Dickie V: Hoosiers will be back, baybeeee!!!

By   |   Thursday, Jul. 3, 2008 - 4:11 PM   |   5 comments

Someday, I want to design a new symbol that conveys in writing the extreme excitement that always flows from Dickie V. The exclamation point simply fails to fulfill the task.

Here’s his latest take on Indiana.

IU enacts early APR punishment

By   |   Wednesday, Jul. 2, 2008 - 5:44 PM   |   15 comments

As expected, Indiana’s APR score for the men’s basketball program last year will require the program to give up scholarships.

The Hoosiers will be docked two grants, to be exact. But instead of waiting for the NCAA to mete out the punishment — which wouldn’t be until next spring — the program will not use the scholarships this season.

“We will take contemporaneous penalties pro-actively this year for upcoming ’07-08 numbers and we don’t anticipate further penalties going forward,” associate athletic director Grace Calhoun said in a statement.

Indiana, which already lost a scholarship as part of the sanctions it implemented due to the impermissible recruiting calls made by Kelvin Sampson and his staff, will be left with 10 scholarships to give. Nine are already taken, and head coach Tom Crean said Tuesday he does not anticipate using the other.

Under the APR (Academic Progress Rate) system, many schools have taken to pre-empitvely enacting punishments. Purdue gave up a scholarship last season for the numbers that were released in May of the year.

The APR calculates a school’s ability to retain student-athletes and keep them eligible.

While it’s unclear how many members of last year’s basketball team would have been eligible for next season, it’s very clear how many are left and how many have left. Seven players departed, and only Kyle Taber and Brett Finkelmeier will return.

Indiana should be able to avoid further penalties in part because Kelvin Sampson’s first team was able to raise its score 40 points from the previous season.

Crean’s Marquette team finished with an APR scored that ranked 91st out of 337 schools. Since taking the job in early April he has repeatedly emphasized a need to improve Indiana’s APR number.

“Coach Crean’s academic record at Marquette with an APR of 951 and the fact that all 26 seniors who exhausted their eligibility graduated is an example of why we feel confident in his leadership on the court and in the classroom,” said Calhoun in the statement.

It’s summer, and Crean is loving his job

By   |   Tuesday, Jul. 1, 2008 - 5:46 PM   |   18 comments

Just walked back into the office from an informal (or as much as it could be with Crean on the podium and around 10 reporters sitting in those old school seats with the attached desk) sit-down with Tom Crean.

I think the overall message is that Crean, three months into his new position as IU men’s basketball coach, is absolutely, 100 percent positive about the Hoosiers. So positive I wondered if he listened to a Polyphonic Spree album while running through a field of jelly beans this morning.

Why is he so positive? Because, Indiana is still Indiana. The home games are still being played in Assembly Hall. National media is going to care, and televise games. And, oh yeah, it’s Indiana.

“We have a program that really has not lost its luster,” Crean said.

So, what else do you guys want to know about?

RECRUITING: Unless a big man who can score suddenly becomes available, IU is done with the incoming freshmen class.

“I’d rather hold the scholarship,” Crean said, explaining the player available now would probably be a reach.

Everyone on next year’s team, sans Jeremiah Rivers (was with dad for the NBA Finals, and now is at the elite camps) and Malik Story (committed too late to come in for summer sessions) is on campus. Crean compared them to a pack of wolves, running together.

They’re looking hard at the class of 2009, and even the class of 2010 and 2011. And yes, a rising freshman or two. Just dont’ expect Crean to pull a Tim Floyd and announce a committment from a 15-year-old anytime soon.

MALIK STORY: Speaking of Story, IU officially announced his commitment late Monday. No one doubts his talent, but he did leave Oak Hill Academy and Southern California was willing to let him walk from his verbal commitment.

Crean said he felt comfortable with Story.

THIRD ASSISTANT COACH: It’s a priority, but not the top one. Mainly, because only two assistants could recruit right now, anyways.

 RICK GREENSPAN: I wrote that Crean appeared sullen at last Thursday’s press conference to announce Greenspan’s resignation as athletics director, and it seems I was right on target.

“I was devastated for a while,” Crean said.

BRINGING OLD PLAYERS BACK: As he has said before, this is a top priority for Crean. Said he had a long phone conversation with Isiah Thomas on Monday, and Thomas volunteered to come down and speak to Crean’s basketball camp (there were oodles and oodles of little boys in IU practice gear running around Assembly Hall). Crean politely declined for this week, but expect to see ol’ Isiah around campus this upcoming season. It’s not like he has a job or anything (Hmmm, assistant coach opening + Isiah’s availability = purely subjective, laughable rumor only suit for print in US Weekly).

Middleton named to Bednarik Watch List

By   |   Monday, Jun. 30, 2008 - 6:08 PM   |   21 comments

Released by IU today:

Indiana defensive end Greg Middleton has been named to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, the Maxwell Football Club announced on Monday afternoon. The award is given to the best defensive player in college football and is the fourth preseason watch list Middleton has found himself on.

Middleton is also on the the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, the Rotary Lombardi Award Preliminary Watch List and the Lott Trophy Watch List.
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McRobbie’s last word from Seattle hearing

By   |   Monday, Jun. 30, 2008 - 3:24 PM   |   19 comments

Where the hearing happened.

Most of what happened inside a large conference room located just off the main lobby and above the kitchen — thus allowing Kelvin Sampson to try to enter and exit without being seen — at the Hotel Deca in Seattle will remain hidden to us.

But Indiana University’s final word in the 12-hour ordeal, its final and failed plea to place the blame on its former basketball coaches and avoid a “failure to monitor” charge, has become a public record because the man who delivered it, university President Michael McRobbie, wrote it down. (He wasn’t at the hearing due to a previous engagement but delivered the speech via video conference.)

We received a copy of his closing statement, and I’ll paste it below for you to read.

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Greenspan can write a book

By   |   Monday, Jun. 30, 2008 - 3:14 PM   |   16 comments

Rick Greenspan.

We received a copy of Rick Greenspan’s severance agreement today through a public records request.

Among the more interesting parts of the five-page document (which you can read in its entirety below) is that, according to clause 4.03, the “University agrees that Employee retains rights to any book he may wish to write and publish.”

Anyone have a suggested title for said book?

As part of the severance, Greenspan will receive the bulk of his payoff ($369,000) on or near Jan. 15, 2009.

Then he’ll receive $4,600 each month from January 2009 through December 2009, as well as $1,400 each month of next year until he “obtains other substantially equivalent employment with health insurance coverage and benefits.”

There’s also, as you might imagine, a lengthy clause in which somebody tried to use as many syllables as possible to say, “You can’t sue us.”

But here’s the summation of the whole deal for you, the third item in Recitations section of the document:

“The University and Employee have evaluated their respective needs, and the Employee has elected to resign upon condition that Employee be compensated for the release of the right to continued employment.”

Rick Greenspan severance agreement.

Here’s Memorial Stadium on Sunday, 6/29

By   |   Monday, Jun. 30, 2008 - 10:05 AM   |   15 comments

… for those of you out-of-towners who are wondering what is going on at the stadium. Old turf all gone, work progressing.

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