of Indiana University. He does not have the luxury of subordinating his obligation to the team, or his employer, for the benefit of one player and the desires of some fans.

    #7 This is not little league, guys. And Roth is not a little boy. He is a grown man, and a very well educated man. From all accounts, he is a mature man. IU and Crean gave him an opportunity and Roth made the most of it. Hr has been and will continue to be successful. It’s time for him, and the rest of us to move on.

  74. #84—Podunker

    1-2-3-4-5-6-7 exactly on the nail head. Math Roth has always been one of my favorites as both a BB player and as a great young man.

  75. #8 (if I may be so bold) Roth has not been kicked off the team, or to my knowledge, told he can’t come back. It is simply that, if he does come back, IU will not be paying for it this year.

  76. #9 He was a Sampson recruit and if it were Verdell Jones with another year of eligibility, Tom Crean would have kindly shoved Jesus off the team.

    #10 He would not be the weakest player on the 2012 roster so Crean is abandoning his “obligation to put the best team on the floor.”

    #11 When do you think would have been an appropriate time to tell Matt Roth he would not be on the 2012-13 roster? Of course you need to earn your way onto the team, but when do you think is the right time to “earn” a level of mutual respect? When is it right to leave a young man that has frequently voiced his desire to remain on the team in the waiting room for four months after the conclusion of the season? Why does he have to be treated like a dead f**king skunk in the middle of the road? Why does Tom Crean seal his lips, hold his nose, and casually go about his way until the stench of his Hoosierness passes away?

    #12 The worst form of “cancer” on a program has nothing to do with living within the rules. The worst form of hideous growth is the abandonment of principles for the lust of winning; the disease that kills a simple and sincere heart given back respectfully to an adopted Hoosier, an orphan from the land of whiny Weber, that came to our home when the paint on our siding peeling and the roof was sagging, bringing nothing but his love and his honest effort to make our house the pride of the neighborhood again. No, Matt Roth was not kicked off the team. He was kicked in the stomach by those that have never known what it means to be a Hoosier.

  77. #13 There is nothing in leadership that lives by acceptable common practice.

    #14 Doing what is rightfully within the rules is for men like John Calipari. Doing right by men without the need those rules is what we call a Hoosier.

  78. #15 This is not little league, boys. Strap on protection and prepare for loss of virginity. Don’t whine like “children” when a potential recruit treats Indiana with the indifference of chopped liver when the said recruit witnesses Indiana treat their own the same. If you want a loveless house of One-and-Done’s, please don’t act like the paid whore should have left her heart at your door.

  79. Harvard – regarding most of your points… See #8, it proves them all false and/or irrelevant. Regarding #15, those of us who have clearly made our feelings on the Roth situation known are not whining about Lyles… We are supporting him. And none of us – not one single person here – has ever clamored for a team of one-and-dones.

  80. I imagine, when Matt was a senior, nobody ever said, “Matt, we are gonna promise you five years of education so that you can get a start on your second graduate degree by the time you leave.”

    Matt got what he was promised. More would have been nice for him but he got what he was promised.

  81. Harvard – as far Point number 10, not true… Roth would be either the 7th or 8th guard/wing in the rotation, meaning he would be used completely situationally or in blow-outs. The few minutes he would receive in meaningful games aren’t worth (in a strictly basketball sense) taking a scholarship away from a younger player that would almost certainly play a meaningful role on future teams. Crean not only has to put the best team on the floor now, but also has to nurture talent for the future success. therefore, there isn’t a ethical or basketball argument for giving Roth another scholarship year.

    And for the 5th time… Roth is more than welcome to play on the team this year, just not for free.

  82. Harvard, I absolutely agree with every one of your points. The only exception may be the issue about Verdell and probably because it’s over and I feel best to just be grateful that someone besides Roth had the integrity (yes Podunker- the integrity] to stand by his word (that damned word ‘commitment!’) and the institution he obviously cares about.

    This may have been your absolutely best and most inspiring moment H. I have no need to add a single word to what you have said in these posts.

  83. Tsao – why are you so against Roth paying for a year of school in order to compete after he’s already received an undergrad and masters degree for free?

    Harvard – same question.

  84. Geoff…you are trying to pick fly sh** out of the pepper shaker. Like a cadet at the USMA (West Point) once said: If we have to explain the Cadet Honor Code to you, there’s no point in doing so.

    I guess Crean’s request that Roth “keep his options open” surprises me. Your take on it does not.

    Podunker- I especially agree with Harvard’s take on Roth’s big-BIG contribution and with his point that Roth is a know strength if he is wearing the candy stripes in 2012…a leader. His impact on the rest of the team, may some day be another “Hoosiers” legend.

    In addition, Integrity will have been smeared all over our candy stripes if we don’t stand firm behind Roth.

  85. He has been left in perpetual limbo after voicing his desire to the coach that he would anxiously return upon an invitation. I find it highly more disrespectful, flippant, and indifferent than being kicked off the team. The formal definitions of “kicked off” that you cling to like the Holy Grail serves as no defense to the impotent lack of choosing to do the right thing. The deadline for proper respect has long passed.

    There are many on this blog that live in the selling of fear. They will use that fear to defend any wrongs. They look at the new coach in the light he wants to paint himself on Twitter..They see him as holy savior and believe he should escape all scrutiny because he successfully invented evil in his predecessor. Why don’t you start being honest, Geoff? That sort of garbage doesn’t work with people intelligent enough to recognize sincerity, decency, and redemption are more often told in quiet actions rather than empty quotes, podium rah-rah, and attachment to “Indiana” tales you played no part. In my mind, Roth is more a Hoosier than anything Tom Crean will ever amount. He earned it on the court with confidence, perseverance, conviction, and dignity to the name he wore on his jersey. Tom Crean could learn a lot from Matt Roth. It’s not a one way street, Geoff. The best of coaches do not only teach, they believe in young men enough to learn from them too.

  86. Tsao – I’m not asking you to explain the honor code. You avoid every question or point that essentially renders your points moot. It is basically an admission that you have no answers. Sorry to so thoroughly have whipped your butt once again. all of the points that you, guest, and Harvard have attempted to make have been beaten and battered to a pulp by multiple posters using rational and reasonable arguments.

    Not only are you in the vast minority, but it’s because you are wrong, not because you understand some deeper deeper meaning of Hoosierdom than other alum or non-alum.

  87. Harvard – once again your post is full of complete and utter nonsense.

    If not Roth, who. Someone is going to be left without a scholarship. Better the player who has participated in the program for 4 years, earned 2 degrees, and who will not have a meaningful role in the success of this or future teams, than a younger player who hasn’t earned his degree and will contribute to the future success of the program.

    Crean is saying to keep his options open in case Roth does want to accept a free ride his fifth year. If not, I’m sure Crean will be more than happy to save a place at the table.

    If you are at all trying to describe me in your second paragraph it’s completely laughable, and you know it. I’ve never read a single tweet of Crean’s. I don’t listen to Crean interviews. Personally I find him a little annoying, but I love his work ethic, recruiting ability, and way he has created a family atmosphere within the team. Bottom line I am happy he’s our coach.

    I never have been outspoken negatively towards Sampson or his players. I think he was railroaded by the NCAA and its pretty clear his infractions weren’t that big a deal since the rules he broke are no longer in place. I do think there was disconnect in the culture of the program though as evidence by the academic records during his tenure.

    If Roth is such a great Hoosier then why doesn’t he understand the situation and unselfishly accept his role as walk-on and pay his way his final year. Older siblings make sacrifices for younger siblings all the time in order to see them grow. Roth can continue to set a great example and be an even better leader by understanding how fortunate he has been to this point, and instead of asking a less mature and accomplished teammate to relinquish their scholarship he can pay his own way for one year.

    It is quite an assumption that Crean is a one way street…

  88. Tsao – congrats on another off-topic response. Classic defeatist tactic – when I don’t have a leg to stand on just change the subject and hope either no one notices or someone thinks it’s funny.

  89. My specialty is nonsense..Here’s some more nonsense. Someone will be left without a scholarship anyway. Even without Roth, the fact remains there are still 14 players scheduled to be on scholarship(one over the limit of 13 allowed by the NCAA)..

    You’ve just expended a lot of energy on this thread defending the argument that Roth should slip quietly into the night so to not unfairly force a “less mature and accomplished teammate to relinquish their scholarship.”

    Don’t be an ass and put that solely on Roth. Where’s your goat #2? What “accomplished teammate” is not quite accomplished enough to hold the one too many scholarship still existing at this late date? Remy? Etherington? Creek? Who needs to pay, quit, or leave town? You see, that’s the real reason for all the reasoning away of Matt Roth. ..There’s still an ugly wart on our face. It’s far less difficult to camouflage and manufacture the deceptions necessary to put makeup on one casualty of our unethical behavior than to deal with double the size ignorance in planning.

    Are you going to apply your golden rule consistently and take off of scholarship the next Hoosier already holding a degree? Doesn’t Hulls have his degree? Should we now be asking Jordy to now pay and move over for less mature and accomplished teammate because our coach can’t plan his way to thirteen? Why shouldn’t he pay? He got his degree. And with all the talent in the pipeline, it seems almost unreasonably ‘homerish’ to give a scholarship to a kid that got his education for free while being the worst defender in all of college basketball. Or maybe we should we wish for Creek’s knees to fail him again in an August practice? I’m sure Crean is wondering why Maurice has selfishly attempted to hoard a scholarship when he knows very well he’ll never be the player he once was..So tell me, now that Roth is out of the equation, who doesn’t warrant that 14th scholarship that’s been already assumed by a thing called our floppy seesawing word? What future maturing star of your choice should we wish upon(or wish off the team) to make the numbers add up? They are just numbers, right? They’re not men. They’re meat on a rankings list and we grade them accordingly without ever a belief that they could surprise or exceed our expectations. There is never going to be a player that will achieve more tomorrow than what Geoff has already seen in his crystal ball today.

    So now it’s your turn, Geoff. Now that we’ve crossed Roth off the scholarship list because of the unfair sacrifice caused to any young blossom far more important to the future of the team, where do you find your next name?

  90. 1) I’m not asking Roth to slip quietly into the night. He is more than welcomed to be part of the team.

    2) Creek. It’s an unfortunate situation, but not a difficult decision in my mind.

  91. Geoff, indeed your #2) is the only answer. It is all right and it is all wrong but is the only answer.

  92. Not sure how many of you read the Telep article on ESPN, but he noted that 8 top-25 players have decommitted in the last 3 classes. Of those eight, 3 ended up re-committing to their original school. Those that try to make it out like it never happens simply aren’t paying attention.

  93. Tsao, I think you and HforH are “projecting” on to the Roth situation according to your emotions and your personal regard for Roth. But to imply or state outright, for the sake of trying to win the debate, that ” Integrity will have been smeared all over our candy stripes if we don’t stand firm behind Roth” is simply ridiculous. It’s way over the top and does you a disservice. And the hyperbole not withstanding, your arguments are simply not based on facts.

    You imply that Roth was promised something and that now IU is reneging on that promise. That’s simply not true. I have seen no evidence, even from Roth’s on words, where he believed he was promised something which is now being denied him. As I’ve said in other posts, he is eligible to play another year, but not entitled to do so. There is a huge difference. I am eligible for an annual performance bonus, but that does not mean I’m going to get it. Being eligible for something is a far cry from being promised that you will receive it.

    And your argument completely ignores what would, in most people’s minds, be a far greater breach of integrity. In essence, you argue that Crean should kick a younger player off the team, deny him a year’s scholarship, perhaps disrupt and/or delay his education and disrupt his young life when he’s forced to transfer to another school, so that Roth, who has already played four years and already has two degrees, can play limited minutes for a fifth year. Wow! I suggest your regard and loyalty to Roth and the emotion you have invested in the young man has clouded your judgement.

    Depriving a younger player, who has not completed his degree, who has not had significant playing time, who has not been on the team for four years, from his scholarship, and thereby disrupting his life, so that a man with two degrees and four years of experience can play another year would smear IU’s integrity to a far greater degree. I think you and HforH have walked through the looking glass on this issue and that your judgement has been clouded by your emotional attachment to Roth.

  94. Podunker…you are a good guy, always have been a favorite read; you are passionate about Indiana and certainly reason well. None of that changes. We simply disagree on this.

    I’ll address the philosophical issues and how they affect Indiana and the degree to which it concerns me in a separate email.

    But, using your utilitarian logic, I have a solution. The player who should have his scholarship taken away is Hulls. Following are my reasons.

    1. Hulls has already graduated. He got what we promised him…a great education, an honored undergraduate degree. He will, without doubt, have the opportunity and honor of wearing the candy stripes.
    2. Hulls is older and further along with his schooling in terms of class than Etherington or any of the other sophs-to-be or incoming freshment.
    2. Hulls is an Indiana resident, thus qualifies as in-state for tuition purposes; therefore his cost of tuition will be significantly (thousands and thousands) lower than Roth’s and/or Cheek’s would be.
    3. Hulls is a Bloomington resident, his family home is here. He could live at home while completing his year in school, playing for the Hoosiers in front of his hometown fans and cutting the expenses of Room and Board by a more than significant amount.(I am allowing for the fact that it would require some expense by the Hulls’. Since he would be on the team, I guess he would still be entitled to the ‘team training table’ meals, but even if he weren’t I’m sure the Hulls family would be happy to have him around during dinner hour.
    4. As I understand it, Hulls’ sister will now be on an IU athletic scholarship. While her eligibility to play may be an issue given transfer rules (not yet decided by the NCAA), her tuition, room, board, fees and book costs are immediately paid by IU. His family will already benefit to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars in college costs that she has earned from her basketball.
    5. Hopefully this solution will provide a way for us to recognize the contribution and the admiration we have for the Hulls (the entire family) while allowing Hoosiers to treat Roth,Cheek and whoever is also living on pins and needles wondering if they will be able to continue financing their education through their participation in basketball, with the same dignity and concern for their efforts in our behalf.
    6. Very important. I hope Coach Crean has learned that while we understand the pressures that force him to make a distribution of limited resources, he created the problem by overextending those resources and creating a new and even more troubling problem. (Kind of sounds like Economics 101 doesn’t it?
    7. A final point. Whether a ‘bible thumper’ like me or an individual driven by more secular points of views, the truth of the statement: “Do unto others as unto thyself” (some would word it: “…as you would have them do unto you”),its application to the dilemma faced by the Hoosiers regarding the offer of 12 scholarships to 14 candidates should be clear.

  95. Po, couldn’t agree more. He got four years of college, which he utilized quite well by picking up two degrees. Twists of fate made him eligible for yet another year, for which IU was in no way obligated to provide a scholarship. I’ve yet to hear any reason why he would want or need another year of college other than to wear the candystripes one more time.

    While we may want Matt to be able to toss in some threes to please us, that in no way means it’s what’s best for him. Harvard insists he’ll be on the court for someone this year. If he wants to I’m sure that’s true. If he isn’t than I guess we all know where his priorities lie. It not all about what we want.

  96. These young men spend their entire lives perfecting what they do on a basketball court. Keep that in mind. I repeatedly hear that Matt “played” four years at IU. He barely caught his stride for two. Unless you’re a supremely gifted one-and-done type talent, college is the opportunity to take your years of dedication to honing those skills into a realm of achievement that will serve as your final curtain for the sport. This is Matt Roth’s science..This is his years upon years of body meets physics. The education has been on the basketball court. All the work you put into being a Division 1 athlete molds into the concept of team ahead of individual. Your skills, albeit more heavily weighted in a unique specialty that may never be of any use on an NBA roster, have taken you to a level that puts you into a rare class of basketball talent. You are denying the science of the athlete and the studying of its every elemental component placed in hours of study and work subject the proper due. The hardwood was his library, my friends. A degree in “Sports Administration” is the opportunity cost, the sacrifice to put more study into jump shots instead of the “classroom” that many of you are using as rope for his course of life that feeds into an artistic pursuit his love. Basketball was Matt Roth’s study in art. I believe the honoring of the eligibility is in the honoring of the beauty his art.

  97. Tsao, two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Hulls is going into his fourth year. Roth would be going into his fifth year. Hulls is a better player, a more valuable player, a team leader and according to his coach, a better three point shooter than Roth (forget the stats, Crean said Hulls was the best 3-point shooter he’d ever seen). Taking away Hulls scholarship so that Roth could ride the pine for 37 minutes a game (if he even got that much playing time) would be ridiculous, and could produce a disastrous problem with team morale. That would be “betting the farm” for minimal gain.

    And what would Roth study when he was not practicing his art on the hardwood? I’d rather Hulls have a year to pursue a Master’s degree than have Roth taking some silly classes so that he could give the appearance of remaining a student athlete.

    I admire your regard for and loyalty to Roth, but you’re arguments trying to justify giving him another year of scholarship are now bordering on incredible. I appreciate rooting for the underdog as much as anyone, but its time for Roth to move on with his life and for us to support the young talent Crean has assembled on the 2012/2013 team.

  98. Come on Dustin, don’t direct us to something we can’t read. I’m back in Indy for awhile and I buy the Herald Times daily. I would subscribe if the high school coverage was better, ie; Martinsville. Usually have to get the Indy Star for the next day scores. I’m usually only in state 3 months a year and to get local new I will need to subscribe to either Indy Star or you guys.

    Anyway, if the noted article is a month old its old news and should be available at least when we are directed to it.

    IU sports and the Outdoors section are great. Any chance of subscribing to only those…?

  99. Ron,
    Doesn’t so much work that way. But the point of the story is that that Jordan’s dad had a cancerous tumor in his tonsils this summer. He had those removed and he expects to make a quick and full recovery. He should be close to finished with his seven weeks of chemotherapy and radiation and that’s expected to get everything and he should be fine. Still, probably not the best time to take the guy’s kid off of scholarship.

  100. I don’t recall saying Matt played for four years. I said he got four years of college paid for, as he was presumably offered.

  101. i have stayed away for a long time .but Tsao you have Geoff figured to a tee he.s a pompous a–. I,m leaving for a while ,but I,ll be back. Can,t wait to hear from Geoff

  102. Very sorry for Mr. Hulls and happy to hear he is winning his battle with a more than tough opponent. I sincerely wish him a speedy and full recovery.

    I also believe that whatever the reason both young Hulls’ should keep their scholarship. The issue I argue is the same in the case of Hulls, Roth, Creek (you were absolutely right Harvard, I have no idea how I came up with Cheeks other than it just popped up like that…my bad and thanks for pointing it out) and anyone else who accepted their scholarship under the assumption that it is theirs until they complete their eligibility, whether it takes 4, 5 or 6 years as long as they play with the effort expected and sustain their grades and progress towards graduation (in other words, no 7th,8th year sophomores with 6 hours each in Health, Recreation, Mathematics, Physics…Anthropology, Spanish, Quechua, Police Science and Business Administration).

    I have a hard time convincing myself that all these student athletes- though technically accepting a one year renewable scholarship- accepted Indiana’s offer with the belief and assumption that they would receive them for the entire four years of eligibility granted under the NCAA rules.

    I also truly believe that Coach also Tom Crean believed this as well when he offered the scholarships. If the offer was (and now is) different, TC needs to say so. I am also perpelexed that his attitude towards Roth has been one of ‘keep your options open’, when he really meant ‘keep TC’s options open’.

    It really is a matter of Indiana’s integrity. Earlier Calipari had said Kentucky ‘was different’. He’s right and they are. Indiana ‘is much different’ than Kentucky. We actually care about providing an education, rounding out the character and individual worth of the athletes who represent us and, in the honor of our university. No way do we want to resemble the ‘stud stables’ that pass for the University of Kentucky.

    Our athletic programs are a part of a legitimate and honored university; not remedial, compensatory programs for marginally educated, very tall future NBA players who need to learn how to read the sign on the $2 window at Keeneland Racetrack, make change for the $100 bill they now carry, sign their names on bail-bond forms and read the words on the t-shirts they wear.

    Podunker, I’m surprised and, honestly, have a hard time addressing our differences on this. I consider some of the other arguments on this issue idiotic, narrow minded products of a very limited intellect and challenged value systems. Not so in your case. I have and continue to have a profound respect for you. Simply put< I consider you a friend. But, regardless, address the issue, I must. When you state two wrongs don't make a right, I assume you are talking the taking of the scholarship away from either Roth or Hulls…or Creeks or Etherington or….(anyone else who does not volunteer financing his own way in 2012). If this is the case, it seems to me you are conceding it is wrong to have over-committed scholarships. And, I don't think the argument that forcing any of these players out because it simply suits us is an argument we want circulating out there if we are to attract high caliber kids as players and truly include them as Hoosier family members. If, indeed, I'm wrong I need to rethink the reasons for my pride on the diplomas hanging in my studio and the fifty year love affair with Indiana University.

    I am simply stating my view of what Indiana University recruiting should be like because it is Indiana, and extending it to the ethical, above reproach, setting and meeting of high standards morally, academically and athletically.

    Given the tragedy of this case, I also believe that part of the coaching job (in any sport) at Indiana should not only include mentoring and teaching the athletes the sport, but focuses the demands of the job on scouting their skills in such a way that- in the future- we avoid the mess we're in, because of our implied promises. (Please don't even bother to argue whether Crean actually said it or not…there is little if any doubt in my mind it was understood as such). If we are forced to take back a scholarship the failing is in the scouting and evaluation done by the coaches and the head coach should be held accountable.

    There is precedent. When Kevin Wilson arrived at Indiana, one of the first things he did is review and take back some offers made by previous coach Bill Lynch and his staff to football players who, in his view, did not meet the standards he set for players on his team. I remember questioning this position. But, on review and with the benefit of hindsight, having experienced the situation we find ourselves in with Messrs Roth, Creek, Etherington,…etal, I now see the wisdom of Wilson's action.

    Finally, allow me to point out that some Hoosier basketball fans have voiced their view that we should throw Roth and Creek under-the-bus (or off it) who find themselves in their precarious positions because they literally exposed themselves and were injured as they represented Indiana University to their physical limits and with the intent to honorably represent the Hoosiers. To turn our backs on them now would simply label us as cynical ingrates. There is no place in any Crimson banner on our walls for those two words.

  103. Elmo, save your energy and thoughts. He is like cigarette smoke; you see it, smell it, it irritates and poisons your lungs…but if you try to grab it you realize that there is nothing, absolutely nothing there. Just a vacuum waiting for matter.

  104. Tsao, did you really write “Given the tragedy of this case?” Come on, that’s just silly. Please be careful not to use words that dramatize what is at most, a minor disappointment and a less-than-ideal conclusion to a young man’s IU basketball career. Penn State football was a case involving a tragedy. This is light years away from a tragedy.

    I conceded a long time ago that in a perfect world, Roth would be on the team this year and have the opportunity to play. But it is not a perfect world. But again, while Roth is eligible, he is not entitled. He was NOT promised a fifth year of scholarship and no one has taken anything away from him. Roth losing his fifth year is by far the lessor of two injustices. That you manifest this case into something so wrong, so “tragic,” speaks more to your emotional investment in Roth than it does to any real injustice that has been done to the man.

    And it would be wrong to disrupt/deny a younger player the opportunity to play and a year of scholarship just so a guy with a Master’s degree can take a victory lap from the bench. That would be very wrong and a far greater injustice.

    One other thing. Your arguments, which have become more strident (i.e., “tragedy”), do not appear to be based on facts. You imply that some wrongs have been committed, a trust betrayed, a promise broken, or that IU’s integrity has been compromised. But you have no facts to back that up. When did Roth accuse Crean of breaking a promise or betraying his trust? It appears that you are projecting things into the case based on an outcome that displeases you. That’s like a family member of a trauma patient accusing the doctors of malpractice because their loved one died. Their is a HUGE difference between a bad outcome and bad treatment. Please be careful about casting aspersions just because you did not like the outcome.

  105. I don’t think Tsao has an “emotional investment” in Roth. He has an integrity investment in the Indiana Hoosiers.

    Roth is a decent kid and, no matter the wrong of this ugly chapter in his basketball career, he will not bad-mouth his school or the coach for this injustice that has stolen his final year of eligibility.

  106. Maybe Matt has a little clearer perspective than the fans. Not the least of it being he can’t find any reason for two more semesters of school at this point in his life.

  107. People on this blog have six degrees…Where did they find reasons for more semesters? At this point in his life? I knew a doctor that did not enter medical school until he was fifty years old. Maybe Matt Roth could take some electives and discover a subject that could end up being the foundation a whole new meaning in his life…Sorta like a guy that walked home from a tedious job and saw a billboard with a fighter jet calling him to Pensacola.

    Outside of just getting his ears wet during his freshman year, he barely had another 1.5 years on the court healthy. You’re reasoning away his future without knowing any of his thought processes. This is not a question of “what he wants” at this point in his life. We cannot get in his head. This is a question of what should have been made available. That is what defines “keeping your options open.”

  108. Well, yeah, but we are both using the same argument. None of us know what Matt wants to do. Without that knowledge it’s impossible to cast aspersions on anyone.

    That’s the whole point.

  109. But telling a kid to “leave your options open” assumes the availability of doing what he wants to do. Closing his eligibility by leaving him hanging without the benefit of any communication takes away that option. What is left in terms of available choices is the whole point. We don’t need to get into his head.

    Choice A: Come back to IU and suit up for your final year of eligibility.

    Choice B: Move on to pursue other interests.

    By all understanding of everything I’ve heard come from Dustin, he has been blown off by his coach and thus left with only the latter choice. Choice B is an independent choice that could be made irrespective of Choice A. To fulfill Choice A requires the communication and participation from his coach. To my knowledge(unless Matt Roth has not been telling the truth), Tom Crean has implied through his silence that he has no concern for any “wants” Matt Roth could hold with regard to Choice A. He doesn’t want to listen or discuss that option and it suggests he conveniently doesn’t care about his having the full availability of whatever his wants/desires may be: extend his basketball career or move on.

  110. I haven’t ruled it out by any means, but I haven’t been informed of any opportunities to come back to IU. I don’t know what else to say. I’ve kept it open all summer, but I haven’t heard anything. I don’t know anything, and I know we’re running out of days.”(Courtesy: Chicago Tribune, ‘Roth on outside looking in’ by Dustin Dopirak, Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind.

  111. If Matt wants to play basketball this year, why doesn’t he. If he wants to play at IU, why doesn’t he?

    Has there been some statement somewhere that I don’t know about from Crean saying that Matt is not welcomed back on the team?

    You can judge me all you’d like Tsao, I certainly make judgements on you (most are actually very good), but the fact remains I am dealing within the current reality, and you are dealing in an idealistic world that may, or may not have existed 30-50 years ago.

    Unfortunately for you, you now have people that you like and respect making the same exact argument I have been making. Maybe I am a pompous ass, but my arguments and perspective have plenty of teeth.

    In this current debate I have directly debated your points, while you avoid any of the questions I bring up.

    You have made some fairly large assumptions, regularly used hyperbole, and attempted to put words in others’ mouths.

    While I don’t share your perspective as a Hoosier alum, that allows me to have a wider view of this situation. Yours has remained narrow and IU-centric.

    I actually envy your sense of values and ethics, and I can see how I come across as narcissistic to you. But I am simply arguing for practicality based on a current reality.

    My desire is for IU basketball to provide a team that is entertaining, winning, and that we can be proud of. I don’t have any allegiances to a bygone time or university experience like you. I’m sure my vote counts for half of yours because of that. But I think there are far more fans in the current Hoosier camp that can live with the oversign, the transfer of bit players, and the moving of scholarships from some players to other younger more talented ones if it means we have a program that contends for B1G titles and Final Fours every year. I also assume that we can do those things and remain inside the NCAA rules and have a 100% GSR. Maybe that puts me a level below you on the ethics scale, but I can live with that.

  112. I guess that’s kinda saying what he wanted was to “not rule it out.” The callous and empty silence from Bloomington, unless his coach calls him with Choice A on the table within the next six days, completely closes the door on wanting not to rule anything out.

  113. Harvard – that quote only tells us that Crean has not taken the initiative to reach out to Roth to make his options crystal clear. It does not, however, tell us how much initiative Matt’s taken or effort he has made to reach out to Crean to clarify the situation.

    Is there a lack of effort or communication on one side or both?

  114. Podunker, I feel comfortable with my statement exactly as is. What would really sicken me is if the event triggering the loss of scholarships by Roth, Creek or any athlete was the outcome of injuries suffered while honorably representing the Hoosiers, while asking Roth to keep “his options open” while we continue to offer scholarships we don’t have.

    I also prefer to believe that your argument about the elder making way for the young one(Roth, Creek) is either out of innocence or passion clouding your judgment. Either way, I’d rather see banners that represent the best of Hoosier sports than one that compromises the values represented by those already hanging on our wall.

    We agree to disagree.

  115. Maybe Dustin can clear it up. Dustin, did Matt Roth communicate to you that he clearly told Crean he wanted to come back for his final year of eligibility and was then subsequently told “to keep his options” open(the response from Crean basically meaning “I’ll let you know either way”)?

    Or, did you have the understanding that he was indecisive, not sure if he wanted to come back and play for a loaded and potentially championship team, and Crean simply proposed to not close the door on the idea(“Hey, Matt, if you want to play, give me a call by August 20th…If I don’t hear from you, I will assume you don’t want to be on the team”).

  116. If the new Scoop poll question were:

    What word best describes the current scholarship oversign situation at IU?
    A) tragedy
    B) unfortunate
    C) necessary
    D) normal
    E) utopia

    I wonder what the outcome would be? My guess is “tragedy” would have very much support.

    Once again, hyperbole at its best Tsao.

    If that poll were taken to a national level… Even a smaller %.

    Once again, myopia at its finest Tsao.

  117. Here is the sum of the discussion. Roth is not good enough to play this year for IU. If somehow the bill for this year is paid for he would be part of the team but if he has to pay, it is not worth it. In other words he is pleased with what he has received on IU’s tab and understands he is paid up. His career is over at IU unless he ponie$ up.


    If Matt Roth called up Crean and said this, “coach I have loved being a Hoosier so much. I’ve loved playing for you and building this program back with my teammates. I know I participated in Senior Night last year, and that you have been planning on using my scholarship on an incoming freshman. Even though I’ve already earned my Masters I really want to be a part of this loaded, potentially championship team… even if it means I have to pay for a year of school. If I decide to come back will you guarantee me a spot on the roster?”

    Now if that is the situation, and Crean has been either stone-walling or ignoring him, then he is an a-hole and I will have a different view of the program under him.

  119. Harvard,
    I sincerely wish I had a more concrete answer to this question and it is a reporting shortcoming that I do not, but my impression was very much that Roth had at least communicated an interest in returning. I can’t say how definitive his words were to Crean, but he said he did pass up potential job opportunities — I didn’t get the impression that he actually passed up jobs that were offered, but perhaps that he decided not to apply for certain jobs in order to leave the possibility of basketball open. Crean was aware, I believe, that if Roth had an opportunity to play, he would take it, and that he wasn’t waiting on Roth to communicate his interest. That being said, I think Roth also understood heading into the spring that his odds weren’t very good, and I think he generally understood the difficult position that Crean was in in terms of building the program, and I think he went into last season preparing himself for it to be the end of his career. I think he would’ve appreciated more communication since the school year ended, but I don’t know if Crean and Roth have spoken since my last story.
    In short, I think Roth wants to play again. I think he will accept it if he cannot, and I don’t believe he will hold it against Crean or feel cheated it if doesn’t happen. As far as walking on is concerned, I think he could certainly find something useful to do academically if he were on scholarship, but I think he would struggle to justify taking on $20,000 worth of debt to do it (remember, he’s from out of state.) If he didn’t have a degree yet, I think he would suck it up to make it happen, but unless he could get another degree in two semesters, it would be a bit of a reach.

  120. Dustin-

    Thank you for your assessment and personal viewpoints based on your communication with Matt Roth.

    I think he would’ve appreciated more communication since the school year ended, but I don’t know if Crean and Roth have spoken since my last story.

    Your above statement is what I find astonishing. I find it hard to believe that there is not a more of a heartfelt interest in a young man that invested his faith into the Indiana Hoosiers in a very low point its history. I remember the marketing campaign and all the warm and fuzzy speeches by Crean that constantly reiterated and referred to the couple incoming classes that Roth was a part of as “The New Generation.” They were the guys that epitomized the truest commitment to the colors cream and crimson…They were the guys with the light of hope hanging above their outstretched arms with hands clasped together at center court. Remember that photo, Dustin? Remember how Harvard took a lot of flack because he felt it was not tasteful for using a what he thought was a mimicking of a heaven’s light(much like the halo hovering over the head in paintings representative of Jesus)was being used to suggest Christian Hoosiers as divine a biblical figure? And now, when all is said and done, with a year of eligibility still on the table for one of the last these divine men of the New Generation, a final member of this select fine group that went through enormous shellackings on the hardwood but kept their heads high because they believed in the journey, there is not enough respect to have a constant and open line of dialogue? I think it’s bizarre. I think it’s troubling. All the speeches in locker rooms..all the practices. Why on earth would Matt Roth feel too uncomfortable to talk to Tom Crean. Why on earth would Tom Crean not make 100% sure that nothing was left unsaid? One would think they would be so much closer based on all the ups and downs they went through. Think of all the down faces in that locker room a few years ago. Think of the pride a kid must have in himself and Indiana to endure such lows. Roth could have taken his career to many other schools. He could have said the hell with this and transferred. And now the light above the clasped hands is gone and the phone does not ring. I find it borderline sick…I read the tweet from Crean to a prospective recruit that some suggested was creepy..I believe he told the recruit: “I thought about you this weekend…I thought about you a whole lot.” I find it far more creepy that a prospect yet to commit to Indiana is worth such gushy love and Matt Roth is not worth a thought or a phone call over the entire summer. It’s beyond creepy…It’s disturbing, cold, and heartless.

  121. Could “keep your option open” mean “don’t hesitate to look at opportunities to play at other basketball programs because you’ll likely not be hearing from Tom Crean?”

    Why be such a coward by not being completely frank with a decent young man? Why make such a dumb ass open-ended statement? Why was Roth so afraid to pursue him harder on what was meant by the statement “to keep his options open?” Stock options? Job options? Options to play as a walk-on? When do I report for duty, coach? Options to play for someone other than Indiana? Is there even a spot for another walk-on? When will you let me know? Will you call me by the end of May? If I don’t hear from you, can I call you for a definitive answer by the end of June? Options? If my fiancée
    tells me “to keep my options open” should I still marry her? Should I ask her what the hell that means?

  122. That a lot of assumptions. Apparently, you’ve been doing quite a bit of wiretapping.

    What happens if, in the very near future, all parties involved end up with their first choice of possible outcomes (though we’d have to be clairvoyant to know if that were the case)?

    Are the critics going to come forward and say, “Whoa! Man, was I ever off base on that one.”

    I’m kinda doubting it.

  123. Interesting news with Buss. My guess is that means Creek has a spot now. Hope he’s healthy, because he is actually a unique piece on this team. A true SG with size that can shoot, get to the rim, and defend reasonably well. If he isn’t then I guess there’s a spot for Roth after all.

    Hope Buss is able to get things in order and return to IU at some point. I had high hopes for him

  124. Chet, your post #140 was brilliant.

    Please, someone help me understand how throwing a younger, arguably more talented player, that has not completed his degree, off the team, so that Roth, who has two degrees, can come back for a victory lap, is the right thing to do. Please help me understand how, by not giving Roth a fifth year of scholarship, Crean has become such an immoral and unethical man. I’ve looked at this from every angle and considered all other points of view, but I’m either missing something, or some folks have an irrational sense of ethics and integrity. Please, someone show me where it is written that Roth is entitled to a fifth year of scholarship.

    Have I walked through the looking glass?

  125. Chet never makes assumptions. I’m pretty sure there is a huge shadow hanging over Tom Crean. This is what scares the hell out of all of us..This is what has created the facade of pious perfection that is so desperately removed from a simple sense of confidence and down-to-earth sincerity lacking from our coach. All this biblical ranting is likely due to never having a father that truly loved him. Jesus has now replaced that father. He will never be able to feel what is in the hearts of his players because he can’t love himself or anyone in his family. Nah…We’re not into assumptions on this blog..

    Heaven forbid I make a few assumptions about a coach trying to cover his ass because he ejaculated out too many scholarships in all the fondling his own empty sanctimonious flawlessness and greatness.

    You’re all a bunch of pansies that can’t handle anyone challenging your belief that you have final judgment and final word based on your supreme wisdom. Take a shit in your looking glass, Podunker. I have been accused on this blog as racist to loveless and everything in between. No, no assumptions here.

Comments are closed.