Blog Entry

Kelvin Sampson was lying? You don't say?

Posted on: February 13, 2008 11:11 am
The NCAA thinks Kelvin Sampson broke rules and lied when asked for an explanation.

Funny, that's the same thing I thought ... four months ago.

Here's my blog entry from last Oct. 16, the day after it was revealed Sampson acknowledged being on three-way calls with prospects and an assistant but denied he understood he was on three-way calls with prospects and an assistant.
CINCINNATI -- On a Monday drive from Lexington to Cincinnati I spent time talking to multiple basketball coaches. Naturally, Kelvin Sampson was a subject of conversation, and all I can tell you is that -- take this for what it's worth -- I couldn't find a single person in the business who believes it's possible that Sampson could've been on those three-way calls (that are OK by NCAA standards but weren't OK under Sampson's sanctions) with an assistant and recruit without knowing.

Of course, this is what Sampson claimed Sunday.

His phone would ring. He would answer it. A recruit would start talking. His assistant (Rob Senderoff) would stay quiet. And Sampson would just think that the recruit had called him on his own accord, which would've been perfectly legal. But here's the problem with that explanation: Unless Sampson's phone works differently from the way every other phone of every other coach I spoke with works -- and my own phone, it's worth noting -- then when Senderoff called Sampson to initiate the three-way call it would've been Senderoff's phone number that showed up on Sampson's caller ID. So if this was all innocent, wouldn't Sampson have been shocked to hear a recruit's voice after seeing Senderoff's phone number in the caller ID? Wouldn't the first question have been, "Hey recruit. Why are you calling me from Rob's phone?"

"That's why his story isn't believable," said one high-major assistant. "We use three-way calls all the time, and what he's describing just isn't the way it works. The way it works is for me to get a recruit on the phone and then patch Coach in, and when Coach answers I say, 'Hey Coach. I've got so-and-so on the line here for you.' That's why it's hard to believe this is all innocent."

To be clear, all the facts aren't out yet. There could be more we don't know, like that Sampson's caller ID was broken or that Senderoff had a call block on his phone that wouldn't show Sampson who was on the other end of line. But barring such unusual circumstances, the explanation doesn't ring true, and that's why Sampson is taking a beating in the business both publicly from the media and privately from his colleagues.

So am I surprised by Wednesday's news?

In a word, no.

As the above blog shows I never believed Sampson was believable.

And the crazy thing is that though the phone calls would not have cost him his job the subsequent lies just might.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Oct 27, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2008 1:24 pm

Kelvin Sampson was lying? You don't say?

If one more dangerous sportscaster (vitale, john saunders, billy packer, john feinstein, jay crawford and all those mindless former coaches) insists that Bob Knight ran a clean program, I'm going to scream. Indulge me a moment. Knight committed felonious assault on a police officer, filed false police reports in a shooting incident, violated FCC vulgarity standards and lied to cover up his choking of a student. Heck, they're going to put Bonds and Clemens (well, let's ignore the pardon for the minute) in jail for less. And they call that clean. If the felonies he committed had been treason, assaulting dogs or child molestation, would we still be exhalting the cleanliness of this serial felon, or would he be calling Michael Vick roomie?

Since: Jan 12, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2008 12:05 pm

Kelvin Sampson was lying? You don't say?

I'll offer some perspective from Spartan-land (and thanks for the beatdown Saturday night by the way, I really enjoyed that  ).

1)  Indiana University has one of the proudest basketball traditions in all of college athletics.  Having said that, opening the door for a head coach with, at best, a checkered past was an enormous mistake.  You cannot, no matter how much you want to forget the past 20 years of unspectacular basketball, take a chance at ruining your program's reputation.  There are a dozen young, budding head coaches out there with clean records that come from a lineage of top head coaches.  Why not pick someone from the tree of Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Tom Izzo, or Jim Calhoun to name a few.  These guys have generated many good head coaches that are coming up through the ranks at smaller schools.  This is where I think Indiana may have been better served than taking a risk on a known violator of NCAA rules.

2)  The athletic director at Indiana had better be updating his resumé because, at the end of the day, this hiring is his cross to bear.  Like all other AD's, he received a fair bit of input from others during the hiring process.  However, the hiring of coaches at any school comes down to the athletic director.  He knew of the violations.  He made the hire anyway.  If (when?) Sampson goes, Rick Greenspan should be hot on his heels.

3)  White, Gordon, Crawford, Bassett, and Co. can keep this team in the hunt for both the Big Ten title and a deep tournament run with or without Sampson.  They will no doubt be affected (Gordon and Crawford most of all because of their youth and direct recruitment by Sampson), but they are a very talented group of kids and I think DJ White's leadership will unify them through the end of the season.  It pains me to say, but I still like this team's chances at a deep run in the tournaments to come (Big Ten and NCAA).

4)  For those defending Sampson, shame on you.  Yes he deserves due process and that is what Indiana, in all fairness, is trying to give him.  I've read that he's a great family man, he doesn't have any arrests for DUI's, blah blah, blah.  Who cares?  Neither do the great coaches I listed at the top of this entry.  They manage to be all those things AND not cheat.  As the head coach of a major NCAA program, he has an obligation to the university, the community, and to the parents of his student-athletes to set an example as a leader that will help prepare those kids for life after Indiana basketball.  Violating NCAA rules is not the way to do that.  I'll admit that I do not think Sampson will be found innocent of these violations.  I hope he is, for the sake of the kids playing basketball at IU right now and for the kids who will be playing at IU in the years to come.  I quite literally watched (with some guilty pleasure) the decimation of the University of Michigan basketball program following the Bill Martin scandal.  Look at it . . . they still haven't recovered and it's almost five years later.  They've turned over head coach after head coach in this time span.  It's embarassing.  That could be the future of IU basketball and it would be tragic.

5)  For the Indiana fans out there who are even bringing up the return of Bobby Knight . . . I'm begging you . . . please stop.  Coach Knight was great back in his day.  He hasn't been a significant factor in college athletics in more than ten years.  He had a nice run down at Texas Tech after leaving Indiana, but he is not the answer for IU any more now than he was when he was fired.  Furthermore, I'm fairly certain he wouldn't do it.  The man, for all his faults, has a lot of pride and I do not believe that would allow him to return to Indiana University.  Conduct a thorough search, give the young candidates a fair chance, and hire someone for the long haul that will give your program a fighting chance through the possible sanctions to come.  I, for one, hope to see Indiana basketball remain strong because (despite last night's throttling) I really enjoy good Spartan/Hoosier clashes and I like to see the Big Ten strong nationally.  Good luck through this ordeal..

Since: Feb 17, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2008 9:24 am

Kelvin Sampson was lying? You don't say?

OSU fans?

Since: Feb 17, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2008 8:00 am

Kelvin Sampson was lying? You don't say?

It seems that we are quick to assume that Kelvin is guilty, without a trial let's go on and hang him. This stems back to October, 2007 when IU first released these alledations. Even then it seemed as though IU already was convinced that was guilty along with presuming guilt about the assistant coaches also. They were convicted in the media immediately without due process. I wonder how reliable NCAA reports are when 99% of allegations involve athletes that are not going to Indiana nor do they involve recruits that signed with Indiana. These kids probably received hundreds of recruiting calls and messages and we are to believe they remember exact details of thr one phone call where they talked to Indiana? As far the geniuses that think Bob Knight is the answer (including Dick Vitale who railed on and on and on and on and on about Bob Knight on Sat. eve game), he chokes players, he throws chairs, he gets in fights at salad bars, don't forget his outstanding interview with Coonie Chung and his comment about women being raped-if it's inevitable then don't fight it, try to sit back and enjoy it or something to that manner, he also hot an assistant coach who settled out of court to reduce publicity. Yes wouldn't he be a fine example to lead young student-athletes. He can teach them how to lead by fear and intimidation. Look at how good a job Isiah Thomas is doing with the Knicks, didn't he have to settle a harassment suit for several million dollars. Yes let's execute Kelvin Sampson who cares about his student athletes, is a good family man and has never had an embarrassment off the court with physical abuse. verbal abuse, DUI's, never has had any scandal about illegal payments to plavers and their families, never had any scandal about classroom irregularities with students, who does not intimaidate people but allegedly had staff who made phone calls that were impermissible.

Since: Dec 23, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2008 12:54 am

Kelvin Sampson was lying? You don't say?

He lied to himself, his family, his players, OSU fans, ESPN tonight. Why is this guy still around.....

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: February 17, 2008 12:43 am

Kelvin Sampson was lying? You don't say?

there's the famous saying "once a cheater, always a cheater" i dont think that just applies to relationships. it applies to anyone who will do anything they either 1) think they can eventually get away with or  2) want to bend the rules for an "edge". i think sampson is one hell of a coach, but if he not only cheated but also lied about it, he should be banned not only from indiana but also suspended by the NCAA for a yr or 2. i dont think indiana should just fire him tho, i think they should in fact make sure he's lying before firing him. i also think anyone involved in hiring sampson should take responsibility for their actions. you hire a guy who's past you know about, you need to take responsibility if he continues his ways.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: February 16, 2008 8:29 pm

Kelvin Sampson was lying? You don't say?

Why does this guy still have a job?
I need answers.
This guy is proven filth.
How s  l  o  w does Indiana plan on moving.
This is the stain that won't go away.
Fire this guy now and your still days late Hoosierheads.
This looks bad because it IS bad.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2008 7:45 pm

Kelvin Sampson was lying? You don't say?

Of course now we are going to hear the Hoosier faithful calling for the return of Bob Knight.  The only problem with that scenario is that he cannot bring his son along. 

Time to move on Hoosier fans.

Since: Nov 2, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2008 2:09 pm

Kelvin Sampson was lying? You don't say?

Well as the old saying goes, a Leopard never changes its spots. 

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: February 16, 2008 11:43 am

Kelvin Sampson was lying? You don't say?

anyone familiar with Coach Sampson from OU is not surprised. What is surprising is that IU hired him. Soon one of the nations premier program will be able to hire a worthy coach. Good for IU, good for the Big Ten and just another roadkill for Bo and the Badgers! Go Bucky.

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