IU’s James removes name from transfer portal

Indiana running back Sampson James seems to be staying put.

According to a source, James has withdrawn his name from the transfer portal and returned to IU’s football team. He had put his name in the portal earlier this week.

“Sometimes you make mistakes, and he’s admitted that, and it’s been a few days,” IU coach Tom Allen said. “But we love Sampson. Nothing changes.”

This is an important reversal for the Hoosiers, because James could have been the fourth back they lost dating back to fall camp. Rising junior Ronnie Walker also put his name in the transfer portal this offseason, following the departures of freshman Ivory Winters and junior Cole Gest during the 2019 campaign.

There is now reinforced depth behind rising junior Stevie Scott, who has received the bulk of the carries the last two seasons. Scott racked up 178 carries for 845 yards last season. James, IU’s top-ranked recruit for the 2019 class, found more carries when Scott was injured late in the season, rushing for 118 of his 275 yards in the regular-season finale versus Purdue.

Along with James, incoming freshman Tim Baldwin Jr. is also an option behind Scott. Former walk-on and rising redshirt junior Ahrod Lloyd saw the field late in the year, as well, when James was sidelined.

“The team loves him, and we’re glad that he chose to stay, and we’re just going to continue to keep encouraging him, make sure he stays focused and just make sure that he knows the rest of the team loves him,” quarterback Michael Penix Jr. said. “Life is made of choices, and he made a choice. But he followed his heart and he came back, and we still accept him, and we appreciate him for that.”


  1. This is good news for the RB room but James will have work to do to rebuild trust with his teammates and coaches. I would love to see a two back rotation with Scott and James in 2020 if James runs like he did against PU. It is nice to get some good news for a change this Spring.

    1. I was puzzled by James decision to begin with. Unless someone is coming who would take carries from him, he is going to get his fair share. As good as Scott is, TA is not going to run him in an unlimited manner. More than likely both Scott and James will get a chance at the next level. If James goes somewhere else what does he want, more carries? A RB only has a specific number of carries before the body wears out. Look at the lifespan of a nfl RB, what is it now, 2-4 years? Why does anyone want to burn all those carries out in college?

      Both TA and Mike Hart know this danger very well and I believe they have tried their best to protect their RB’s from overuse in order to enhance their nfl longevity. RB by committee used to be looked down on, but in today’s football world if a RB by committee in college could add an extra year to RB’s nfl career, that means an awful lot to a RB’s career earnings. Why wouldn’t a RB with nfl potential, even if you are at IU, not appreciate this approach? It is not like IUFB hasn’t been able to produce any nfl caliber RB’s.

      1. thinker, do you really think that college coaches determine who plays on what down by how it will affect a player’s (hypothetical) NFL career? I doubt it. That’s probably one of the last things on the coaching mind during a game.

        1. Hell, when they were running Penix down by the goal line, they obviously cared a ton about protecting every one of his future NFL snaps.
          Speaking of snaps, Michael Penix now has more ‘snaps’ of bones than ‘snaps’ finishing with completed passes to end zones. Penix has the ‘Os’ portion of ‘X’s and O’s mastered… Unfortunately, he’s falling behind radiologists who rightfully claim to be the masters in the ‘Xs’ of his many x-rays.
          Yet, Penix remains the most interesting quarterback in the world. Many of
          Scoop say he’s an “everything hinges” sort of recruit. Hell, I’m not sure if his collarbone still hinges. Not sure if all our (‘r’) hopes ride with Penix but he does put the ‘r’ in “Hut!-Hut!” …Yup, it’s now “Hurt-HURT!”….SNAP!

      2. Sampson and Ballou were both at Avon together I believe. Maybe that was why he flipped from TOSU to IU and then considered the transfer which many thought would be to Alabama to follow Ballou. I would be surprised if Ballou counseled him to stay at IU.

    2. IU doesn’t run two back sets and NS isn’t changing the offense to incorporate that.

        1. Exactly V13,
          I don’t think TA or Hart want SS carrying the ball 40 times a game.

        2. They already do that, V. Hart and Allen like to ride the “hot guy”, but they do rotate them.

    3. “Rebuild trust”? He is a kid. He was upset about something. He gave it a week or so and said “no way”, I am not leaving! I love Coach Allen’s words, “we love him, nothing changes”! Sampson’s return is huge! Have a great spring!

  2. I have significant professional experience involving the subject of “employee” turnover. The first thing organizations have to do is determine if the turnover is desired or undesired turnover. When an organization experiences “desired” turnover, it’s usually terminating an employee that is not the right fit for his/her job. Desired turnover usually fixes a problem and makes the organization stronger. As for undesired turnover, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding as to why the employee is leaving the organization (courtesy: Podunker).

    This concludes our daily Inside Indiana Business edition to explain the whims of a prima donna switching colleges faster than games on his Nintendo Switch.
    Stay tuned for further portal business updates. Next week’s guest will be the one and only, thinkaboutit. Yes, it’s his name and it begs the question. Most of our guests have very clever names which beg the question. thinkaboutit will join Inside Indiana as a leading expert to discuss how comment boxes within organizational blogging hierarchies can soon morph into a pandora’s box of false conclusions.
    Hope you can join us….

  3. Agree V. I agree with think comments as well. This is the best off season news for IU football thus far.
    James, and others need to settle down. Often players look for greener pastures only to get lost or lose themselves in the shuffle. In many examples players go to a lesser league level or in division 2 and end up playing. However, it’s not playing in the Big Ten or SEC even if it’s at IU or a program in the second half of their respective league. Good that someone talked to him and or he became more rational. This will probably be one of his best football decisions if he stays focused and not get wishy washy during his career. I think SJ will do excellent to really excellent at IU.

      1. Not at all! No one knows what an assistant coach hire will produce. But every IU fan knows what Sampson James can produce. His return is huge!

  4. Glad this shook out. Once upon a time, a kid could get a little confused and go through this process without a bunch of middle aged and old fogies having endless opinions about it. But it’s 2020, so here we are.

    Excited he’s back. He absolutely tore up Purdue last year. I can’t wait to watch more of him.

    1. I know DB was trying to convince him to stay, and that carried over to SJ’s family. Glad he did that even as he was headed out the door to Bama. Classy move by him.

    2. You’re already paying far more in taxes (than a student’s tuition) for all the robber barons subsidized who pay nothing in taxes in their world of big business loopholes and the setting up tax-free “offices” overseas.

      Socialism ≠ Social Justice.

      1. Ah H4H,
        I don’t think you have ever run a business. Will just start with payroll taxes and leave it at that, they are not pleasant. Not to mention a whole bunch of excise and sales taxes. Doesn’t matter what size the business is, you still still have to pay them. Yes, they passed on to the consumer, but don’t say they don’t pay taxes.

        1. Ah, I thought you were more astute on topic of corporate tax evasion. Many corporations avoid taxes entirely…as do many investors. Pharmaceuticals may be some of the biggest culprits.

          Very familiar with inventory taxes, the meeting of social security taxes…and many taxes applied to Indiana businesses which are not applied in other states.

          I won’t insult your background as you seem to assume my own.

          I will only say that student debt is a crisis that is crippling thousands upon thousands of families. Many families can’t even negotiate the costs of the loans down as the country experiences record low interest rates.

          1. Nice try at a misdirection H4H,

            Not going to spend spend anymore time chasing off subject rabbits, but I will respond to your comments with this. The taxes I spoke of are mainly federal, you hire an employee, you pay those taxes. Not speaking of any particular state, but there are a myriad of additional payroll taxes depending upon the state in which domiciled and/or where the employee works.

            Don’t want get too political with this, but as for the pharmaceutical loopholes, I agree they are ridiculous. However, need to remember something really important. When a certain law was signed in March of 2009, it wasn’t your family doctors all standing around to witness the signing. Those were pharmaceutical company doctors, get the drift?

            As for the student debt, it is a serious problem. The only question I have is, “Why is there always so much whining about the debt, but never any questions regarding why did it cost so much to begin with?” That is like blaming the loan company for the cost of the new car!

          2. What does all of this “tax” and “tuition” talk have to do with Sampson James removing his name from the football transfer portal? I see no connection. The discussion Itself is shallow, uninformed and lacking substance! But don’t let rationality intrude.

  5. I read a report that some other I U assistants in the strength department are going to Alabama ? Does the deal include the file cabinets also, and who remains on the I U strength staff, with spring session getting ready to start.

    1. No way. Any material produced and documented during their time employed by Indiana University is the property of the Ath Dept.

      Strength and conditioning is huge, obviously. But this isn’t irreplaceable. Plus, the S&C staff have been educating the coaching staff along the way. This isn’t a bunch of mad scientists who are leaving, taking their secret sauce with them, and then Indiana is left holding their empty bags at the bus station.

      The next hire needs knowledge, but also needs to be someone who specializes in motivation/operations/implementation. It’s one thing to know what to do, it is entirely another to get kids to do it and to feel connected to that process. Allen has weaknesses for sure, but this is one area that I think he excels in. Excited to see what the Hoosiers end up with.

    2. Yes, Paul Constantine is headed to Alabama as well. That is notable because his wife, Janese Banks Constantine, is an IU women’s basketball assistant coach.

      1. That does it! I’m calling the adjutent in order to call up the the old 38th Infantry. Someone make a call to the Bunker Hill RAFB. Get the transports, fuel up, move ’em out of the motor pool. Hit the conex. Check the ammo. Time to take this battalion down to Tuscaloosa.

        For whatever reason SJ decided to stay. Thanks! Yes, let’s hope the S & C will maintain a high level, whoever takes charge.

  6. Speaking of Purdue, while some candidates are out there trying to get the government to pay for everyone’s inflated tuition, old Mitch Daniels up at Purdue is actually solving the problem. At Purdue University, nearly 60 percent of undergrads leave school without any debt. Mitch Daniels, has kept tuition under $10,000 for seven straight years.


  7. If only Mitch Daniels has cared about public education, our schools, teachers and students in Indiana. Sad!

    1. Funny how it turned to politics and it had nothing to do with the sort. I never mentioned a word about any of the other things. He’s a university president who has managed to keep college tuition lower and stable comparatively, while McRobbie has increased Indiana’s exponentially. The only thing that money has gone to is more administration staff and higher salaries, shouldered by mountains of debt, without an ounce of better education for students.

      I could give a flip about what MD did as governor of Indiana. I don’t live there and you can are welcome to start a second thread about what he did or didn’t do there. As president of Purdue, he’s actually doing what needs to be done to fix the cost of creating a generation of indentured servants post college, mired in debt. Purdue is graduating 60% of it’s student body WITHOUT DEBT. Would think this kind of policy should be replicated regardless of political party affiliation.

      <–Sent from the desk in the heart of San Francisco, CA, Republican apologetic breeding ground.

      1. while some candidates are out there trying to get the government to pay for everyone’s inflated tuition

        That sure reads political to me….At minimum, it needs context. And “some candidates” are trying to get the government to allow a free pass for robber barons who pay zero in taxes on their inflated stock market gains and overseas profits…thus having “everyone else” in America pay disproportionately for a disguised form of corporate socialism.

        Last time I checked, “candidates” run for political offices.

      2. Indeed! I’m 1000% on board. I’d prefer Mitch’s address was to be Bloomington and McRobbie’s was that town up north.

  8. It appears that James entering the transfer portal was based solely on the young man’s emotions, but emotion about what? Was it the news that Ballou was departing? Maybe his girlfriend broke up with him or left IU? Who knows? He’s a teenager, and teenagers don’t think clearly some times. Glad he decided to stay. I think it is best for both him and IUFB.

    As for James’ need to regain the trust of his teammates, I doubt it’s a big deal to any of them. My guess is that a lot of them had similar emotions and doubts when they were freshman and his teammates will understand and welcome him back with open arms. I mean, isn’t that what LEO is all about?

  9. Indiana has become a good place to play sports for “individual” auditions.. …(that should probably be more past tense for hoops).

    Those with “upside”(e.g. Penix, Oladipo) can put their gifts and athleticism on display without fear of being overshadowed by a slew of other top and more seasoned talent. When we land such phenoms (many coming with risk and hopes that the gifts translate to results and performing in the clutch), they garner a lot of individual attention. Surrounded by blue collar and more specialized talent, can also oversell some of these guys. And that’s the whole idea…Look great on a relatively talent-thin squad.

    Some will pan out…Some will not.

    I’m glad Archie is landing more seasoned talent with higher basketball IQ’s….I’m glad focus has moved more toward team than select “phenoms” simply using Indiana as an audition stage for a rather raw “upside.”

    The BigTen still offers quite an amazing stage….It’s pretty darn good advertising even on mediocre and bottom-dwelling teams. Take that risk …or get buried amongst the plethora of seasoned talent at places like Alabama, LSU, etc.

    This was probably more a bluff move than anything else.

    James did appear to be a very impressive running back. Hope he stays injury-free. And there lies the other risk at Indiana Football…You tend to get hit more at Indiana because of the talent disparities at other positions. You tend to have to do more….(e.g. Penix running the ball fresh off injury…putting himself in a precarious position…and then getting his collarbone blown out into his sternum).

    Pluses: Competition level low. Stage of BigTen. Opportunity for a lot of the highest levels of “individual” tutoring and training because the really exceptional talents within your position are fewer.
    Negatives: More punishment. More demands. More risk of injury because talent is thin…(blocking wears down, poor throws leave receivers more vulnerable, etc).

  10. Purdue’s tuition is frozen at the current level through 2022, Purdue has a large numbers of the school’s students in STEM studies and President Daniels has been expanding the academic facilities to handle the increasing applications for their STEM programs and handle the increased student applications that want to study at Purdue and the school also maintains a high percentage of State of Indiana students attending Purdue. Our family has set up a Purdue Endowment Scholarship for students from Southern Indiana wanting to study in certain STEM study areas. Note, none of our family attended Purdue. Don’t worry I U Sports Fans, we also funded a endowment for I U Athletics, although a little smaller than our academic endowment at Purdue.

  11. If you support Daniels, you care nothing about public education K-12 in Indiana and don’t have a family member who has struggled for years teaching…let alone know anything about our teacher shortage, messed up evaluation system or how the budgets keep our children down. He’s the cause of our state being a joke in public education, he’s the root. I’m glad James is staying at IU. Anyone who supports Daniels needs to do some homework. I’m out! Go Hoosiers!

    1. ^^^Couldn’t agree more, JPat.
      Eff Purdue, indeed! Creepiest bunch of creepy crawling “cement city” worms to ever coalesce on a parking lot in a cornfield.
      When the migration originally began from the South and Kentucky, they went up the old 65 double-wide wagon trail and bypassed Bloomington resting safely miles to the west of their one-way thinking…. During migration, they all ran out of the one tank of gas in their fleet of artificially wood-grained station wagons…Landing point of no fuel left in the Cousin Wilbur’s wagon was declared West Lafayette-to-marry-anyone-except-a-cousin (soon to be West Lafayette-to-have-a-banner). Thankfully, the migration never made it to the hippest northern tier parts of the state nestled against Lake Michigan….and completely missed too the far
      Right (much like their political lane) of ever nearing Bloomington which was “Left” alone as a sort of Shangri-La meets the beautiful farmer’s daughter from Brazil…meets a liberal education… meets a basketball paradise….meets Mother Bear’s PIZZA!

      Now I’m not so sure. Be damn godawful if the creepy crawly worms have somehow found Bloomington. Please reassure me they have not. It’s disturbing enough to lose to them in basketball, but have they also worked their sliminess into what I once believed a paradise of diversity in thought and learning that made me fall in love with a place I always felt eternal youth could stir a heart and mind in the limestone hills of Southern Indiana?
      Of course, I’ve had this disturbing concern since our last b-ball coach…came in with a wagon load of snake oil and a sermon of empty promises stenciled on a t-shirt. Now that the “We’re Back” imposter gang is gone, I can only hope they’re never coming back.

      This was by no means intended to be political…

  12. Someone that thinks Mitch Daniels is the root of education problems might be the product of an inferior education. An inferior education might lead to the preference of invectives over well-written thought. My children performed at the highest levels in public schools. Some of their teachers were extraordinary, many were mediocre and some were truly terrible. The best teachers seemed humble. The worst unanimously held bloated views of their own importance and skills. Can you guess which group spent their time in parent meetings complaining about working conditions and pay?

  13. HaHaHaHa. Mitch Daniels is all for and about Mitch Daniels. Appointment of some Purdue Trustee Board members as Indiana governor. Mitch goes into retirement from politics (though he is and always will be a politician). Retired into next Purdue president (one of those really elite king type lifestyles) that’s well over a $500,000 salary (plus all the perks, benefits, and salary raises) in addition to his retirement salaries. He has the networking but how hard can a college president’s job be??? Even ex Ohio State football coach Jimmy Tressel is a college/university president at Youngstown State. LOL! Attending college costs were way out of control long before Mitch Daniels got to Purdue. So he has held tuition in check. However, the cost of going to Purdue or any other college is still way out of control. How much cheaper is Purdue than other college alternatives?? It would take a much deeper analysis than Con man Mitch and his regime walking around touting his college tuition freezes for almost the last decade. It depends on how things are defined and statistics is a great liar for politicians and guys like Mitch (that elite group in society). (Manipulation of statistics = all the lies). Mitch (the lifetime politician) is not on the same system of evaluation as anyone else at Purdue.

  14. Yes, Mitch Daniels as governor appointed some of the Purdue board members who later hired him as the next Purdue president.

  15. Government / Politicians / Eliteness / Top %: Think of a slot machine in Vegas. All the winning pictures, numbers, and statistics along with the noise on that slot machine that jumps out into the faces of players/consumer/s. Then, there is that little hidden mathematical formula that the player/s/consumer/s never see. They become like the frog in a pot of water which the temperature of that water is slowly increased. The water temperature is increased until boiling. The frog is boiled to death.

    1. Great stuff, t. Sounds a lot like how our “committee rooms” functioned..and how the Fred & Tommy show worked to secure their “elite” jobs. 30 million (Crean over 9 seasons) puts 750 students through four years of college. A coach who taught basketball with alphabet blocks and cue cards cost the state 750 college graduates (even at the inflated prices). Perspective.
      And we can’t even lower the price of student loan interest rates as massive numbers sink into a never-ending cycle of compounding debt.

  16. 123, take the blinders off…simply ask any current teacher in the state what they think about Mitch Daniels. Also, do some research!

  17. Perhaps just Google Tony Bennett and see the connection. Then you can see where things went downhill. Just trying to help expand your mind a bit. However, if you haven’t lived it…I can’t expect you to truly understand.

    1. JPat I get your criticism for sure. But the past 5 decades of policies, practices and the waste of $ coming from there implementation demanded by teachers union(s) is a much longer term negative than Daniels and Bennett could ever effect. I’ve done a little consulting work the teachers union. You talk about political and selfbuilt kingdoms, man oh man. There are 0 pikers in that crowd. Needless to say I never returned to fatten my wallet again.

  18. Our family’s scholarship wasn’t established for the benefit of Mitch Daniels, it was for students from Southern Indiana counties that were enrolled at Purdue University that needed financial assistance and their academic standing qualified for the scholarship. The young lady from Evansville that is a senior and her degree is in bio-chemistry was thankful for the scholarship money, during our family’s meeting with her at Purdue.

  19. How many times can effing Purdue be mentioned on Hoosier blogs? Inquiring minds need to know. Go to their damn forums and mention INDIANA!

    We crap away another basketball season and all that matters to most of you in March is the whims of an one running back on the crappiest football program to ever play college football….and Purdue?

    Love ’em all your sh** football and Purdue. Basketball teams from our conference are slapping us around like rag dolls and Mitch Daniels is the big news of the week. Who gives a rat’s ass about whatever and whenever Purdue hands out a scholarship? Why is that news here? You people deserve the complete irrelevance your distortions and support of ideology-driven weak coaches has done to Indiana.

    Long live the great Purdue Boilermakers and their best school in the state. Did I mention how fantastic the Wisconsin Badgers are as well? My gosh, by my Oshkosh, they are sure fabulous.

    Purdue is a rat hole. Whatever happened to Bobby taking so much heat for making out with Gene Keady? You couldn’t pay $20,000 per year in tuition to convince my kid to go to that landing strip of comb-over wannabees.

  20. Clarion, I’d love to connect w you off the blog and talk to you on how the decisions these guys made have kept my wife and I down along w our students and teachers. It’s much deeper than them trying to break up the union, trust me!

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