The McCallum/Dakich situation


I can confirm what John Decker of HoosierNation.com reported earlier today.

Most of the players do prefer assistant coach Ray McCallum to assistant coach Dan Dakich.

According to a few sources who told me that the McCallum-instead-of-Dakich conversation came up between the players and Greenspan, the players simply feel more comfortable with the coach who came in with Sampson and went through last year as well as every step of this season.

Remember, too, that McCallum helped to recruit six of these players. He may not have been the lead recruiter on all of them, but he was present during on-campus visits, watched AAU games and coached at Elite Camps. The players feel that they know him well.

Dakich was not made an assistant coach until after Rob Senderoff was forced to resign on Oct. 30. Not only is Dakich a replacement for a coach that many of the players liked and were recruited by, he was not able to do any actual coaching until November, just before the start of the season. By then the mentality of the team had shifted into game mode. That is, they began focusing on one game at a time, trying to understand their upcoming opponents and what Sampson had decided they needed to improve on. There wasn’t as much time for bonding with Dakich as there might have been had he taken over earlier. He was not allowed to be on the practice floor prior to that.

Also, Dakich arrived over the summer as the director of operations. Sampson prefers to hire former coaches for that spot, but the position is really one of a liaison to the rest of the athletics department and especially the compliance office.

Our sources describe a situation over the summer in which the basketball program recoiled at the thought of the investigation being conducted into its recruiting practices by IU. Through all of the tension, though, Dakich had to continue doing his job and cooperating with the athletic department. And so you have a case where the appearance of something — that Dakich was not completely “with” the basketball program — might have more residual than the truth.

What it ultimately comes down to is this: the players are extremely emotional right now and reaching for some sort of stability. They want to take control of their situation, and in this case that means having the coach they’ve known longer take over if Sampson must go.

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4 comments:

  • triple #1


    Friday, February 22, 2008 - 10:53 AM EDT

    As I recall many players threatened to leave when Knight was fired. Few did. Same thing happened when Davis left. I do not mean to downplay the emotions of the players right now, but with players just like with fans the level of emotion will peak in the heat of the moment and then things will subside.

    In my own little fantasy world IU would come out firing with proof that the NCAA padded the evidence and the scandal would be turned on its head with the NCAA under fire and Sampson proceeding to win the NCAA championship. But since that’s not going to happen, my hope is that everybody will let what happens today happen today, blow of some steam, and then start the process of adjusting to the new reality tomorrow, without making short-sighted, rash decisions.

    Whether it’s Dakich or McCallum, it’s still IU basketball, and the players should know that the fans will support them as much or even more at the end of this season as we did at the beginning.

  • Sam #2


    Friday, February 22, 2008 - 10:56 AM EDT

    Again, it cannot be McCallum right now. IU cannot risk the possibility McCallum’s name could be attached to future reports or findings of inappropriate phone calls or contacts with recruits. The interim coach has to be Dakich because he came in after the fact. The plus side is Dakich knows the players and the system. They can continue without much change to how they do things already. I DO NOT belive McCallum was involved in any wrong doing but the interim coach cannot be tied directly to Sampson during the time of the alleged violations. It has to be Dakich. And yes, Meyer has to be gone or suspended, too.

  • Mickey #3


    Friday, February 22, 2008 - 11:01 AM EDT

    Doug and Chris..great job covering this story. You both must be exhausted. We appreciate the amount of time and effort it takes to keep us informed. Thanks

  • ww #4


    Friday, February 22, 2008 - 12:16 PM EDT

    Either one of you guys going to write a book after this situation plays out? Maybe not….Season on the Brink…..but maybe ….. Season in the Sink

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