Approaching what's going to be a critical season for he and the Indiana basketball program, Hoosiers coach Tom Crean has had a rough past couple of days.
The season-ending Achilles injury to Mo Creek set the squad back, and now comes a report from ESPN.com's Pat Forde that Crean made illegal contact with a recruit one day after the contact period ended, which was Oct. 5. The recruit in question is Gary Harris, a 2012 guard ranked No. 22 overall by CBSSports.com.
The violation is minor, and in reality happens nearly as frequently as impermissible phone calls. But given the sensitive nature at Indiana, where Kelvin Sampson brought upon much controversy to he and the school, every infraction is taken extra seriously. The Hoosiers do not get off probation from the Sampson era until next month, Nov. 24.
In a statement released Tuesday, the school said, "Coach Crean immediately reported an inadvertent recruiting contact violation to our compliance office, and we are following our normal procedures."
The school says in its report that Crean visited the unnamed student-athlete at an Indianapolis-area high school on Thursday, Oct. 6. According to the NCAA recruiting calendar, the contact period ended Oct. 5.
Indiana's self-report said assistant coach Tim Buckley recognized the calendar error later that day and reported it the same day to the IU compliance office. The school then contacted the NCAA that same day as well. After consulting with NCAA enforcement representative Chris Strobel, the school docked itself two days on the recruiting trail as punishment for the violation.
Harris is also being courted by Kentucky, Purdue and, most notably, Michigan State. The Spartans are of course coached by Tom Izzo, who is a mentor to Crean, as the IU coach once served as an assistant to Izzo at MSU more than a decade ago.