Thursday, May 25, 2006

No Off-Campus Recruiting For IU's Sampson For 1 Year

The NCAA today announced sanctions against IU's new men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson for past recruiting violations at the Univerity of Oklahoma which will carry over to IU. He will not be permitted to recruit off-campus or make any recruiting phone calls for a period of one year according to a Star report. The Star's Mark Alesia writes of the unflattering things the NCAA has to say about our new coach:

The sanctions, announced today by the NCAA Committee on Infractions, were in response to more than 550 impermissible phone calls made to recruits by Sampson and his staff from 2000 to 2004.

Sampson and the school admitted the violations. IU was aware of the situation when it hired Sampson in March.A news release from the NCAA said Sampson "fostered an environment of deliberate noncompliance" in his program. It said Sampson personally made 233 of the 577 impermissible calls.

The committee's report said it was "troubled" that the violations were happening while Sampson was president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and led a high-profile ethics summit."

At a time when the NABC identified impermissible phone contact as a serious issue and the organization was calling on its membership to be accountable, (Sampson) and his staff were engaged in a pattern of willful and significant recruiting violations," the Infractions Committee report said.

Sampson's contract with IU supposedly allows the university to penalize him in pay for any sanctions handed down by the NCAA. Let's hope they exercise this contractual term to the fullest extent permitted. It always bothered me that IU chose a known cheat for this coveted and highly paid basketball coaching position. As many problems as former basketball coach Bobby Knight had, at least he played by the rules and had an excellent graduation rate average for students who played on his teams at IU, neither of which can be said of Sampson.


Anonymous said...

I think you are wrong for characterizing Sampson as a "known cheater". I enjoy your site and your perspective on most subjects, but feel that you are in over your head on this one. Of course, your entitled to your own opinion, but if you knew more about the situation you would probably feel otherwise.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Thanks for the comment anonymous. Sampson did admit to the rules violations before he was hired by IU. Is a rule breaker not a "cheat?" I just feel Sampson epitomizes all that is wrong with college sports. It is an insult to our institutions of higher learning that we continue to pour more money into coaching programs which do nothing to advance the academic culture of our institutions. Sampson and so many like him will recruit anyone with talent, even if they have the education skills of a 6th grader. As long as he produces winning teams, nobody seems to care. Whether you liked Knight or not, he insisted that his players perform academically in order to participate in his team. That has been the least of Sampson's priorities throughout his coaching career.

Anonymous said...

Would you have been upset if IU hired Roy Williams? His violations at KU are comparable in severity to those of Sampson at OU. That doesnt make it right obviously, but Roy Williams and the North Carolina program won a National Title not too long ago. So did North Carolina hire a "cheat" to win at any cost? Do you think they regret hiring Roy? That would be a tough argument to make to any knowledgable college basketball fan.
Your out of touch on coach Knight too. It is the university that requires student athletes to meet certain academic requirements in order to participate. Right now coach Knight is bringing in kids (3-4) from junior colleges to keep up with the talent at other big time basketball programs - thats no knock on Knight, it is just a sign that things have changed. FWIW I dont agree with your definition of a cheat. Like all things, the situation must be taken in its context.

It would also be worth noting that right now Coach Sampson is in Kuwait with other basketball coaches running a basketball camp and spending time with our troops. Not that you care

Gary R. Welsh said...

The problem is obviously widespread. And to use your words, "that doesn't make it right." I just think these not-ready-for-college guys shouldn't be allowed in any college. Let the NBA recruit them right out of high school if they're that talented. It's not right that they be allowed into top-ranked universities simply so we can have a good basketball team and be given a scholarship at the same time. Sporting scholarships should only be given to athletes with who meet the academic standards of any other student at that university. The standards should be the same across the board to discourage these sorts of practices.

Anonymous said...

I thought you might find this interesting. I cut and pasted this paragraph from a college basketball recruiting website. It is in regards to a 2007 recruit visiting North Carolina.

"Sources are saying the visit is planned to take a total of 11 hours, and North Carolina is trotting out the big guns for it. Former UNC head coach Dean Smith will be present, as well as Michael Jordan and other Tar Heel celebrities. Wayne Ellington, an elite guard from the 2006 class committed to North Carolina, and other North Carolina recruits, are expected to be there also."

Pretty wild what college basketball has become - I agree

Gary R. Welsh said...

Agreed anonymous--thanks for sharing.