UPDATE: Audio of Tom Crean's reaction below.
Indiana and the NCAA released news Tuesday night that two Hoosier freshmen, Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin, will have to sit the first nine games of the season, per punishment from the NCAA on a secondary violation.
Indiana announced in its statement it would appeal the ruling. The punishment revolves around a man named Mark Adams, who gave $185 to Indiana's Varsity Club more than two decades ago, and because of that, Adams technically qualifies as a university booster.
Yeah, believe it.
Adams took in Mosquera-Perea and was considered his guardian upon Mosquera-Perea's move to this country in recent years. He was also the basketball coach for the pair in AAU basketball. The punishment, outside of the nine-game suspensions, will be for the two players to pay back benefits they received from Adams in recent years. The NCAA's investigation uncovered nearly $14,000 total in benefits that Adams provided to the two. Among them: plane tickets, a laptop, a phone, clothes, a roof to live under.
Despite that number/financial benefit from Adams, all of the help the two received won't have to be paid back in full. Only some, and since the cash received fell under a certain window (the NCAA tiers off its suspensions in this regard), Mosquera-Perea and Jurkin will miss one-third of Indiana's season.
From the NCAA's release, "Specifically, the involved booster was the student-athletes' nonscholastic basketball coach. Further, the student-athletes qualified as recipients of the booster's nonprofit organization, which assists international student-athletes in obtaining travel documents and transportation to the United States.
"However, the booster also had continuous involvement with the Indiana University men's basketball program. In addition, the impermissible benefits occurred on multiple occasions during these student-athletes' recruitment. Indiana University was aware starting in April 2011 that there could be eligibility issues for these student-athletes should they enroll at the school."
Mosquera-Perea has to raise and pay back $1,590 to a charity of his choosing, while Jurkin is only on the hook for $250. Adams' loose-beyond-loose-beyond-loose definition of being a booster is the sole reason these punishments have been put in place. On the surface it is what it appears to be: a laughable punishment from the NCAA that goes by the letter of the law and flings logic with the wind.
There is room for punishment here, but public reaction is already siding against the NCAA's harsh, archaic, narrow-minded punishment. The timing of this announcement comes three days before the start of the Hoosiers' season, which is Friday, at home, against Bryant.
The nine-game ban for the two would mean IU would be without the duo, most notably, for the North Carolina game on Nov. 27.
On Tuesday night, IU coach Tom Crean went on SiriusXM's "Inside College Basketball" and talked to Jeff Goodman and Bruce Pearl about the punishments.
Tom Crean on suspensions