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A Farewell to Doug

Doug Wilson has been covering Indiana athletics for The Herald-Times for the last seven years. He’s been sports editor for the past three. He’s chronicled the strange end of Mike Davis, the rise and demise of Kelvin Sampson and the efforts of Tom Crean to resurrect the program. It was through Doug’s words that you read of the energy Terry Hoeppner brought to the Hoosiers football program, and of the illness that took Hoeppner … and of how it failed to extinguish the hope he’d instilled in so many.

Our Thursday chat — at the usual time of 11 a.m. but not at the usual place — will be an informal discussion of all Doug has seen and covered in his time here. You can use the chat window below to ask questions, share observations or even gripe about his work.

If I knew how to make it so that when you clicked on this post the Boys II Men song about saying goodbye began playing on an endless loop, I would.


Indiana’s APR still low

According to documents released by the NCAA today, the Indiana basketball program has a four-year Academic Progress Rate of 866.

That ranks 325 out of 341 Division I schools.

The basketball program received two punishments because of its number, which dropped from 899. It was docked two scholarships (that penalty was pre-emptively served last season) and given a public notice.

If Indiana does not begin to show improvement in the APR it could open itself to more severe penalties.

Athletic director Fred Glass said in a statement that he believes the program is headed in the right direction under Tom Crean, whose teams at Marquette complied a 970 APR score (third-highest in the Big East).

Indiana’s complete release and links to more information on the APR can be found after the jump.

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Not at all related to IU, but interesting nonetheless

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Washington Capitals photo

Donald Brashear, the NHL’s Washington Capitals’ enforcer, was born in Bedford. But, as Mike Wise so expertly reported in the Washington Post, Brashear’s time in Bedford is far from a happy one.

(Brashear’s mother, Nicole) met Donald’s father in 1967 when he was on weekend leave from the U.S. Air Force radar station in St. Albans, Vt., less than 20 miles from the Canadian border. Johnny Brashear was 22, already in the throes of alcohol addiction, and she was 19, a hardened product of Quebec’s foster-care system, when she became pregnant. They moved to Bedford, Ind., about 75 miles south of Indianapolis, to be married. By the age of 24, she had given birth to three children — Lorraine, Johnny Jr. and Donald, the baby.

“He was a beautiful child,” Gauthier said. “He had an innocence about him.”

Johnny drank to get drunk, building up enough tolerance so he could down a pint of Seagram’s VO Canadian whiskey in three swallows. He would lose money at cards and come home angry and hungry, telling his wife to make him something to eat.

“If I rubbed my eyes to wake up, he’d grab me by the hair and pull me out of bed saying, ‘I mean now!’ ” Gauthier said. “He’d say, ‘Shut the baby up.’ If Donald didn’t stop crying, his dad would grab him by the arm and throw him across the room. He was 6 months old when that happened.”

He whipped Donald with belts and electrical cords and whatever else he could find during drunken rages that left welts and bruises all over the little boy’s body.

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Meet the new assistant

I had an interview this morning with new IU women’s basketball assistant coach Amaka Agugua.

She has spent the last three years on Beth Morgan Cunningham’s staff at VCU. In case you don’t know, Cunningham is the daughter of former IU baseball coach Bob Morgan and was an Indiana All-Star at Bloomington South. Anyway, I’ll have more on that in a story for tomorrow’s paper/web.

But one of Agugua’s touted strengths coming in is as a recruiter. Being just three years away from her own playing days (under Coach Legette-Jack at Hofstra), she brings a credibility and relatibility to the kids she is talking with. Here’s what she had to say:

“I’m a younger coach, so I’m at an age where the kids respect me, but I can relate. (I’m) not saying none of the (other coaches) do, not like they’re old and grey, but it’s always good to have somebody younger on the staff that can relay the message to the kids No. 1, then as far as recruiting relate to what’s going on, what kind of music, that kind of stuff.”


Run/Walk/Cycle … help beat cancer for Hep

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The second-annual Coach Hep Cancer Challenge is less than two weeks away.

Join the fight by visiting here.


We will gather and we will talk hoops


Crean to serve as honorary chair for Special Olympics

According to this here press release . . .

INDIANAPOLIS — Special Olympics Indiana announced today that Tom Crean, head coach of the Indiana University Hoosiers men’s basketball team has accepted an invitation to serve as Honorary Chair of the 40th Annual 2009 Special Olympics Indiana Summer Games, which will take place June 5 – 7 at Indiana State University in Terre Haute.

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