I’ve been taking a look at what various media opinion writers around the state and the country are writing about yesterday’s Indiana basketball news. I think we’ll see a lot more in the next day or two, but here’s a glimpse from the printouts scattered across my desk:
SI.com’s Jacob Osterhout in his Monday Awards has given Sampson “The Repeat Offender Award.” Osterhout writes that “Sampson is going to talk on the phone and no one, I mean no one, is going to stop him.” He writes thats Sampson was able to jump ship at Oklahoma before being punished for exceeding the NCAA limits on calls to recruits, but he won’t be able to do that this time.
Many of you have read Bob Kravitz’s column in the Indy Star today. Kravitz says IU has a moral imperative to fire Sampson and then should send athletic director Rick Greenspan on his way, as well. Kravitz writes that he holds Sampson responsible for trying to circumvent the previous NCAA sanctions with the three-way phone calls involving himself and assistant Rob Senderoff.
“On a few occasions, the assistant coach would call the recruit/coach/parent and then patch Sampson through so he could be part of the conversation,” Kravitz wrote. “Maybe I’m a cynic, but on the surface, that looks like someone is trying to sidestep the rules. He can’t call the kid directly, so have an assistant call and make it a conference call.
“It’s also interesting that Ice Miller’s report noted that 10 of 12 of the calls in question were outgoing, while just six were incoming, and there’s no confirmation those six incoming calls were from recruits. This stands in stark and troubling contradiction to Sampson’s assertion that all of the calls were made by recruits.”
Bob Hill, a columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal, ridicules Sampson’s explanation of the three-way calls: “Sampson – ever the phone novice – said he was totally unaware that some of the calls were of the three-way variety. The coach insisted that Senderoff – apparently a phone etiquette kind of guy, if not fall guy – would stay on the line without Sampson’s knowledge because if he hung up the call would disconnect. How rude would that be?”
Brian Hedger of the Gary Post-Tribune in a column headlined “Kelvin Sanction earning the nickname at IU” writes that Greenspan needs a wash cloth to clean himself off because the illegal phone calls made under Sampson’s watch are an embarrassment that many people not only predicted, but fully expected. Hedger says that if Greenspan truly wanted to send a strong message that 100 percent NCAA compliance is his expectation, as he said Sunday, he would have hired someone else in the first place.