Blog Entry

Kelvin Sampson & NCAA Violations

Posted on: February 10, 2008 8:26 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2008 9:15 pm

You want to rip Kelvin Sampson a new one for his repeated transgressions with the telephone? Fine, it's the chic thing to do, everybody who's anybody is doing it, so jump on the bandwagon. But, here's two suggestions, for your sake, before you do so:

  1. Know what you're talking about
  2. Take a good, hard look at your own program, first

First, it's important to note that the first round of phone calls made at Oklahoma were ruled by the NCAA as a Secondary Violation. There's more information that can be found, here:

While 577 phone calls certainly seem excessive, 233 by Sampson himself, keep in mind that this was over a 4-year period (2000-2004). So we're really talking about ~58 extra calls per annum over the period in question. Now, I don't mean to totally diminish this, but I've had girlfriend's who make 58 extra calls in a 4-day span.

Now, with the most recent issue, Sampson was involved in 13 prohibited 3-way calls last year:

A second document is the self-report to the NCAA enforcement staff regarding the phone calls that violated NCAA rules. That report concluded that out of these 32 phone calls it is likely only 13 actual conversations occurred. Also among the documents are two other reports detailing the circumstances of impermissible personal contacts with recruits or their families not related to telephone calls.

Now, keep in mind that these calls are not actual NCAA rules violations, but a violation of Sampson's probation, as noted:

Although permissible under NCAA rules, three-way recruiting calls involving Sampson were in violation of the stricter, NCAA-imposed sanctions which were in effect on the IU staff last year from May, 2006 to May, 2007.

And it's also important to note that Indiana has imposed serious penalities, which Sampson has fully agreed to:

As penalties, Greenspan has imposed a second year of restrictions on recruiting calls tighter than is permitted by the NCAA, reduced Sampson's off-campus recruiting opportunities and taken away a basketball scholarship for 2008-09. The basketball staff will also have one less coach available for recruiting during the 2007-08 recruiting year. Sampson also voluntarily agreed to forego a $500,000 compensation increase this year.

That's fairly significant versus being a slap on the wrist, when's the last time you've kissed off $500 Grand? And note, the University has also submitted these violations as Secondary Violations, in good faith:

"Through extensive and lengthy discussions with our legal counsel, it was concluded that these violations are of a secondary nature because they represented isolated instances. They provided little, if any, recruiting advantage and did not involve any extra benefits," Greenspan said.

Okay, so now we all know what has reportedly happened. Keep in mind these are Secondary Violations and no one at Indiana or within their fanbase thinks this is okay. Sampson's been punished and we need 100% compliance out of him and our Program as a whole.

But let's also look at this for what it is, Secondary Violations. Has a coach ever been so lambasted by the media for Secondary Violations? Has a Coach ever been deposed for Secondary Violations? Not to my knowledge.

Secondary Violations run rampant in College Basketball, almost as common as missed Shaun Pruitt free throws, which is incredibly common. Before you throw Sampson under the bus, I recommend you look at your own program, in order to avoid playing the role of hypocrite, because no one likes a hypocrite.

Let's look at a few different cases. We'll start with Illinois. I've noticed a lot of Illinois fans referring to Sampson as Sampscum and Sanctions over this, but is your Program and Coach any cleaner? Have a look at Self's history at Illinois:

Now, in the same spirit I'm taking about with Sampson, I'm not sure how big of a deal these 20 Secondary Violations really are but the point is that they exist, and as in Sampson's case, a Secondary Violation is a Secondary Violation.

And speaking of Bill Self, what's he up to these days at Kansas? Well, a little more of the same:

The basketball violations occurred from 2002 through 2005, spanning from Williams to current coach Bill Self, who will be starting his fourth season with Kansas next month.

I don't mean to pick on Bill Self alone, but I find it curious as to how the media and fans are giving all of these coaches free passes while they're burning Sampson's name in effigy.

Perhaps the most humerous conversation I've recently had on the subject was when an Oklahoma State fan referred to Sampson as a cheater and claimed Eddie Sutton has never been a cheater. Eddie Sutton is one of the most infamous rules violators in the history of NCAA Basketball, he was involved in a scenario where his players at Kentucky (late 80s) were being paid to play!

You can read about it here, if you like:

In the end, none of this is a-okay, but before you trash the bejesus out of Kelvin Sampson, come to terms that these are Secondary Violations and have an understanding that your Coach and Program probably has recently committed Secondary Violations as well.

After that, fine, throw Sampson under the bus. Just make sure you leave room for your Coach and Program, because I'll be placing them there shortly.

Can you hear me now?!


Since: Feb 13, 2007
Posted on: February 15, 2008 9:06 pm

Kelvin Sampson & NCAA Violations

Hey Rookie, did you not see any of my posts from yesterday? See the following:

I have changed my tune already. You're not reading my stuff quite as much as seem to be claiming.

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: February 15, 2008 5:12 pm

Kelvin Sampson & NCAA Violations

''You're right, Sampson's violations are not severe. ''This is not going to become true just because you say it over and over. Nate0 has been playing this record for months, but it is still untrue.

I will lift this paragraph (my emphasis) from another thread titled Coaches and Violations:
Really, is it so hard to understand that no violation is secondary when you're on probation -- that is the definition of probation. The non-secondary (major) violations at OU included "Fostering an atmosphere of non-compliance." That doesn't mean he failed to keep everyone else from doing bad -- it means he encouraged (required?) them to go on cheating. [This finding was agreed to by both the school and the coach. They admitted to both the cheating and the atmosphere in which it occurred.]
In the newly released summary of violations (pertaining to activities on behalf of IU), the phrase is softened to "Failing to maintain an atmosphere of compliance." Still not a secondary violation.

The NCAA document in fact accuses your poor martyr of repeated, willful, arrogant conduct. The NCAA regulations on recruiting are not a pick-and-choose menu which leaves a coach the option of choosing which ones he will follow and which ones will be surreptitiously ignored. The amateurish attempts to mask the violations confirm awareness that the conduct was outside the stipulations of probation.

If I were trying to champion a program's integrity, I wouldn't start by crying, "We only cheat a little bit," when that itself is a blatant lie. When you climb on your white horse, make sure you are facing the front.

The longer you keep trying to justify/minimize these events, the longer you will have to deal with the fact that they did occur. Admit what happened. Deal with it. Move on.

Since: Feb 13, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2008 3:49 pm

Kelvin Sampson & NCAA Violations

Okay, I'm eating crow on this one. I was wrong.

Cut me a little slack, I wrote this before I read the NCAA report and its additional findings.

Sampson's as good as gone.

Since: Oct 9, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2008 2:21 pm

Kelvin Sampson & NCAA Violations

They were secondary violations the first time....

Violating the conditions of your "probation" isn't a secondary violation...

And lying during an investigation definitely isn't a secondary violation...

And, when it comes down to it...a violation is a violation...doesn't matter what rule you break, it's that you broke a rule.

Since: Nov 9, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2008 1:30 am

Kelvin Sampson & NCAA Violations

I think NateO needs to get better "stuff".  These are not Secondary Violations.  Sampson is accused of 5 Major violations.  I don't care what Bill Self did at Illinois or Kansas.  If you think Sampson's repeated ignoring of rules on when and how often contact is allowed is the same as Bill Self telling a recruit "Nice game", they you are not living in realitiy.  Roy Williams violation at Kansas was because the Booster program gave a gift to players when they graduated.  Not the same thing as Sampson.   Sampson is a deliberate cheater who is bending the rules to benefit himself.

Since: Sep 30, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2008 6:44 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Feb 13, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2008 4:12 pm

Kelvin Sampson & NCAA Violations

Yes, I am serious. Sampson has never been confirmed of a Major Violation to date. These Secondary Violations are in fact what the media have been talking about, to date.

Read my links, I've provided you with all the information necessary to understand this pretty straight-forward fact.

However, the NCAA as of Friday, is alledging the latest transgression is a Major Violation:

Time will tell...

Since: Oct 9, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2008 3:09 pm

Kelvin Sampson & NCAA Violations

Nate-O, are you serious?

These aren't secondary violations...secondary violations don't get plastered all over the media world. They're big time violations, because they've been repeated, and they could cost Sampson his job.

You're absolutely right that probably most every program does some sort of violations.

Since: Jul 16, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2008 2:54 pm

Kelvin Sampson & NCAA Violations

We will leave the namecalling to the others on the message boards.  I agree with the beginning blog that states that they are all secondary violations which is why Sampson was originally punished.

But, he kept on doing it, just like Josh said.  He blatantly disregarded the rules, and his own punishment.  What he did, worst of all was lie about it.  If he owned up to the new secondary violations, then maybe he would be just like Bill Self, who is enjoying a great record with little controversy.

I hope for college basketball's sake that this doesn't turn into anything like what baseball is dealing with right now, but you never know.  If Sampson doesn't resign, or there are no quick sanctions on the program, you can bet that some people will be calling for them around postseason time.  I'm so sick of reading about controversies in sports.

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: February 12, 2008 9:41 pm

Kelvin Sampson & NCAA Violations

That was perhaps the best posting I have read on this site.  Well done.  I really do not understand the contant crying over the secondary violations.  They happen all of the time, and the are rarely caught and even more rarely internally investigated and punished.  This has to be by far the most punitive self imposed penalty that an university has ever given for a secondary offense.  If it were thoroughly researched, I bet there are several primary penalties that have had less teeth. 

That is ok though.  Very few people have much perspective and sense of history.  Look at Kravitz (Indy Star Reporter), he was virtually clueless.  He columns are so mundane and poorly written (from a logic perspective) that I stopped reading him.  Most sports writers are equally terrible.  

Thanks for taking the time to write a well-researched, well-articulated post.

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