Rick Greenspan, Kelvin Sampson, Grace Calhoun, Indiana’s compliance director, and a representative from the Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller just held a teleconference to discuss recruiting violations committed by Sampson and the rest of his coaching staff.
Due to a constant echo, the call was difficult to understand for most of the conversation.
Apparently, what Indiana believes to be the most grievous actions discovered during a two-month investigation conducted by Ice Miller were 10 “three-way” calls that resulted in Sampson, who was not allowed to call recruits due to previous sanctions, having a recruit connected to him by an assistant coach, Rob Senderoff.
While doing that is not an NCAA violation, it has been interpreted as breaking Sampson’s previous sanctions, which were put in place after he and his staff were found to have made impermissible calls while at Oklahoma.
Sampson explained that often recruits who could not reach him, for whatever reason, would then call Senderoff and tell him that they needed to talk to Sampson. On 10 occasions, Senderoff was able to connect that call to Sampson. And Sampson simply took the call and began speaking.
“When you get a call and a recruit is talking, you just start talking with him,” Sampson said.
Sampson said he was aware that one of the calls was a three-way call, but that he was not aware on the other nine.
While the three-way calls took up the bulk of the conversation, it was revealed that Indiana’s assistant coaches did commit actual NCAA violations by making undocumented calls, including some from their home phones.
There are two separate reports being sent by Indiana and Ice Miller to the NCAA for review. One details the actions by Sampson and his staff that violated the original sanctions they were under from May 25, 2006 to May 25, 2007 and the other details the new NCAA violations, which are believed to be minor.
Greenspan was asked during the teleconference if he had considered firing Sampson. He responded that IU officials, including President Michael McRobbie had taken a close look at the violations to arrive at the penalties announced Sunday.
“These sanctions were significant,” Greenspan said. “They were severe and they were appropriate.”
Greenspan said he was “profoundly disappointed” that the Indiana athletic department is again dealing with sanctions and NCAA rules violations and sanctions.
Sampson said he and his staff had done a good job in complying with the NCAA sanctions except for the improper phone calls. He said as leader of Indiana’s basketball program, he took responsibility for all cases of his staff not following NCAA rules.
“We were under the impression that this was over,” Sampson said. “We thought we had complied with all the rules.”
This story will be updated.