Crean: “I don’t have a lot of respect for that.”

Interesting day at the track.

Tom Crean, who has been slowed by pretty much nothing since become Indiana basketball coach, found something he couldn’t overcome: the rain.

Crean was supposed to be the honorary starter for practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, but rain washed out the session. Crean still made his way around the facility, meeting with old friends — his brother-in-law Jim Harbaugh once was part owner of Panther Racing — and making new ones.

He also took a few laps in the pace car with assistant coach Bennie Seltzer and video coordinator Brian Barone.

Then, as Crean has done about many of the issues confronting Indiana basketball, he spoke quite frankly about the departure of Eli Holman.

For background: Holman left unexpectedly last Thursday, and did so with an outburst that led to police being called (no charges were pressed.) Holman has since enrolled at Detroit Mercy and will play for the new coach there, Ray McCallum.

McCallum, of course, was an assistant for Indiana the past two years and was the choice of the players on the team to replace Kelvin Sampson.

Now, here’s the transcript of what Crean said today.

Question: How much did the Eli thing take you aback? Have you ever had anything happen quite like that?

Crean: No. Never had anything like that. It was disappointing on a lot of fronts and it, I wouldn’t say it totally came out of nowhere, but he did a great job of portraying that he was pretty happy with the way things were. And then we were led to believe it was a family decision and (he) wanted to get closer to home and that doesn’t look like that’s the way it’s going to turn out. I don’t think there’s any doubt that there was a certain amount of orchestrating going on. It’s disappointing. It’s very disappointing on a lot of fronts but that’s really all I have to say about that at this point.

Question: Can you say what prompted the outburst? Do you know?

I don’t know. I would say not getting the answer that he probably would have liked. It was about taking some time to go through this, but, I’ve seen now, this was totally part of an orchestration. It just was. I don’t have a lot of respect for that. I like Eli and I wish him well. I really do. In the short time we were with him, I liked him. But I don’t have a lot of respect for the way that it turned out.

Question: Did you put any conditions on Eli’s release?

No, not really. But it’s all sort of starting to play out, isn’t it?

Share the Scoop!


  • Dynasty says:

    Yes, Tom, It Is.. Isn’t it..?

  • ww says:

    How refreshing to have a coach answer a question…and honestly. It was frustrating to always hear……I will not comment on that.

  • Steve O says:

    I didn’t know IU opened a campus in Detroit for it’s hand-me-down’s…

  • Stacey says:

    Good riddance to Holman and the rest of them. If they didn’t appreciate the opportunity to get their education at one of the finest universities in the country and play for one of the best programs, then good-bye! AND I just lost a huge amount of respect for McCallum, assuming he was the one who orchestrated the whole situation. In retrospect, IU should be happy with it’s decision NOT to have McCallum as the head coach….would have been more game playing! We FINALLY have a great coach!!!!

  • mardy says:

    stacey, you hit it on the head!hoosier nation will unite and soon we will have another banner in the hall

  • FAN says:

    Eli who?

  • Milla Red says:

    Now we finally see the connection between McCallum and Sampson. If you were like me, you were on this guys side. We all knew his son was on his way to IU.

    But the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree does it? Ray Sr., you’re a loser just like your buddy Kelvin. Have fun over there at Detroit Mercy? That’s the best you could do after being #2 at IU? That’s a huge step forward buddy.

  • West Coast Hoosier says:

    So, reading between the lines, and saying some things that maybe Crean and/or others (and maybe even the Hoosier Scoop can’t say, but I can because I know nothing and can hypothesize), someone (and we can guess the connection) would have told Holman to (a) be nice initially and create a good relationship with Crean, (b) then Holman would go to Crean and say “I want to play closer to home because of family and homesickness, etc.” (c) leading up to Holman saying to Crean “because I want to play closer to home and for family reasons, please release me and allow me to avoid the one-year that I would have to sit out for transferring.”

    Then, when Crean said that the rules require the one-year sit and IU wouldn’t release Holman from that, Holman got mad and broke something.

    Then, it turned out Crean’s instincts were correct.

    As soon as that was past and it hadn’t worked, it became clear that Holman was intent on going to Detroit Mercy all along to be with McCallum and was just trying to “play” Crean to avoid the one-year sit.

    Hmmmm. Not criminal, but certainly not straightforward, direct, up front. As Crean said, “orchestrated.”

    West Coast Hoosier

  • Swampy says:

    1.) Wow. I didn’t know Crean was such a straight shooter. That’s absolutely awesome.

    2.) I guess McCallum had quite an ego. Sampson’s ego was obvious once the situation played out, but these guys all sound like they had god complexes. Adios, am-egos!

    3.) Eli Holman was gracious in apologizing to everyone affected by his tantrum, so let’s give him a break. It’s pretty clear that McCallum was pulling the strings of a confused kid, so I can’t blame the kid for acting out. I hope he succeeds in life and puts his past behind him.

    I always give people the benefit of the doubt. People like Sampson and McCallum make me look like an idiot for doing it, but I always will.

    What comes around goes around.

  • David says:

    This word ‘orchestrated’ has been used over and over again but i’m still not sure what everyone means. What exactly was ‘orchestrated’ and why was that a bad thing?

    The only thing i see wrong with ANY of this is that Eli may have pretended like he wanted to stay at IU all the while intending to transfer but it’s not like those few weeks hurt the program at all? We had so many scholarships available his transfer basically just leaves another one open to go get another ’08 or ’09 guy.

    I suppose you could say McCallum tried to get the job by using the players but there was no chance he was getting the job if Dakich wasn’t.

  • John L says:

    Interesting how everyone jumped all over Greenspan for promoting Dakich instead of McCallum. Maybe he knew more than people gave him credit for. Contrast Dakich’s actions since Sampsons departure vs. McCallum’s.

  • MARK82 says:

    To West Coast Hoosier: Any player that transfers from one D1 program to another must sit out one year. That year can be waived through a hardship (like the former Iowa player that transferred to Tennessee to be near his cancer terminal father). Most likely, CTC wasn’t going to let Eli out of his Scholarship. He probabley wanted him to give more thought to his decision. If a school will not release a student from his Scholarship, the player would have to pay for the one year he sits out. He would then be able to get a scholarship at the other D1 school the second year. I believe this is how it works. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

  • Davids mother says:

    David, what they mean by “orchestrated” is that they illegally went behind Indiana’s back and recruited Eli (amongst others) to another school. This could have transpired well before the season ended while Ray was still at IU promising playing time if they followed and or it could have come afterwards.

    All I know is that SOMETHING was incredibly odd the night Eli met Crean in his office. I am not going to pretend to be Cleo and say what it was, but SOMETHING wasn’t right.

  • Publius says:

    It’s very common in business for people to give simple answers as to why they want to leave just to avoid difficult discussions. Once the mind is made up they’re usually looking for the path of least resistance. That said, Crean obviously knows more to the story.

    I guess if I’ve learned one thing over the past few months it’s to not underestimate the bond built between a recruiter/coach and the player. The kid who says “I want to play at IU regardless of the coach” is a rare find.

  • Brad says:

    Sorry, but I don’t see anything wrong with Ray bringing some “former” IU players with him, IF the player is the one who initiated the contact. Hell, I really don’t even have a problem with him saying something like “I’ll have a spot for you at Detroit if you decide you want a change.” I DO have a problem with him if he was the one trying to “coach” Eli into getting Crean to let him out of his scholarship immediately so that he could play next season. At this point I’m not sure if that was Ray’s call or Eli’s and we may never know.

    In the end, I think it worked out pretty well for everyone. Eli gets to go play for the coach he wants (albeit after he sits on the pine another year), Ray gets a big man with alot of potential who likely never would have ended up at UDM any other time, and IU gets rid of a player who didn’t want to be there and has some anger problems.

    GO CREAN, keep up the GREAT work!

  • Hoosier Fan says:

    John L., quite a contrast in behavior. Dakich is an IU man and a class act. The other two were just acts. Good riddance of all the Sampson links.

  • DCM says:

    West Cost Hoosier –

    Don’t be confused by the “one year sit out” rule , which is a NCAA rule and which only the NCAA has the ability to waive. This is requirement whenever a student-athlete transfers from one Division-A school to another Division-A school. The NCAA has waived this requirement on extremely rare occcasions.

  • BAM says:

    Let’s think about this. I’m the tallest returning scholarship player to a big time basketball program with extensive national TV exposure and a schedule that features some of the top competition in the country. I will however be playing for a new, albeit proven, coach with the style of play that fits my abilities better than any half court style. But my current school is under some scrutiny and may be subject to further sanctions from the NCAA however remote of a chance. I also have the option of asking for a release from my scholarship to go play for one of the coaches who initially recruited me but hasn’t been a head coach in several years and the school is a mid-major program with very limited if not non-existent success in recent years… they have absolutely no exposure to prospective NBA scouts (since I firmly believe I am NBA caliber). You know what, I’m smarter than these Hoosier jokers….I’ll show them….I’m gonna ask for my release and go to UDM and be a star. What I have to sit out ANOTHER year?? I barely played last year! F you coach Crean and your potted plantery!

    WOW! Can’t help but feel sorry for a kid who has delusions of grandeur. Good luck Eli. We’ll keep an eye out for you on Sportscenter or the NBDL.

  • Eric says:

    Anybody know if it’s an NCAA violation for a coach to talk to a player who’s on scholarship at another school in hopes of convincing him to transfer to that coach’s school? That seems to be what McCallum has done, on some level. I’ve always thought that transfers had to contact the school they’re transferring to, not the other way around. But, that may be an unspoken rule or a matter of courtesy rather than an NCAA regulation.

  • Jordan says:

    I don’t want to compare the two, but I see some similarities between Crean’s statement and Bruce Weber “crying” about losing Eric Gordon. I love Crean, but I kind have wish he just would have kept quiet on this one. And hopefully the same IU fans who lambasted Weber aren’t the one’s commending Crean for taking a stand.

  • Bryan says:

    The fact that Weber was upset about Gordon isn’t the issue. It’s that Weber (and Illinois) wouldn’t let it go. If Crean is still harping on this 3 months from now, you’ll have a point.

  • jeff says:

    Eli Holman is not going to amount to anything on the basketball court anyway. We don’t need him or Ray McCallum Jr.- or SR. for that matter. Crean is Awesome…… this guy is the real deal, and we will win Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships with him.

  • HC says:

    Did Holman receive a red-shirt for last season?

  • Caleb says:

    Man I cant believe we all bought that Sampson garbage as long as we did. There were so many deep roots of deceit and lies and bs brewing that it just keeps coming up to the surface no matter how hard we all try to move on.

    Forget Eli. Who cares? The dude was unproven at best and a fragile thug at worst. Let it go. Weeding the garden is never a fun job, but damn it sure looks good once its done.

  • Jeff says:


    I thought this as well but the two are quite different. 1. Gordon was not at ILL and had not signed a loi. Eli was on scholarship at IU. I think this sounds fishy if you ask me. I would like to know when the plane ticket was purchased for Eli to visit Detroit. That is the question. I did not think it made sense that a player would blow up when asking for his release. Now things are starting to fit together. If he does not want toplay at IU I am fine with that, but if another coach is picking off players then that is a problem.

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