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JMV talked with ESPN’s Mike Fish

Your friendly Indianapolis radio guy, JMV, chatted with Mike Fish, who wrote the ESPN.com story we have spent so much time discussing.

It’s a fairly interesting discussion, and I say that not just because JMV referenced the Herald-Times at one point.

Fish defends his story and raised one point that sticks a bit – when did Indiana approve the plane trips to Colombia? Because retroactive is something different than prior to the trip.


Report: Jim Tressel out at Ohio State

It’s official: sweater vest sales just fell appreciably in Columbus, Ohio.

Jim Tressel has resigned as football coach at Ohio State, the Columbus Dispatch is reporting.

The Dispatch has obtained a memo Gee sent to OSU trustees this morning:

“I write to let you know that later this morning we will be announcing the resignation of Jim Tressel as head coach of the University’s football program. As you all know, I appointed a special committee to analyze and provide advice to me regarding issues attendant to our football program. In consultation with the senior leadership of the University and the senior leadership of the Board, I have been actively reviewing the matter and have accepted Coach Tressel’s resignation.

“My public statement will include our common understanding that throughout all we do, we are One University with one set of standards and one overarching mission. The University’s enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions,” Gee wrote.

Tressel has obviously been under fire for months, since it was revealed that players sold or traded uniforms and memorabilia to an area tattoo parlor. As more information has come out about just how much Tressel knew and the overall culture of the program, it became less likely Tressel would survive this.

Assistant coach Luke Fickell will serve as interim coach next season.


ScoopTalk: Talking investigation


Barnett responds to A-HOPE story; Glass, NCAA offer no-comments

Finally connected with Mike Barnett, one of Indiana Elite’s directors and Kory Barnett’s father today. He spoke to the Indy Star’s Kyle Neddenriep yesterday and was on Dan Dakich’s radio show today, so many of you have likely heard his response to ESPN’s investigative piece on Indiana Elite and the A-HOPE program, but here are his responses to some of the accusations in the article.

Like Indiana Elite coach and A-HOPE founder Mark Adams, he said that the NCAA and Indiana’s compliance department were very aware of A-HOPE’s actions and told the organization was not in violation of NCAA rules. Barnett said that Adams met with the NCAA multiple times, and that there was a meeting that included Adams, an official from IU’s compliance department, legal counsel from the university, and an NCAA official who was participating via teleconference.

“They know everything Mark’s done, every dime, every dollar,” Barnett said. “He’s been as transparent as transparent can be.” (more…)


ESPN report questions A-HOPE Foundation, Indiana, Hanner Perea

An ESPN.com investigative report alleges Hanner Perea received illegal benefits from Mark Adams, questions the mission of the A-HOPE Foundation Adams runs, and the link between A-HOPE and Indiana Elite with Indiana University.

It was obviously not a secret that Drew Adams, until recently on the basketball staff at Indiana (he has left for New Mexico), is the son of Mark, and walkon Kory Barnett the son of Indiana Elite founder Mike Barnett. It was also evident that a large number of Indiana Elite prospects ended up at Indiana.

What is new and what is potentially the most damning for all involved is alleged benefits Perea received from Adams. Adams is also Perea’s AAU coach and the NCAA will certainly have questions.

A-HOPE paid for Perea’s round-trips to Bogotá, Colombia, last summer and this past Christmas — the latter not long after he verbally committed to the Hoosiers in October. Mark Adams also has provided Perea a cell phone and pays the bill, gave him a used iPod and bought a $400 laptop that Perea shares with another A-HOPE player. Such treatment potentially violates NCAA extra benefits bylaws and thus could impact Perea’s initial NCAA eligibility at Indiana.

Adams does defend himself throughout, asserting what he has always said to us: that he has used his personal finances to keep A-HOPE going and he genuinely cares about the well-being of the players in the program.

Adams acknowledges giving Perea certain electronic gadgets and paying for Perea’s flights back to Colombia and says Perea came from such meager means that he felt compelled to help him. He accuses ESPN.com of manufacturing a story and choosing not to focus on the positive effects his foundation has on the student-athletes he has helped free from poor backgrounds.

“You really could have no idea of the humanitarian reasons for this foundation, and I honestly believe you do not wish to find out,” Adams wrote in an email in response to questions submitted by ESPN.com.

4 p.m. UPDATE

Dustin is headed to track, so I’ll post what both of us have collected so far from Adams and Indiana Elite director Criss Beyers.

First, from Adams (via Dustin’s Twitter).

  • Adams said that long before this story, he’s had meetings with IU compliance and been on conference call with the NCAA.
  • He said all parties were comfortable that what he’s doing is not in violation of NCAA rules.
  • One issue he said is that the NCAA hasn’t yet defined what the role of a non-profit organization can be when it comes to a student athlete.
  • He said, however, that he knows he’s in the clear in terms of A-Hope paying for trips home, for clothing, and for laptops and school supplies. He said the foundation does those things for all students involved with the program.
  • Adams didn’t deny most of what Fish reported. Perea received a laptop. He had flights home to Colombia paid for. He got free clothing.
  • What Adams is saying is that IU compliance and the NCAA were aware of what he was doing and were OK with it.

Now, from Beyers (via my Twitter).

  • Indiana Elite director Criss Beyers. “I don’t believe that we have pushed anyone towards any school.”
  • “Matt Painter played in our program. Brad Stevens played in our program. Brandon Miller. Jon Holmes. … I have as much respect for Matt Painter and Brad Stevens as anyone in the country.”
  • Beyers said Perky Plumlee, father to the 3 Plumlee brothers at Duke, called him today, said, ‘I remember anytime someone contacted you, you made sure to call me and tell me you were contacted by such and such coach, no matter who it was.’
  • The program that is now Indiana Elite started 30-something years ago under very meager beginnings (sleeping on gym floors, for instance). “The reason why we have been around for so long is that we have done things the right way,” Beyers said.

 


Live Chat, 11 a.m.

We’ll be here as always. Here’s hoping all of you are safe and sound. Rough night in Indiana.


Dion Witty not yet committed to IU

Cornerback Dion Witty’s commitment to Indiana was apparently a bit premature. Witty told Zach Osterman of Inside Indiana/24-7 Sports on Tuesday night that he is still keeping his options and Coral Springs (Fla.) High School coach Ray Gould confirmed that Wednesday afternoon.

“Dion is keeping his options open,” Gould said. “… I don’t know if he knew what was going on. He’s got a lot of things going on. But he’s very interested in Indiana. He’s going to do what he’s gotta do with his school work and football. He’s keeping his options open, but Indiana is very much on his list.”

The list Gould presented was slightly different than the one that has been reported on recruiting websites. Gould said Witty has offers from Minnesota, Florida Atlantic and Western Michigan along with Indiana. Though it has been reported that Witty has an offer from Wisconsin, Gould said the Badgers and Mississippi are both very interested but have not yet formally offered. (more…)


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