A Thursday night meeting between Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan and the school's basketball team became heated when players threatened to quit if the AD follows through with a plan to remove Kelvin Sampson as the Hoosiers' coach, two sources have told CBSSports.com.
According to the sources, after Greenspan informed five selected players -- namely D.J. White, Eric Gordon, Kyle Taber, Lance Stemler and Adam Ahlfeld -- of his decision to replace Sampson he called a meeting with the entire team in an attempt to "prepare" them for Friday's official announcement that Sampson would either be suspended or terminated in time for the Hoosiers' weekend game at Northwestern. But before Greenspan finished his speech, the sources said an unidentified player stood up and insisted "if Sampson ain't coaching, we ain't playing" and that Greenspan responded with what he thought was a rhetorical question.
"Greenspan asked if he should just cancel the whole season," one source said. "And the player told him 'We don't care what you do. But if Sampson ain't coaching, we ain't playing.' And then they just walked out."
An Indiana television station shot video of the IU players leaving the meeting.
The players declined comment upon exiting.
According to the sources, Greenspan asked Sampson to resign Thursday night but Sampson -- who was alleged in a report released last week to have committed five major NCAA rules violations -- rejected the request. The sources said it now appears Sampson is daring the school to fire him and that such a move would almost certainly lead to a lawsuit because Sampson still insists he is not guilty of lying to NCAA investigators or IU administrators, and that if the school was going to fire him for impermissible phone calls it should've done that when it learned of the calls in October.
Either way, Indiana is expected to hold a news conference Friday.