Blog Entry

As Indiana moves forward, what's next?

Posted on: February 21, 2008 7:13 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2008 1:39 am

The official announcement should come Friday, at which time Indiana administrators will explain how and why they suspended or fired -- but either way removed -- Kelvin Sampson as their men's basketball coach. I reported earlier that athletic director Rick Greenspan told five players at a Thursday meeting that Sampson will not coach the Hoosiers at Northwestern on Saturday, and so the question of whether IU will be making a coaching switch has been answered barring any legal problems or other developments (like a player revolt, as it turns out) that could move Greenspan off his position in the next 24 hours

Short of that, Sampson will be gone.

Dan Dakich is expected to take over on an interim basis.

And then it'll be interesting to see how the rest of this season unfolds, whether the Hoosiers can win a Big Ten title and advance to the Final Four despite their 22-4 record being overshadowed by off-the-court controversy. It's not unprecedented, you know? Look no further than Michigan's improbable run to the 1989 NCAA Tournament title under then-interim-coach Steve Fisher as proof. But unless Dakich does something similarly spectacular it's difficult to imagine him landing the job on a fulltime basis if only because IU was burned last time it hired an interim (when Mike Davis got the job on a permanent basis after leading the Hoosiers to the 2001 national title game) and administrations tend to shy away from making the same moves that previously led to bad results.

In other words, it's reasonable to expect a national coaching search.

But it's unreasonable to expect Bob Knight to be a factor.

Lets clear that up now.

Knight was great in his time, no question. But he has little interest in recruiting and elite prospects have even less interest in playing for him. Thus, hiring Knight would be a mistake because you can't win in the Big Ten without players -- especially when Ohio State's Thad Matta, Purdue's Matt Painter, Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Wisconsin's Bo Ryan are always going to have players -- and Knight doesn't seem capable of luring great players.

So who will Indiana hire?

Some of the names that have already surfaced (and make sense) are Washington State's Tony Bennett, Virginia Commonwealth's Anthony Grant, Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings, Tennessee's Bruce Pearl, New Mexico's Steve Alford, Xavier's Sean Miller and former Chicago Bulls' coach Scott Skiles. I'm confident any of those men would take the job, except perhaps Pearl. And so the sooner Indiana can land one of them the better, and then the Hoosiers can finally get to work on putting this saga behind them.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2008 5:25 pm

As Indiana moves forward, what's next?

I want to know why Rick Greenspan isn't gone also?  And who paid the $550,000 to prevent the lawsuit? (Benson? Steve Ahlfeld?)  I vote for these trustees and they make all the right statements AFTER the fact.  Where were they when this bum was HIRED?  They fire Kni\ght, then they hire two losers.  I've about had it.  White and the other whiners can clean out their lockers.  Hire Dakich - no interim BS.  The statement that he didn't do much at Bowling Green is just wrong.  He took a really bad, losing program and turned it completely around.  He was begged to return and chose not to, perhaps feeling he had proven himself and therefore had a reason to expect bigger and better opportunities.  This is the guy who held Michael Jordan to 13 points when IU beat them in 1984.  If these players can't respect him and instead choose to support a CHEATER like Sampson, then to hell with them.  Their services are no longer required. 



Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2008 11:02 pm

As Indiana moves forward, what's next?

Alltair, your post is well-written, but theres some huge holes in your argument for Dakich as a parallel to Lynch.

The first comes down to prestige.  Football as IU obviously comes 2nd, if they had held a national search for a coach, they weren't going to land a big name.  Especially with the timing of the matter, it was midseason and way too late to hire a new coach.  They were pretty much forced to keep it internal.  After their first bowl game in years, they were forced to keep Lynch.  How could they not give a contract to the guy who gave them their first bowl game in over a decade?

Dakich is in a completely different situation.  First of all, he doesn't have a whole season of coaching to do, but only the end of the season.  The team is already playing well so any success will not be attributed to him, it will be attributed to Sampson.  Secondly, IU basketball is a nationally prestigious program.  There aren't 5 more storied or valued programs than Indiana.  In other words, for many coaches, IU is a dream job, or at the very least, a promotion.  There are very good coaches in major leagues who would leave their jobs instantly to come to IU.  Dakich has coaching experience, which makes him a good candidate for now, but he couldn't even win in Bowling Green.  If he couldn't win there, how do you expect the man to win at IU?  He's not a bad coach, but Indiana needs to aim higher.  No, we won't be getting Rick Pitino, John Calipari, or probably not even Bruce Pearl, but names like Tony Bennett are very realistic.

You mentioned Steve Alford at the end.  I gotta say, I am SICK of people mentioning Steve Alford.  Alford is a decent coach, he did okay at Iowa and is doing great at New Mexico.  However, to hire Alford only because he has Indiana roots over coaches who are clearly better would not make sense.  He couldn't handle the heat at Iowa, how would he handle it at Indiana where the expectations are much higher?  He didn't do bad there, certainly proved he can coach on the big scale, but didn't have a ton of success either.  He couldn't even get his team full of seniors out of the first round.  I can't ever remember such an experienced team with a high seed getting upset like that.  I'm just saying there are better options than Steve Alford out there, and I don't want to limit our coaching search to him.

Since: May 27, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2008 12:38 pm

I Disagree on Knight's Interest

I think if Indiana called him he'd pick up the phone. I agree that today's game doesn't really lend itself to Knight's style, but so what? His fundamental style is still capable of winning national titles. He's still capable of running the program and running it well. And he's exactly the kind of guy they need after this cheating disaster with Sampson. He can turn this operation around in a hurry. He doesn't take shortcuts and I assure you that there are still players who would want to play for him. That said, I doubt it would ever happen. But don't question whether hiring him would be a mistake - I'd hire him to coach my team.

Since: Jun 20, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2008 12:24 pm

As Indiana moves forward, what's next?

Gary Parrish said that Dan Dakich would only be an interim coach, not a permanent coach, because IU's last interim coach was Mike Davis, who was a failure.  I beg to differ, because Gary Parrish is forgetting about Bill Lynch taking over for the late Terry Hoeppner in IU football.  Lynch's coaching debut was a resounding success, and it's fresh on everybody's mind in Bloomington.

If Lynch can take a moribund IU football program to a bowl game, why can't Dan Dakich be as successful with the basketball program, PROVIDED he's given a chance in 2008-09 (the player revolt may make that success impossible in 2008)?  Lynch did have a full season to work with the Hoosiers after Coach Hoeppner died.

So I'm pulling for Dan Dakich to carry on a trend that's begun just within the past year at IU of successful interim coaches.

And if Dakich doesn't work, they should get Steve Alford.  Everywhere he's gone, he's won (although, in the shadow of Sampson, the Pierre Pierce saga at Iowa may be poison for Alford's chances)

Since: Nov 29, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2008 11:56 am

As Indiana moves forward, what's next?

I have heard Larry the Cable guy may get the job. He is very good with three way phone calls and is a very good friend of Red Green the king of duct tape!!!  HA HA HA HA

Since: Apr 23, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2008 11:40 am

As Indiana moves forward, what's next?

No, please!  We finally have good basketball in Oxford.  Let us enjoy it a little longer!

Since: Jan 13, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2008 11:07 am

As Indiana moves forward, what's next?

Yeah I think Isiah is just about done running the Knicks into the ground.  He would fit right in at IU.

Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2008 9:53 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2008 9:25 am

As Indiana moves forward, what's next?

How about giving them Bruce Weber? 

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2008 9:01 am

As Indiana moves forward, what's next?

How about Jim Christian at Kent State.

6 -20 win seasons.  Great coach with unlimited potential

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or