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.
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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.
Michelle Gardner was hired as IU’s new softball coach Monday. She replaces Stacey Phillips, who resigned last month.
Gardner took over a new program at Nevada in 2001 and spent the past six seasons building the Wolf Pack into a Western Athletic Conference powerhouse. Last year, she was named the conference coach of the year after leading the Wolf Pack to the NCAA regionals and a school-best 44-18 record. Gardner was 187-176 overall at Nevada.
Gardner had previously served as an assistant at Arizona State, Florida State and Bowling Green and pitched for Michigan from 1984-88. The Sun Devils reached the College World Series with Gardner on staff. Before coaching, she competed with several nationally-ranked Amateur Softball Association teams and was a participant in the 1996 Olympics Trials.
Once again, the Scoop has made the trip to Knightstown and the gym where scenes from the movie “Hoosiers” were filmed. And once again, it it 120 degrees in this tiny little place packed with nostalgic hoops fans and players who are too big and rambunctious for this size court.
It actually makes for fairly interesting basketball. The pace is relentless, the contact inevitable. Right now, Mr. Basketball Tyler Zeller (Hickory) and Robert Goff of Broad Ripple are going at each other. Nice matchup.
Of interest to our local readers: Alex Guyton, the North star who is bound for Purdue, dominated the girls’ game even though Hickory ultimately lost 101-97. She led here team with 26 points and probably had double-digit rebounds and at least five blocks. Impressive all around.
Garrett Butcher, the Butler-bound Edgewood star, is playing for Terhune right now while two players who are invited walk-ons for Tom Crean’s first team, Kory Barnett and Daniel Moore, are playing for Hickory.
We’ve received an update on IU’s damaged football field from the Associated Press, which spoke with athletic director Rick Greenspan about it this afternoon. Here is that story:
By Michael Marot
Indiana Universityâ€™s Memorial Stadium football field turf was severely damaged by heavy rain and strong winds this week and has been ruled unplayable.
Now itâ€™s a mad dash to get it fixed before Indianaâ€™s season-opener Aug. 30 against Western Kentucky.
â€œWeâ€™re bringing in some turf specialists to see if it can be salvaged or whether itâ€™s totaled,â€ Indiana athletic director Greenspan told The Associated Press on Friday. â€œWe have to do this in about six or seven weeks, and it very well might be totaled. Iâ€™ve never seen anything like it.â€
The problems began Wednesday when the Bloomington area was hit with flash flooding, turning the football field, which rests beneath the parking lot level, into what some eyewitnesses described as a floating island of green turf.
When the water finally drained, a hole about 10 inches deep ran from the middle of the field, just inside the end line to the fence separating the field from fans.
That was only part of the problem.
Greenspan said the south end of the field, from the end zone to about the 30- or 40-yard line, was lumpy and heâ€™s still uncertain how much it will cost to fix. The estimate, Greenspan believes, could be $750,000 to $1 million.
â€œIt needs considerable work, and weâ€™ve got to get this done,â€ he said.
Finding a quick-fix for the field wonâ€™t be easy, either.
Greenspan said it normally takes three to four weeks to install new turf, but the school must first determine whether it can be repaired or will need to be replaced. Then they must find a company available to do the job, and it could require additional work to smooth out the lumps â€” all before Aug. 30.
â€œFrom start to finish, in my experience, itâ€™s usually been about four weeks,â€ Greenspan said.
The damage is already causing scheduling conflicts.
Football players have been instructed not to practice on the field and this weekendâ€™s football camps are being moved to another venue. In August, before the Hoosiersâ€™ opener, Memorial Stadium is also scheduled to host the national drum and bugle corps competition.
Still, Greenspan believes it can be repaired before the Western Kentucky game.
â€œAt worst, I think we have to do extensive repair or replace it,â€ he said. â€œI donâ€™t know what it (the water damage) means to the resiliency of the field, the subsurface, how much has broken down underneath there, that sort of thing.
Weâ€™ve got a guy coming in early next week and heâ€™ll give us his educated opinion.â€
For Greenspan, fixing the field has become priority No. 1.
â€œThe closest thing Iâ€™ve seen to this was when I was out at Cal in â€™89 and they had the earthquake,â€ he said. â€œThe turf just kind of rode along like a wave. Iâ€™ve never seen water or the volume of water get underneath carpet like that and destroy the turf like that.â€