Hoosier Morning

Payback may not be an emphasis, but Indiana hasn’t forgotten last year’s loss at Nebraska either, Dustin writes.

The position-by-position matchup for IU-Nebraska, from Dustin.

The IU women’s basketball team travels to East Lansing tonight to take on the Big Ten’s best defense, Mike writes.

And a story I forgot to link yesterday, IU student Conner Bird, the son of Larry, was arrested Sunday after trying to hit his ex-girlfriend with a car, we reported.

Nebraska wants to control the pace when it visits top-ranked Indiana tonight, Brian Rosenthal of the Lincoln Journal Star writes.

The legend of IU women’s recruit Tyra Buss grew again Tuesday as she scored 30 of her 48 points after suffering a dislocated shoulder to lead Mt. Carmel into tonight’s sectional title game and become the second-leading scorer in Illinois history, Scott Allen of the Daily Republican Register wrote.

Noah Vonleh and Troy Williams were selected to play in the Jordan Brand Classic along with a host of Kentucky recruits, Steve Jones of the Louisville Courier-Journal writes.

Three losses in four games for Michigan, including last night’s blowout loss at Michigan State, means it’s time to put up or shut up for the Wolverines, Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com writes.

Michigan State put it all together Tuesday night and showed its true potential, Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal wrote.

Out of respect for the Wolverines’ splatter, here’s RoadKill with “Sold My Soul.”


  1. Hey Michigan, feel free to show up on a big stage versus your in state rival. That was a bad showing. Granted MSU looked unbelievable last night. They worry me right now. If they get on a roll and having Izzo as head coach, they could be very dangerous come BIG tourney and the NCAA. I am not looking forward to that game in Lansing, the boys better bring it.

  2. Wow..Just overheard a story on CNN about Larry Bird’s son.

    I didn’t realize his son resided in Bloomington. Wow…just..wow. And they called the kids that played for Sampson thugs…? Innocent ’til proven guilty, but it appears some pretty big thugs still walk the streets of Bloomington.

  3. I could care less if we throw the opening game to the Big 10 Tourney. We play the grueling 18 game schedule against the same teams for what exactly?

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a coach with some stones would just play all his subs in the Big 10 tournament? We could start Perea at center…Hollowell and Elston at the forwards…Put Remy and Raphael Smith at the guards. Howard and Creek come off the bench.

    Rest the starters for the NCAA tournament…

    Alternative strategy: Start with our normal rotations…go with the regular starters and subs for the first half. Second half: Play the entire bench(minus Sheehey) and challenge them to preserve and lead the starters could build during the first half.

    The end of season conference tourneys are nothing but motivated in dollars. There is zero concern the pounding fatigue endured by the college athlete that could use a week+ rest after a long regular season. And there’s also the possibility that you’ll meet a conference foe in the NCAA tourney…Before all is said and done, a possibility of four games against the same team…Ridiculous.

  4. Well, Harvard I agree about 80% with your last statement. Considering that the conference tournament winners are given entry to the big dance, they certainly have meaning to the teams on the bubble or completely out looking in…

  5. HforH, seldom do I agree with a post of yours so thoroughly as I did after reading #3 above. I agree completely.

    I wonder if a Big Ten coach would be “punished” sone how if he started his subs and played the entire bench through a game? Anybody know the rules? Also, I wonder if doing so would cause the Big Ten Champion (regular season) to lose a #1 seed in the big dance?

  6. Harvard for Hillbillies
    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 – 5:02 PM UTC

    I could care less if we throw the opening game to the Big 10 Tourney. We play the grueling 18 game schedule against the same teams for what exactly?

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a coach with some stones would just play all his subs in the Big 10 tournament? We could start Perea at center…Hollowell and Elston at the forwards…Put Remy and Raphael Smith at the guards. Howard and Creek come off the bench.

    Rest the starters for the NCAA tournament…

    Alternative strategy: Start with our normal rotations…go with the regular starters and subs for the first half. Second half: Play the entire bench(minus Sheehey) and challenge them to preserve and lead the starters could build during the first half.

    The end of season conference tourneys are nothing but motivated in dollars. There is zero concern the pounding fatigue endured by the college athlete that could use a week+ rest after a long regular season. And there’s also the possibility that you’ll meet a conference foe in the NCAA tourney…Before all is said and done, a possibility of four games against the same team…Ridiculous
    WOW…Don’t give up your day job

  7. But why should they be given that automatic bid, Geoff? Why couldn’t they proved they belonged during an 18 game conference schedule?

    And why should they be rewarded for preserving their vigor for a conference tourney when everyone else is spent for attempting to win the top spot in the standings?

    And doesn’t the committee almost always take five, six, or, sometimes, even seven teams from the Big 10 anyway? How often will a team in the lower 4 slots claim the championship trophy? Anyone in the top six spots in the standings are already likely on the invite list(or at minimum a bubble team)…

    Same with the smaller conferences…Valparaiso has had a hell of a regular season..They trip on a toenail at their postseason conference tournament and it results in no invitation to the Big Dance. Again, what exactly was the regular season for? Maybe the regular season should be shortened seeing how a requirement for many these small conference schools to get into the dance is to have to play and win four more games against the same opponent that has scouted them up and down and all over town.

    Isn’t that one of the few hidden advantages of the NCAA tournament for a Cinderella team(the fact that a powerhouse team has not shared the same floor and all the scouting in the world still doesn’t replace what you learn from head-to-head battle)? So, when we make the potential “Cinderella” team burn themselves out, wear down their thin rosters, with excessive playing in postseason conference tournaments, doesn’t it effectively give even more advantage to the powerhouse teams with deeper talent and deeper rosters?

    Just some NCAA March Madness food for thought…

  8. Well I could see a bubble team like Iowa winning it and securing a bid, especially if coaches at the top adopted your philosophy. Right now there are at least 2 teams that will almost certainly finish a couple games below .500 in the B1G that could win their way into the tourney. Both Illinois and Iowa proved outside of the B1G they are worthy, but what if they both finish 7-11 in conference… Those 2 teams were a combined 24-3 out of conference.

    I do basically agree with everything you’re saying though.

  9. Good Time-

    Don’t cry for me Argentina….

    I have support from Podunker and Geoff… For a good portion…my thoughts on conference tournaments…
    they’re well respected….I took my chances..
    Now save your lances….My thoughts on dances…I took my chances…I took my chances.

  10. My wife is into crocheting…Maybe she can knit you and your wife an IU baby blanket for junior if Illinois or Iowa even make it to a semifinal round. Let me know…She’s the Jordy Hulls of crocheting…small size..big game.

  11. I see three reasons for the B1G tourney. $$$$$$$$, last chance for a team to make the NCAA’s and to further enhance a teams position.

    If we win out the rest of the season or win enough to maintain #1 ranking than I like HH’s alternative strategy. Starting 5 first half only.

    Injuries have affected many of the teams this year and seem to be increasing. We’ve been lucky with Vic hitting the floor 10 times a game and Cody’s dives.

  12. Uhh HH, if the wife is using ‘those’ knitting needles I would imagine you step-up your game for Valentine’s Day?

  13. Sh*ts Malone! I just figured out how to turn my wife and the living room into a Chinese labor camp…IU hand knit baby blankets with the seal of authenticity: the HfH logo at the bottom left corner.

    Available by way of email sent to Dustin for $99.99. 50% deposit required…Ships in 8 weeks. Put you orders in TODAY!


  14. laffy singing nursery rhyme to Geoff and wife’s baby:

    Bwahahahahahahhahahahhahahahahahahha…Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahah..black sheep have you any wool.

    yes sir, yes sir, three bags full…you idiot.

  15. “I could care less if we throw the opening game to the Big 10 Tourney.”

    In retrospect, that’s what RMK claims he did every year. He basically said that he sandbagged the Big Ten tourney every year. I guess he agreed with your strategy.

    I’ve read stories about Larry Legend’s kids over the years. He’s an easy target so I hope there isn’t anything to the stories. If there is anything to them it is all very sad.

  16. Back in the day, when only one team per conference got to go to the Big Dance, it was not unusual for the best team to stay home because of conference tourneys.

    The 1974 Maryland team that lost in overtime to NC State (and, thus, stayed home) had 6 future NBA draft picks on the roster.

  17. Well, Chet, it was reported on CNN and on every major internet news site.

    As I said above, he deserves his day in court. But it’s not like I posted this as something my own personal spreading of hearsay and rumor. There was an arrest and a release on bond. I heard the story coming from my kitchen TV as it broke on CNN news… I was sitting at the computer and it caught my attention.

    Why should it be so shocking?…Yeah, they’re all easy targets Much like the Grammy’s that let a pop music star that beat the living daylights out of his girlfriend and busted up her face into their award show. I guess her face was an “easy target.” And the girlfriend has made complete peace with it all. Wonderful message to young women everywhere..You egged him on…You deserved to get your face rearranged. You deserved to have a car driven at you. Product of the times, I guess. Look how many degrade women on this very blog. Then in the next breath they talk of the decimation to our basketball program by those Sampson thugs…

    Your only a “thug” if you don’t have celebrity already in the family or your not yet a hot commodity in the sports or music industry with big money to protect your solid gold name.

  18. Maybe it was the best lesson for the Sampson ‘thugs’ to feel the label now..Maybe there’s too many free passes for the daily verbal abuse and modest beatings…Makes one wonder how many star athletes in high school and college use and abuse their prowess to build a thick and long resume of mistreatment those that were too afraid the scorn of fellow peers if truth be told of the ugliness that goes on daily behind closed dormitory doors and private outings an abusive jock or celebrity. Does anyone truly break? We can only hope that it was a wake up call for a few..Maybe a few of those Sampson thugs won’t grow into a Chris Brown or an O.J. Simpson.

    So many of the stars are groomed and molded into untouchable gods. Only a lucky few would end up at IU and be thrown a heavy dose of brief reality that in some corners this earth values and morals actually matter.

    I’m not excusing the stereotyping and viciousness..the sick joy that seemed to come along with the labeling as if it brought some sort of satisfaction to our hungry hateful tongues to relish in the moment of ugly preconceived notions and watch them burn at the stake …That was our sickness in claiming and pretending that those thugs were doing anything more than what many a typical spoiled suburban college student engages in every weekend behind the closed doors their dorm rooms.

    But if their was a positive to be taken away from the viciousness found in the joy to put them on buses as irredeemable creatures and throwaway humans, it was the shock treatment it may have provide their souls. Maybe they’ll find something in life besides sex with an 18-year-old hotel maid or the degradation that comes to so many doorsteps because of lifetimes never having to own up to anything because you’ve been a pampered, untouchable star of a sports and entertainment world that will forever turn its back on indecency if it lines the pockets of corrupt administrators, immoral coaches, seedy and greedy executives, and TV networks more concerned with ratings than helping a young girl in a living room fixated on being a star someday know it doesn’t come with the price of complete humiliation and self worth.

  19. Harvard, I’m not questioning your accuracy. It was barely a blip on the radar down here.

    I’m sure being the offspring of a living legend comes with its own set of issues. Never had to travel down that road. I don’t really know anything about the Bird family dynamics so I can’t even guess about his situation.

    I guess for those of us that didn’t grow up in privilege the knee jerk reaction is, ‘He had it all and he’s throwing it away. What a waste.’

    But, as for me, I have no idea. I never had enough to ‘throw away’ until I was an adult with a family. It’s all very sad.

  20. I’ve mentioned how my son that wrestled in college was lightly recruited (North Carolina is no wrestling hotbed). On his college team were several recruits that were All Everything in high school.

    This may not be applicable everywhere but, at least at this program, the low profile guys did WAY better than the high profile guys. It wasn’t ability or athleticism that did them in. It was personal and social issues that were their downfalls. My guess (and that’s all it is) was that they went from being the brightest star in the sky to falling down to Earth and they couldn’t handle it. Their lives (at that point) seemed to have peaked in high school. At least in their own minds. I hope they have been able to move on.

    Guys like my son just wanted a chance. It was a completely different mindset. Just keep plugging away. He thrived.

    He most certainly wasn’t walking in the footsteps of a legend. It was the least I could do. I’m still hoping to peak.

  21. Harvard, I feel like I have to walk you through the ‘mean streets’ before you understand that these are ‘choices’ these pieces of garbage make. I’m facing south, towards Soldier Field. Behind it I can see the streets where two weeks ago a girl, a good student at MLK Prep (prep is a designation for the schools where students with college academic potential can apply and receive a superior hs education)), who was a majorette for MLK and was honored along with the rest of her Corps by being invited to the Inaugural Parade for Obama, who lives less than 10 blocks from her neighborhood…also straight down my nose looking south.

    So she returns from the Inauguration and not two days later goes to a little park, maybe 15 blocks from Soldier Field and is just ‘hanging out’ with some kids from MLK- several of whom were gang bangers (either Gansgster Disciples or Lords or whatever) when a car pulled up from either another gang or another faction of their gang and came out of the car shooting into the crowd and hit our majorette. What was the issue, that perhaps in her group were some who had been part of an attack that had wounded the attackers a year later and refused to identify them because of their ‘no snitching’ code.

    There were 500+ of these deaths last year. Nearly 10 last week. One was an honor student whose mom worked two jobs to make sure he could fulfill his potential despite the fact that the father was a convict, or a runaway, or was unknown, or a junkie…a gang banger for sure. There are parents who teach their kids top get in fights because violent aggressiveness is interpreted by psychologists as
    a ‘condition’ that allows the parents to receive funds from mental health benefits.

    As I’ve related before, these gang bangers recruited by Sampson had histories here, in these streets. They made choices every day about banging, about dealing even on the very courts or gyms where they were being scouted. Somehow and sadly basketball has also become a part of that culture. Basketball hoops around the park and courts had to be taken down because they attracted the bangers who made the courts and parks ‘their territory’ and lept out the 7 and 8 year-olds, and the mothers who found a breath of air before they became Gangster Disciple, or Latin King, or Maniac Disciple or Four Corners. Or Latin King or Latin Maniac Disciples or Mexican Mafia or Los Locos.

    Or the fathers that walked here from Mexico where the politics steals even the fleas from the dusty street where the dogs scratch, just for a chance to work in a chicken factory in the morning and wait on tables in the evening…and their kids betray them with their guns and ‘sanctions’ and their daughters in ‘painted on’ dresses become the gang’s ‘reina’.

    Are you really that innocent and that much of a romantic? “The back of a car”?, that’s the ‘office’ of the treasurer Harvard.

    I’ll never forget the day I read we had started recruiting this slime…I was saddened for Bloomington, for IU for all the kids who did all the right things in places like Gary and East Chicago and Hammond and Indianapolis and Jeffersonville and were taking their family’s hope and their future children’s dreams and would run into the ‘branch office’ established on 10th Street, to do trade, probably in the very Library or the Arboretum or the parking lot by Memorial Stadium or Campus View Apartments.

    Nahh Harvard, you mean well and have lots of compassion but don’t look for it nor waste time in the trash you have romanticized. Being innocent is a profession that always ends up in complicity.

    It is my experience that anyone in this country has the choice to make choices. My father made them and did his best to teach us and hold us to them. Didn’t always work…God knows I gave him his share of heartbreak and yes, shame at times. But if we honor who we are, most ofte we eventually ‘get it’, accept the cards life deals us and put them together into the best hand we can. Then, we play them.

    Then again, some choose to never sit at the table and that is a choice in life in and of itself. It’s really quite simple. Look at some of the anecdotes and experiences Chet and others have lived…nothing that complicated about them…just a man playing his cards as best he can.

    It’s like basketball…simple. You get the ball, you shoot the ball, you play some defense and then you get the ball back and get to shoot again. The ‘thugs’, they failed because they made the decision to fail with the decisions they made. Like the gaucho Martin Fierro once said as his fourteen year-old son rode away, ‘be hard my son’.

  22. I guess it’s not a discussion that is of much interest here, Chet.

    I guess it’s just hits too much at home to those that want to protect sport at all costs. It’s easy to label kids as thugs…It’s much more difficult to examine our own cultural movements and personal perversions that turn kids that can shoot a basketball into national celebrities before the hit the 9th grade.

    The evolution of the commutative effect of slathering the athlete with nonstop attention…the future earnings potential, the way we continually feed the system, thirst for more, more, coverage, idolize to the point of infectious delusion the testosterone-filled teenage jock that we groom to believe is bigger than any humble meaning clinging barely to life in sports…The “thugs” aren’t all dropping out of the sky by merely the kids we put on full display the labeled failures of crime-ridden inner cities crushing the core moral center through the isolation into a world of little hope…There is a new “thug” in town…The appetite never satisfied as we repress the importance of moral character, make the qualities of kindness, sincerity, compassion, in the realm of total subservience, unimportant in the process as we strip it all down in front of their impressionable eyes that it is only making some list created that puts their name in lights based on the physical and athletic superhuman qualities the world serves to only marvel.

    The modern thug. Not always thugs of mean streets..Thugs we have built in this warped social media culture spinning around instantaneous hype the internet and YouTube channels of exposure so easily and infectiously provide…Thugs that can be from an upper-middle class northern suburbs of Indianapolis riding on the back of the team’s high school bus coming back from a game…Already infected with the untouchable world syndrome as the prima donna “it crowd” athletes as they violate and rape a freshman scrub that is already known and assumed to never have the future stardom stamp on the forehead.

    And we perpetuate and reaffirm it’s what we desire. We feed the celebrity machine as the motor gets bigger and louder in their ears and indoctrinates the athlete into a dream world of their glorified untouchable “hood” our creation of easy streets while leaving humble values and academics in the back seat. Can we really expect the few with sound and stable home life to somehow process it all for what it is and that somehow a good home fixes the perverse absence of humility they are inundated with in the drowning pool diet of celebrity that never escapes their next iPhone text message informing the future god of the LA Clippers that they just moved another notch on a Rival’s list that comes with all the free passes and turning of other cheeks when you bitch-slapping your lady and degrading anything that will ever stand in your pathway to the NBA? Let’s not pretend it all just happens in the thug factories a South Side Chicago bubble.

    The celebrity aspect of sport has gone wild as Girls Gone Wild. Our love has become perverse and lacking in balance. The perversion mixes into culture..It changes youth and it influences the mentality that feeds the ugliness a true “thug.”

  23. Thugs in suburbia gone wild

    And how many stories of campus rapes are unreported?…How many young women that have had to endure the hate that will come their way for standing up to a rapist that may be a product of our untouchable world built around the prima donna athlete?

    Death to the heart and death to hope doesn’t always come from a bullet out the barrel of a gun gangland style. Death to values is on all streets. Most the crimes that get swept under the rugs of wealth and protectionism will never find the front pages a horrible story of a drive-by shooting. Their is death to the spirit that comes with repressed ugly memories of those that foolishly believed in the sanctity of truth and the treating each other with decency was something still worth fighting for…The college coed left alone in her room the night after a brutal crime committed by the “thugs” we never put on a bus lives the rest her life as kicked into the throwaway pile known as the ‘ditch of lies’ where the money machine of sport and celebrity trumps all.

  24. Harvard, Chet…regarding #3 completely agree, there is no justification except another chance to make money for the B1G tournament. But we are nuts if we don’t reflect on the fact that they are merely selling what we want and we are decadent enough to buy it.

    What is the justification other than the TV contract and the commercial minutes at $1M+ per 30 seconds, or the $15000 suites at United Arena or $300 courtside seats or benefit to the ticket brokers? The time lost from school, since the players miss from 5-7 days/ Just before the three straight weekends of NCAA tournament where they will miss 5 days or so of classes each week. (Count along with me- Total if you are keeping count is from 20 days and up to a month and a half of classes from a three month spring semester). Add the following: (Something similar on the fall semester, since many basketball teams go to places like Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska and have two ‘early season’ tournaments to deal with. Not to mention, two days a week missed traveling to away games.

    No wonder medical school is rarely an option for these athletes. Do you want to wake up from the anesthesia to find a 7’0″ neurosurgeon repairing the degradation of your nerve centers? Thank God the NBA is around to employ these generally useless intellects and the networks now call ‘analysts’ a ‘career choice’ just like physicist or chemist.

    This is what ESPN and ABC Sports and CBS Sports and Nike and Adidas hath brought, in ‘partnership’ with the NCAA and the ‘noble mission’ it is promoting…’no recruitment rules’ and proposing kids now be available to answer their cell phones from coaches and ‘professional recruiters’ 2-3 hours per day.

    Yes, Harvard is absolutely right on this issue. It is money…it is marketing money and opportunities, it is the dominant creed of our modern society- “absolutely nothing happens until someone sells something to somebody”.

    And, make no mistake…we are a very, very complicit part of this culture. Your reading this site proves it and the ‘honest’ money devoted to promoting it through electronic media and newspapers, honest legitimate ‘journalism and its activities’…are a key and central nerve that knowingly supports the ‘sale of sports’. (Right Dustin? Andy?)

    At best and as we’ve watched develop at mind-boggling speed, the NCAA is the active ‘lobbyist of the sports entertainment industry’; the august halls of Academia, beginning with the Boards of Trustees and administrators- especially University presidents, Conference Reps and Deans of Academic Affairs bought with that money have capitulated their ‘missions’ in life (assuming they once had one or convinced themselves they had one to begin with) and lost all sense of obligation and honor- two words rarely spoken in academia any longer, are the willing and fertile host to the virus that is slowly deadening the most important of our function- will.

    One more thing, an acknowledgement,…I have to admit and contemplate that I’m a big part of it, my willful ignorance of the consequences of my addiction and love for college sports, my very opinion here is proof of my complicity. They (whoever ‘they’ is)count on my decadence.

  25. There’s a whole lot being thrown around here, but Tsao, has there been actual confirmation at any point that Sampson’s players were really gang-bangers? Obviously, there was a significant drug problem on that team and more than a few players who were using marijuana, possibly some were selling it. And I understand Jamarcus Ellis didn’t exactly have a sterling rep in Chicago. But there’s a really big stretch between that and being a “gang-banger.” But being called a “gang-banger” to me means that at some point, you must have at least shot at someone for reasons connected to organized crime. So far as I can tell, none of those guys have ever been charged with anything resembling that. Aren’t we throwing around a grossly unfair label here?

  26. Great post, Tsao. We are all complicit.

    We are all “buyers” on the streets of protectionism where the mighty dollar is the “thug” that feeds off the moral decay eroding the few surviving heartbeats and values any sport or level of humble achievement for sake of achievement that can partner in sportsmanship untouched by it all.

  27. Dustin-

    Sure can see why you are the professional here. You made it far more concisely eloquent.

  28. Yes Dustin. To begin with, your definition of gangbanger is way, way too Happy Valley. You actually have to have shot someone to be a gangbanger? Your own sentence; “Obviously, there was a significant drug problem on that team and more than a few players who were using marijuana, possibly some were selling it. And I understand Jamarcus Ellis didn’t exactly have a sterling rep in Chicago.” Seems to me this goes beyond innocence, perhaps to the mindset of someone who just doesn’t want to know.

    Seems to me I’ve seen this ‘I don’t want to know’ before.

    Check with the FBI and Bloomington police. Ask about the loads of cars from Chicago intercepted on the way into Bloomington and turned away, in particular on game days. I’m not sure what you’re defending, but its indefensible. This is a scourge that destroys people, families and kids; has destroyed half of the social fiber in Chicago’s south side and west side and was (is) spreading into Bloomington while they counted on people to turn their heads. Back to your question, the answer is yes, there were clearly established connections and relationships.

  29. Well, the definition of the word as I see it in the online dictionary is that it means “a member of a violent street gang.” Do you have proof that any of these guys were actual members of street gangs? Because I don’t, and I think that’s an unfair label. Drug user is apparently a fair label for some of them. Drug dealer might be a fair label, but I don’t know that for certain. Maybe what you’re saying is that anyone who has ever used drugs has fed into that system and is therefore as guilty as the rest of them and is therefore a gang-banger, but that’s not the definition of the term. Maybe you knew a guy in Chicago who knew a guy who said those guys were in gangs, but I’m pretty sure we don’t have evidence to use that term for any of those guys without it being stone-cold libel.

  30. Dustin-

    I’ve heard the story of the main drug lord gangsta that was operating in Bloomington during the Sampson era. With the “big bust” and investigation from the Bloomingon campus police came the crashing down of the distribution network and the pipeline that heads straight to South Side the backseat of Jamarcus’s Chevy Caprice.

  31. DD- I believe your definition, “…a ‘gang-banger’ to me means that at some point, you must have at least shot at someone for reasons connected to organized crime.” is way too narrow and your reasoning a bit naive.

    For reference on gangs in general, especially in the south side, I suggest you read the stories about the recent killing of the girl at a park near MLK High School; or Michelle Obama’s attendance at her funeral; stories about a month go about the stabbing death of a student after the Simeon HS(Jabbari Parker’s school)-Morgan Park game, or the random drive-byes that have killed hundreds each year; the gang confrontation that ensued the Simeon-Morgan Park (or any one of another dozen); the suspension of the Simeon and Morgan Park basketball coaches by the now CPS CEO. You may want to go as far back as the death years ago of Ben (Benji) Wilson, the #1 rated high school player in the country… These are not isolated incidents.

    Gangs and gang-bangers are a plague that has destroyed generations of kids in Chicago. And defining or turning your head at the problem as narrowly as you did ignores the nature of this plague. I don’t think you are naive, so I simply see it as innocence.

    So, it certainly troubled me when recruits known for links to gang-bangers and the drugs plague were being recruited to IU and their histories at IU later confirmed the travesty of recruiting them. I also seem to recall a story in the HT about the IUPD, the Bloomington P.D. and the Indiana State police’s concern with gangs seeing Bloomington as a ‘profitable market’; and their concern about the spreading gang activity and link to the drug trade there.

    Yes, I checked it out. Thought (at the time) it might be an interesting story. Two of the recruited players had clear links and were definitely involved with gangs. My sources (I had covered many stories on the subject of gangs while a journalist in Chicago)were impeccable. They were within the CPD’s gang units; and, later, included staff members at the Board of Ed who dealt with security issues (especially gang issues in the schools).

    If you care to go further and put it in context, let me suggest a perusal of the last months Chicago SunTimes and the Chicago Tribune. Or simply google ‘Chicago gang violence’. A search of their archives should give you a good idea of why about 500 kids a year are killed in gang related violence. DD, there is no way to minimize the problem and to say ‘just having used [drugs]’ or ‘perhaps having sold some’ is a big part of a problem that adds to it. One of the praises I think Crean deserves is cleaning out IU’s basketball program of this scourge.

    This exchange also reminds me of the great Mary Thomas, Isiah’s mother, who confronted the gangs pressuring him to join them and stood her ground and said ‘you ain’t getting my kid’. She enrolled Isaiah at Westchester St. Joe; 1 1/2 hours away just to keep him away from the gangs. She always said part of the reason she ‘made him go to Indiana’ and under RMK was to get him away from the scourge of the gang bangers.

  32. Tsao,
    I didn’t “turn my head” to this problem. At no point did I suggest that gang violence in Chicago is not a serious and devastating issue. At no point did I even remotely insinuate that or anything like that. (And by the way, the condescending way you construct straw man arguments like that is by far the most bothersome thing about dealing with you.) I wasn’t minimizing the problem at all whatsoever. In fact, I would suggest that my words indicated that I consider gang violence very serious. My point was that if you’re going to use a word as damning as “gang-banger” to describe an individual person, you best be able to back it up and prove that that person was very much involved in a gang. (My previous assumption, which may have been wrong, was that being a “banger” meant that your job within the gang was to kill people. Forgive my lack of knowledge on the topic). I don’t think that’s a word you just loosely throw around. Considering all of the travesties you’ve just discussed, suggesting that someone was a part of all of that is a very stiff accusation and that’s not something you throw around if you’re not damn sure they’re involved.
    There is no person on this board who more virulently attacks people on here for loosely leveling accusations as you do. That’s fine, but if you’re going to operate that way, you have to be held to the same standard. You’ve met it at least on some level now that you’re citing sources, but that makes me wonder why you never wrote anything, because when I Google the names of the two players that I’m pretty sure you’re referencing next to the word “gang,” I don’t find anything.

  33. Isiah Thomas..

    “Isaiah,” with the additional ‘a’ is not the proper spelling for the point guard that led our Hoosier team to a 1981 NCAA Championship. It’s been pointed out to you many times before, Tsao. For knowing so much damn history on the family, one would think you’d remember the proper spelling Mary Thomas’s son.

    And how many of Sampson’s players were even from Chicago? Xavier Keeling was from Alabama…Eli Holman was from LA…Stemler from Columbia, IL…Armon Bassett from Terra Haute….Eric Gordon from Indy….DJ White from Tuscaloosa, Alabama…

    I believe that leaves Jamarcus Ellis and DeAndre Thomas as the two players on the roster from Chicago.

    Sorry, nobody is trivializing the senseless murders on the streets of Chicago. But to paint every player that came to Indiana for Sampson(or stayed at Indiana when he came to town) as rooted in gang life from the streets of Chicago and to consequently convict every name on those teams as irredeemable souls that infected their ill upon all is beyond slander.

    It’s wrong and it’s disgustingly bleak to not treat people as individuals with their own capacity to do the right thing when others may be found to possess a much lesser character. It is also disgustingly bleak that it affords no perspective that the hope invested in attempting to change anyone is a pointless endeavor simply because a few abused that rare opportunity and Kelvin Sampson let them down through his own failings and guidance.

    And more facts…Who did Devan Dumes(Indianapolis) play for? What was the character of this young man as a Hoosier? Because he didn’t skip some of his classes or didn’t get caught with smoking weed, is that all that we need to know to not paint his team with the same ‘thug’ brush? Did his character infect an entire team? Was his ‘thug’ mentality present at the time he was a Hoosier and overlooked because our house was presumed to be as wholly clean a biblical reference or a Joyce Meyer quote on Twitter page?

  34. http://www.indystar.com/viewart/20130130/SPORTS0601/130130034/Former-Indiana-basketball-player-Devan-Dumes-charged-attempted-murder

    And in addition to the young man charged with murder in the link above, wasn’t there some news last summer of a 2012 Hoosier that has climbed into his car on numerous occasions drunk? How many children are in the ground from senseless death at the hands of a lethal 3000 pound weapon being driven on our highways by a characterless slob driving drunk? Is that the character we expect out a kid that just left our restored basketball program that recruits only exemplary young men?

  35. Take out the “numerous occasions” from the above paragraph. It was only one drunk driving offense. Of course, it was only one drunk driver that only once blew me off the highway leaving my wife with a broken vertebrae in her back. We were lucky. We somehow survived what would likely be funerals for another family.

    In 2011, 9,878 people died in drunk driving crashes – one every 53 minutes

  36. Lots of interesting stuff to catch up on in this thread.

    I’d LOVE to win the Big Ten tournament. We have always done so poorly. I’m not sure if I totally buy RMK’s claims about sandbagging. It’s not unreasonable but it wouldn’t be the first time he dismissed something as unimportant after it slipped from his grasp. That being said, I do recall that he was on record as having little use for conference tournaments. Either way, we have a pretty sorry record in the event no matter who has been at the helm.

    I didn’t realize DeAndre was such a mess. I enjoyed watching him play, it was a whole different experience. It doesn’t sound like he’s conquering his demons all that well but he does seem to have a mentor helping him. I hope it all works out.

    There are bad eggs in every strata of society. Congress is full of them. Locally, four football players have been charged with a rape that occurred at a party one of the players was hosting at his Dad’s home. Dad is a cop.

    On that note, when my kids were in school, the children of police officers had universal Get Out of Jail Free Cards. The high School principal was the wife of a cop. If a bunch of kids were found at a party with alcohol on Friday, by Monday the LEO’s kids names would be scrubbed from all reports as if they had never been there. It was standard procedure and everyone knew what was going on. For some strange reason these kids were always at the center of trouble. They just never had to pay the consequences. The ones I still know have either gone on to larger crimes or become police officers themselves. They were pretty much all bullies.

    After my Navy days I went back to school to be a paramedic. The EMS system at a city across the state line was known as one of the best in the country. I got a job there. We contemplated relocating. I wasn’t there long before I knew I’d never let my family live there (being a paramedic is a pretty quick way to learn about the unseemly issues of a city).

    Among the issues was the prevalence of gang activity. While paramedics were generally given a pass for obvious reasons we still wore body armor due to frequency that ambulances were struck by gunfire.

    As far as I could tell these folks were already dead, it just wasn’t official yet. It wasn’t just the behavior, it was the mindset. The Future was a concept that they simply couldn’t grasp. They just wanted to get as much stuff and get as much of a rep as possible before they were killed. They had little to no appreciation of consequences. If the next guy up the chain told them to do something they’d do it (unless it involved a family member, sometimes) no matter what it meant moving forward.

    I worked there for seven years. As it was 24 hours on/48 off I was able to handle the 180 mile round trip commute necessary to keep my family in Asheville. I was never going to let that be a part of my family’s daily concerns.

    As far as the drunk driving thing, my older brother was killed by a drunk driver when I was 15. That’s another group that, all to frequently, seems to operate without remorse. There’s a ‘comic strip’ (I use the term very loosely) out there that, despite being totally devoid of humor, is carried in quite a few newspapers. It’s just a mean, racist, hate filled thing that I always assumed was written by some sort of mentally ill misanthope. I recently learned that its writer is a serial drunk driver that lives in Columbus. The whole basis of his cartoon relies on passing moral judgement on others. At least his self loathing is well placed.

  37. I’m afraid some of these people feel, or realize they have no future. Ft Myers, Fl last summer had two robberies, woman killed washing her care by a drive-by, young girl kidnapped, locked in her trunk (and managed to escape), and 1 or 2 rapes during a 12 hour period. Police caught the one guy in all these and his explanation: he just wanted to experience all the above.

    Indy went through it yesterday. Two teenagers, robbery, shot a guy walking his dog,etc. I believe the older teen had something like 20+ juvenile arrests. Mom had asked the courts to lock him up. Court never did.

    Guys I ride with are all active or retired law enforcement of one type or other. All carry and I’m thinking that may be a good idea. Random violence.

  38. I agree Knight’s thoughts on a conference tournament were damn negative. I suspect he had to much pride, drive and respect for the game to sandbag the competition he loved so much.

    I, like Chet, really enjoyed watching DT play but because of the environment he grew up in knew he was easily influenced by any low lifes tugging on him. I am glad he is staring to understand respect. Being only 26 he still has a chance.

  39. At the end of the day, that’s my only beef with Tsao…Maybe most already exposed to the gangland culture are, as Chet described, “already dead.” But can’t there be some thread of hope that the smallest of chance may exist for a better pathway a once lost young man?

    Must we label all as irredeemable? Gang-filled streets are surely about most a life spent in panic, fear, and survival mode. It’s hard to fathom what every minute exposed to that can do to a person.

    What has war done to good soldiers immersed into environment a perceived enemy is fighting you based, not only on territory, but a percieved hatred where your enemy that hides outside of uniforms to bring there terror and bullets to your brothers in the trenches. The psychological effects of that form of terror often manifest in the hideous burning of villages and the killing of innocent children seen as the same enemy..or the torturing and complete stripping of human dignity the events of prisoner camp known as Abu Ghraib.

    The element of fear and survival poured into a sense of hopeless isolation a place of nonstop threat and violence is an unimaginable place for anything but hatred and paranoia to build. I cannot begin to kid myself that I would be strong enough to endure it for two weeks yet a lifetime.

    We spent billions in Iraq while our forgotten children in wastelands of impoverished city streets live in daily “terror.”

  40. Well-spoken Harvard. Gangs are serious, serious problem. I was harassed by Mexican gangsters during middle school in LA, and know first hand how scary and intimidating they are. But it bothers me when people don’t reflect on the deeper origins of this problem and how culture contributes to it. The violent street gang, after all, was born and bred in America, and not elsewhere. America has always been violent and gun-loving, preferring to pay more attention to abstract rights more that rather than concrete social realities. American culture is profoundly individualistic, profoundly idealistic about man’s ability to control his own destiny regardless of his surroundings, and profoundly materialistic. All these things together mean that urban poverty is going to look a lot bleaker and a lot more bloody here in American cities than it would elsewhere. The “free market” culture eats away at collective morality and hits hardest at society’s weakest populations, such as black communities whose ancestors’ slave labor provided American capitalism with a great initial influx of cheap (free) work; or immigrant populations who do the same, or poor white areas like Green County. Yet we don’t dare to mention these things, since God forbid it would interfere with our Cinderella view of humans as rational, enlightened citizens operating on an equal playing field and determining our futures solely based on our choices.

    Instead of thinking about these issues we simply choose to racialize the problem, while sweeping away any evidence of our own complicity or refusing to acknowledge the role of our culture of consumption and individualism that continues to eat away at our (and the world’s) collective sense of what’s good and moral and right. Much easier to sit back on an Indiana farm and decry the “lost souls” of the world and their “bad choices,” while romanticizing our own privileged positions as the logical result of our own fortitude, hard work, and overcoming obstacles. The world would be perfect if everyone else simply did what we did, right?

    Watch The Wire sometime. I liked that show a lot; it helped me think critically about these issues a bit more.

  41. I often think that today’s kids could benefit from military service. I go back to days of the draft. On-job exposure to various career choices and responsable choices.

    One of the better things I did in my life, 1987 had a young black kid working as a PT Aide. Trying to save money for school and frustrated. I suggested he look at the military. Somehow 1300 miles from where we were and 26 years later he found me and showed up at my door. He enlisted in the Navy in 1988. He is now officer in Intelligence and has a master degree. I’m proud of him.

  42. Ron- you’re certainly touching upon something: the need for a source of guidance, authority, respect, discipline in these kids’ lives. Don’t we all need that during our formative years?

    It’s just absurd to expect a young person without the stern presence of a concerned parent/relative to make the right choices in their lives, even if there are occasional exceptions to the rule. Crowing up with a crack mom and deadbeat dad, you have very little hope.

    I think the military is a fantastic option for some kids who are in need of an authority figure that will contribute discipline and meaning to their lives. Mind you, I don’t like the idea of kids being sent on quixotic quests for phantom weapons of mass destruction in the deserts of Iraq, but even Baghdad might be a safer option than Chicago – or Newtown, Conn. on some level.

  43. Toe Jam & Earl-

    Wow..Nicely done. Like many proceeding thoughts, there is much open for debate and countering theory, but still a sophisticated and insightful look.

    Do you sometimes wonder if any students are floating around Scoop, pick up some of these posts, and steal a Tsao, Chet, or Toe Jam entry/commentary nearly verbatim for a class paper?

    Just think of all the blogs…all the topics that can be found through sophisticated search engines. It’s seems it would be nearly impossible to connect the dots, trace a source, and provide evidence of plagiarism.

    If only blogs would have been around when I was in college..I could have ripped off a few of these superb dissertations on sociological issues of the day, housing crunches, ethics in sports, politics, urban decay, gang warfare, etc. Just think of the hundreds of posts from our many superb writers of Scoop. And even the select handful of contributors on here that do not write extensively have more than often used the fewest words to open the greatest debates and cut to the heart of a topic we’ve gone wildly off-topic.

    It’s too bad Laffy could not be quelled the slightest…He really did have some very valid opinions. And his arguments, though more than direct, were not always so simple to refute. So many thoughts that could flow to pen by merely reading the diverse opinions from the many varied sets of values and experiences our small but ‘elite’ team that make Scoop their home.

    And when we’re deeply immersed into primarily b-ball discussions, is there a more knowledgeable poster found on any Hoosier blog than our very own Geoff?

  44. Harvard- That’s a nice, pleasant picture of the Scoop that we can take with us into the weekend. I sure hope that some students copy and paste Scoop fragments into their English papers. Knowing what I know of undergrad English papers at IU, it would make their papers a lot more interesting to grade.

    Also, don’t forget Clarion. He’s a codger, indeed, but there are very few posters whose football knowledge (and cast iron skillet anecdotes) I trust more and enjoy hearing more than his.

  45. I have one more thing to add serving as kudos to Dustin…

    ‘Because it’s Hoosier Scoop’

  46. Toe Jam & Earl-

    Didn’t mean to leave anyone out…Ron..JPat..KevinK..Podunker. All great contributors with memorable posts that dance around in my thoughts regularly.

    Clarion is Rocky Marciano of Scoop. He packs a stiff punch of intellect that snaps your head back ..He’s tough as hell to spar with. I fear the man. I fear the whiplash…I fear the skillet across the jaw.

    And let’s certainly not forget the top journalists…Jeremy, Dustin, and Andy. All with their unique style and smooth form. The journalists of Scoop are much like our current Hoosier basketball team. Versatility abounds with skill sets that never cease to surprise and impress. They are a formidable and complimentary bunch very capable of a deep run…Who’s buying Starbucks?

  47. Starbucks! The first thing I think of when I hear that word is not the corporate coffee, but the mesmerizing,gender-bending blonde beauty Kara Thrace, aka “Starbuck,” of the great 2000’s Battlestar Galactica remake (picture isn’t the best, but look her up, you’ll see).

    Talk Kate Upton all ya want, but I’ll take Starbuck and her tennis player body any day.

  48. First thought..Is that a ….. tool-belt she’s wearing? Awesome.

    Second thought..Please don’t hurt me.

    Third thought…Hope I can pop enough nitro’s.

  49. Attractive..I see no double faults. “Gender-bending”…? Is that a procedure? Did Bob Bender have one?

    Different strokes for different folks…I don’t think there was a more beautiful woman than Peggy Lipton during her ‘Mod Squad’ days.

  50. Just saw a fascinating piece on CNN that’s particularly relevant to this discussion. Isiah Thomas and a Chicago priest, Father Pfledge, teamed up to form the Peacemakers Basketball League in Chicago’s south side. I won’t recap the whole piece– I’m sure you’re all perfectly capable of looking it up yourselves–but it basically brings together four rival gangs to compete against each other in a friendly, violence-free atmosphere. (One of the more fascinating stories was of one guy guarding another from a rival gang who had shot him just six months earlier!)

    The most amazing thing about this? Since the league formed in September, there have been no shootings in the neighborhood between any of the gangs participating in the program. Zero. And many of the youngsters have since earned their GED’s and gotten honest employment or internships from local businesses who are willing to give them a second chance.

    Great stuff. Even though expansion to more gangs is underway, I’m sure the program won’t be able to reach every gangbanger. I’m not naive. But even if it touches just a few, how many young lives have already been saved? Sometimes, all a misguided youth needs is some positive guidance and a chance to redeem himself.

  51. Harvard, that’s very unfair. The soldiers not only fought and died, but if you saw them protect the children in neighborhoods terrorized by the Mahdi army or in Taliban controlled villages. Were there excesses, sure…just like the excesses you see on any Bloomington alley or Fraternity Row on any Friday night.

    But you know what impresses me the most; after three and four tours they come home and the majority no only deal with their ghosts; and they become teachers and school administrators and when you ask them why they look at you and answer, ‘its what I do’. So, at least respect them.

    You are absolutely right Ron, one of the best contributions I’ve seen. (Yours also excels Toe Jam). It’s a great loss for us (as individuals and as a nation) that exactly when we are dealing with today’s social problems, we no longer have available that two years the draft provided to teach kids to become men (and now women) while becoming responsible ‘citizens’ in the best sense of the word. I’ve had the privilege of meeting hundreds of these young men and women. How absolutely impressive and inspiring they are! If I were summing up what is the most optimistic view of our society I could have, it would be based on the draft in some form, military service and/or obligatory national service and developing a sense of service to country and community(in some form) over self. It would be the ‘finishing’ school at its very heart.

  52. Sometimes, all a misguided youth needs is some positive guidance and a chance to redeem himself.

    Wonderfully put, Punjab.

    Then again, I really wouldn’t know and I really could never relate to much of anything outside Tsao’s depictions of Harvard existing solely within the repetitive strokes a brightly prosaic Thomas Kinkade painting. I am naive to the degree of the “boy in the bubble” and should just stick with tales from all I’ve ever known: the Alcatraz known as ‘Mayberry of the Michigan Shores.’

    I have no business to an opinion of life outside the yard and the uninspired laps around the circle with training wheels forever affixed to my banana seat Schwinn… Harvard “The Maniac Cul-de-sac Disciple” Hillbilly.

  53. Tsao, one of my biggest concerns with our ‘forever wars’ is that it’s no longer taking a kid and sending him/her off for a tour and then reintegrating to society. We’ve taken so many of them and sent them off to a decade a war, due to stop/loss, during their formative years. There are scores of 26/27/28 year old young people that have spent their years since high school in and out of close quarters combat. I suppose you can say the same thing about young people in gang controlled urban settings.

    They aren’t all going to be the skilled professional soldier that your son was. Most of them were kids looking for their next move in life (even though I was an officer I was still ‘searching’ at that point in my life).

    Only time will tell us how that is gonna work out.

  54. Interesting CWat story in Indy Star yesterday. Nice background on who he is or why he is who he is or (could do this who-why thing forever).

    Traffic on 37 heading south is heavy..Must be something going on in Bloomington today…!

  55. Let me begin with this thought (during a time out). What an absolutely great bunch of contributors to this blog when cleaned up and focus is on IU, basketball, anecdotes and all our experiences (recipes, fatherhood, travelogues, memories, mind wonderings or inner prose); whether we agree, disagree, empathize, sympathize, resist or just share. Glad to be a Hoosier…and share Scoop. It’s all Hoosier good gents!

  56. Tsao- good words, good words.

    Harvard- Arguing with Clarion is like more trying to punch a turtle. Small head sticks out, nips at you, and then quickly ducks back in and you are left banging your hand against a hard shell, time and time again. Never leaves his head out long enough for you to get a good shot. Turtles are also old and live in the wilderness, so you can take the metaphor a lot farther if you wish.

  57. Toe Jam (hhaa! Almost wrote Toe Job), thanks. I like Clarion, a lot…in great part because your description fits him to a ‘T’ but there is something very appreciated about those characteristics. Makes him entirely reliable and consistent. You absolutely never have to wonder where HC is going to come down on an issue. That’s a characteristic of strength, those are the ones you want with you when you are lost in the wilderness. Long live the turtles!

    Harvard, on the other hand, is just the reverse. All of his Keflar covers just two square millimeters; and, unlike the turtle, leaves everything but his peak exposed. He reacts quickly, in the open and then, in addition to the incoming, he ‘shells’ himself by throwing hand grenades straight up in the air and wondering why they come straight down. I, like many here, love him, absolutely love him (even when I want to squeeze the air slo-o-o-w-wwly out of him…, but have learned not to stand too close to him while he still has live, unexploded hand grenades left in his bag.

    Really enjoy the tone and content of your posts.

  58. Harvard, your #51 really drew a big laugh out of me. Had to read it twice!…it’s priceless. Only you would search so deeply into the soul and corners of the heart in your search for thoughts and musings on and for honesty, decency and a man’s hand ….and end up suggesting that they would have been the perfect, perfect source for plagiarizing one’s way through college. PRICELESS! I want to be your agent!!

    There is only one Harvard for Hillbillies!

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