We wanted to talk to Sampson, and we did. As the hearing let out, reporters manned all known exits. Sampson resorted to coming up through a service stairway and making a dash to a van that had pulled up and was waiting for him. But as he made his way out the door, a few reporters caught up with him. He was cordial.
“It went well,” he said. “It’s a process.”
When asked if the hearing went as he thought it would he said, “About what we expected. We’ll be back tomorrow.”
The hearing resumes at 8:30 local time tomorrow morning.
No, I wasn’t taking a nap. Though I thought about it. The hearing is scheduled to end for the day in about 15 minutes. There probably won’t be any news to come from the exit.
I’m keeping busy by waiting. We’ve been told that today’s hearing will go to 6 p.m. local time, and will probably have to be resumed tomorrow.
Everyone here is a bit shaken by the news that Tim Russert has died.
Tom Crean, returning from lunch, said: “Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?”
Kelvin Sampson is determined not to have his picture taken today. Or maybe he is determined not to see any of our faces. Either way, he is avoiding the media throng at all costs.
Being the intrepid folk that we are, we were able to discover a plainly marked exit that leads to the alley behind the hotel. So, as the group prepared to break for lunch, two cameramen were dispatched to the area. First, Rob Senderoff and his entourage exited and went out to lunch.
Then, according to the reports from the AP photographer and Indianapolis’ WISH TV (Channel eight) camera guy, two guys believed to be affiliated with Sampson emerged for a separate door in the same area. Upon seeing the offending lenses, they scurried back inside.
Here’s the question that seems obvious: Why go to such extremes to avoid having a few photos snapped and saying,”No comment?”
Anyway, I’m now going to go find a schematic of all underground tunnels running through this part of Seattle. Wish me luck.
In 10 minutes, the hearing will break for lunch. Currently, I’m attempting to get the scoop on where they will go. My guess is that they will not appreciate the culinary delight know as Qdoba that is located adjacent to the hotel. Their loss.
Kelvin is indeed inside the meeting. We’ve received confirmation from Stacey Osburn of the NCAA.
Hopefully, he’ll come out and chat when they break for lunch in an hour. I will purchase him a sandwich or something.
A few photos from today:
Here’s the hotel Deca, where the hearing is being held. It rises out of a hip little neighborhood near the University of Washington’s bucolic campus north of downtown Seattle.
Former assistant coach Rob Senderoff enters the hearing room behind an unidentified guy carrying a lot of paper work. Those boxes almost fell, but Senderoff made a quick save and prevented a catastrophic spillage.
Former assistant coach Jeff Meyer enters the hearing. We presume the other person in the picture is his lawyer, Stuart Brown. He pulls off the pink with aplomb.
That’s Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan. He walks alone.
The man walking through that door is current Indiana coach Tom Crean. Promise. If you look closely you can see his hand and part of his suit.
I completely missed taking a picture of him because, in typical Tom Crean style, he whizzed by us in a caffeine-fueled flash. Also, I’ve got a lousy camera that turns off if you don’t take a picture within 13 seconds of pressing the power button. This is OK for a birthday party or day at the beach. It’s not so good when you are stalking people outside of a trial.
Two things surprised me as we watched everyone file in for the hearing: first, that Jim Delany, the Big Ten commissioner, is here. We didn’t know he would be, and we assume he’s here to help Indiana’s cause. Second, that there were like 25 huge boxes of paperwork carried into the room.
There is, apparently, a back door. And it appears as though Kelvin Sampson may have slipped through it, and right past us.
Indiana’s hearing with the NCAA began minutes ago.
Most of the involved parties entered a conference room in the Hotel Deca through the main entrance, starting at about 9:30.
With one notable exception: Kelvin Sampson.
There are seven reporters/cameramen/photographers standing outside the door to the conference room. None of them saw Sampson or his lawyer, Mike Glazier, enter the room.
We’re trying to figure out if Sampson could have arrived earlier or gone in another way. We do not know if there is a separate entrance.
An NCAA representative said that the involved parties are generally there for the entire hearing; it would be unusual for Sampson to have been told to show up for his testimony at a later time.
Not much else to say about this one. You just wonder whether trouble follows the guy or he drags it around with him.
With Chris and Doug unavailable, I’ll be heading up the blog this afternoon. Please, be gentle.
The Detroit Free-Press is reporting Jordan Crawford has been seen recently playing pickup ball in Detroit Mercy’s gym. The athletics director is not denying the report, only stressing the openness of the open gym.
This should come as no great shock, since even a guy who has spent a week in Indiana knows of Crawford’s connection to Ray McCallum, the former IU assistant turned Detroit Mercy coach. Still, there is usually a cooling-off period where the prospective transfer student lays low and tries not to make headlines with his whereabouts. It is also entirely possible that Crawford is just playing an innocent game of basketball with some friends.
Tom Crean is in the Indianapolis Airport waiting for a flight to Seattle this morning. He said he’ll be at IU’s table at the meeting with the NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing on Friday, but he isn’t sure what his role will be.
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” he said.
Gotta be honest with you. Things have been ornery ’round this blog for the past couple of weeks. So much sniping and snark in the comments. I almost read right past the insightful, passionate thoughts that are always eventually expressed and that I count on from you guys.
Right now, I’m guessing you’re probably looking at the title of this post and the time stamp and figuring in your head that if I’m headed anywhere at this hour it’s bound to be dark. As such, you’re formulating some way to mock me, or Kelvin Sampson or any of the players who left or Barack Obama or your neighbor’s dog. Whatever.
But hold on. Let me explain.
Read the rest of this post »
The Crawford family has issued the following statement about Jordan leaving IU:
“We are proud that our son Jordan has been a part of the Indiana University basketball program, one with a long and storied tradition of academic and athletic excellence. In Jordan’s short career, he was able to show his desire to emulate these characteristics. However, due to unforeseen circumstances he has chosen to move in a new direction. He and our entire family wish Indiana University continued success.”
I spoke briefly with Sylvia Crawford, Jordan’s mother. She said it was a difficult decision for her son to make, and one that he has struggled with since the end of the season.
“We just wanted to make sure that, as the information got out about him leaving, the fans knew how much he appreciated their support,” she said.
Here is the only information I have on this story right now. It’s a quote from Indiana coach Tom Crean, given to me by a spokesman for the IU athletic department:
“Jordan Crawford and his family informed us today that he will not return to Indiana University.”
More to come.
The good folks over at rivals.com are counting down FBS football from No. 120 all the way to No. 1. It’s a fun list, and a crowd-pleasing way to pass the summer months.
Well, Indiana football did make the list – at No. 79. Ouch. From the Big Ten, only Minnesota fared worse.
The crux of the argument against the Hoosiers seems to be the uncertain future of quarterback Kellen Lewis. Should Lewis return, everything is fine and dandy. Without him, this team “becomes ordinary quickly,” Tom Dienhart writes.
Here’s the good news: Indiana is better than N.C. State. I watched the Wolfpack flounder through 12 games last season, and saw a lack of real, game-changing talent during the Spring Game. And rivals.com has the Pack listed at No. 68, 11 spots higher than the Hoosiers. So there’s at least one team above Indiana that should not be.
And remember, it could always be worse – the Golden Panthers of Florida International come in dead last.