Rejoice!(?) Ye shall have the Big Ten Network

By   |   Monday, Jun. 16, 2008 - 6:48 PM   |   14 comments

This has been reported previously, but the Big Ten Network and Comcast remain close to reaching a deal that would bring Gerry DiNardo into the living rooms of cable subscribers across Bloomington.

Basically, the deal will work as such: Comcast will provide the channel on expanded basic for the upcoming football and basketball seasons. Then, it could move the channel to the more expensive digital package.

While the move doesn’t have much of an impact on the money IU receives from the BTN — that money, about $6 million last year — is guaranteed. But the financial boon should allow the Network to expand its programming; in fact, DiNardo, a former IU football coach, will have more of a presence this year.

Below the jump, you’ll find a more complete story. Because when you return from sitting outside a closed trial in Seattle what you want to do is jump into a story about corporate behemoths coming close to unsteady compromise.


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So long, Seattle

By   |   Sunday, Jun. 15, 2008 - 11:21 AM   |   6 comments

Though my thoughts about Seattle had previously been developed only through what I read about the city or saw of the city on television, the transformation it went through in my mind hit me this morning as I walked out into the cool air of a day that, I could tell, would proceed on with a brilliant blue and carefree sky.

In the 1990s, Seattle was the home of grunge, of Nirvana and Pearl Jam and of all the angst that my generation felt like it should feel. I can’t remember anymore what I thought grunge stood for — I know there was flannel involved — or what anybody had to be so peeved about. This was a decade where the major news stories consisted of a clean little war, OJ and a too-snug glove and a president’s unique internship program.

But in recent years, Seattle has become known mostly, I think, for coffee. It gave us Starbucks and whatever Starbucks stands for. On Thursday I meandered into a shopping center near my hotel — one of those outdoor malls that have become so popular — and headed toward a map and directory booth. Before I could reach it, though, I felt them: there were three — 3! — Starbucks within eyesight. No, eyesight is probably not the right description. I could have easily hit all three with a baseball from where I was standing. Granted, one was inside a Barnes & Noble book store but it still should count.

On my ride to the airport this morning, I was reminded of a line that Kelvin Sampson once said during a press conference. I think it is the only thing he said about the forced resignation of Rob Senderoff, the assistant coach who was the first sacrifice in this sordid ordeal.
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The hearing is over

By   |   Saturday, Jun. 14, 2008 - 7:32 PM   |   30 comments

Rick Greenspan exits the hearing.

After about a total of 12 hours spent in the Edmond Meany Ballroom, the parties involved in this weekend’s infractions hearing emerged about a half hour ago (3:50 local time.)

Indiana has released a brief statement from athletics director Rick Greenspan:

“I would like to sincerely thank the NCAA Committee on Infractions for granting us the opportunity to present our case and our institutional position during this hearing. We realize that this is a very serious matter, and are grateful to the members of the Committee on Infractions for their vital role in conducting these proceedings. We look forward to the adjudication of this matter in the future, and until the Committee’s decision is rendered, I will have no further comment regarding this subject.”

Jeff Meyer was the only former coach who gave a statement. He read from a lawyers pad, his voice cracking with emotion.

“Per NCAA rules I cannot discuss specifics of the hearing, however I can say the following general comments. First, I appreciate the thorough preperation and detailed line of questioning by the members of the committee. I am confident the committee will treat me fairly.

Second, I have from day one acknowledge the mistakes I’ve made and I’ve taken responsibility, personal responsibility, for the wrongdoing. I apologized to Indiana University for my involvement in the matter, however limited my involvement has been. For 29 years of coaching college basketball I have endeavored to do my work well and to do good work within the NCAA rules. If I have an opportunity to continue coaching, I will do so better prepared to mentor student-athletes, to work with young men and to work with the compliance staff having gone through this very painful and humiliating experience.”

Scott Tompsett, the lawyer for Rob Senderoff, gave a brief, off-the-cuff statement.

“We had a very thorough and extensive hearing,” he said. “We think the committee was very diligent in their review of the case. We appreciate that. Rob cooperated fully throughout this case and throughout this hearing, and we’re looking forward to the decision.”

The committee will start its deliberation of the case tonight and could continue until tomorrow, if needed.



The sun don’t shine on the same dog every day

By   |   Saturday, Jun. 14, 2008 - 11:46 AM   |   28 comments

[5:25 UPDATE]

Well, the people started to emerge from the ballroom. We thought it might be over.

It wasn’t. Just a break.

Can’t be much longer, now. Although there will be a round of closing statements at the end of the hearing, with five different groups taking anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes to discuss their cases.

[3:30 UPDATE]

“Oh, it’s you guys.”

I felt as though we needed some art to liven up today’s post. But this is from yesterday. I offer it to you mostly because it shows Tom Crean with a bemused look upon his face. I think he probably wishes he could walk around the hotel talking to everyone he meets, because that’s what he likes to do.

Instead, he’s in the hearing. There’s been some question — including from Crean himself — about what the new coach’s role could possibly be. A former NCAA assistant coach who has been through an infractions hearing and spoke to me on the condition of anonymity said Thursday that he thinks Crean’s role could be to answer any questions the committee has about the current state of the basketball program and how IU’s self-sanctions have impacted his recruiting efforts.

[3:00 UPDATE]

Lunch break again. Bad sign. This means there’s still a good bit of work to do.

Kelvin Sampson did not come out to enjoy lunch with us. I totally would have paid for his Qdoba.

(And then put it on my expense report.)

No one is estimating how much longer the hearing will go, though we do know that it must end by today because many of the people involved are unable to stay past tonight. Also, the committee on infractions will use Sunday to discuss the case and begin the process of coming to a decision. Should the need arise, committee members could conduct teleconferences in the coming days to finalize their ruling.

As we’ve said before, the final report won’t be released until 6-8 weeks from now.

[2:18 UPDATE]

Still quiet here at Hotel Deca. There’s been just one full-group break to the hearing, and otherwise people have been coming out at random to use the bathroom or whatever. This, I think, is evidence that they are trying to plow through the rest of the testimony and get everyone out of here at a reasonable time.

In a totally unrelated note, I couldn’t help but be struck by the weather coverage in Seattle’s two newspapers today. The front of the Seattle Times shows a large picture of an Cedar Rapids partially submerged in water, while the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran a column about how absurdly cold it has been in Seattle this month.

For you weather experts: what the heck is going on?

——–

And the sun might not ever shine in Seattle. But the city is still strikingly beautiful.

The above line, for all you who don’t recognize it, was uttered in the movie Hoosiers, to coach Norman Dale. It’s followed up by “But, mister, you ain’t seen a ray of light since you got here.”

It’s been a long time since another Hoosiers’ coach, Kelvin Sampson, basked in the warmth of the sun. He’s once again trying to prove his innocence today, trying to take that step toward the light.

Anyway, today is graduation day at the University of Washington and 40,000 people — many of them proud, relieved parents — have flooded the area around campus. But as the second day of IU’s hearing before the committee on infractions begins, Hotel Deca is fairly quiet.

The H-T heard from a source close to the situation late last night that today’s session could be fairly lengthy. There’s a hope that the proceedings could end by noon.

IU will issue a statement at the conclusion of the hearing. We know the NCAA will not comment on the proceedings until it releases a final report; we don’t know if Kelvin Sampson, Rob Senderoff or Jeff Meyer — or any of their lawyers — might want to make a statement.



Another Enterline On The Way

By   |   Saturday, Jun. 14, 2008 - 3:57 AM   |   Comments Off

Lindsay Enterline, out of Heritage High School and headed for Branch McCracken Court in 2008-09, was held scoreless in Friday’s first edition of this year’s Indiana-Kentucky All-Stars but she did record 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in the Indiana team’s disappointing 76-59 loss, the first inside the state in 16 years.

Enterline admitted it’s a bit tough to concentrate on the All-Star series (the finale is Sunday in Louisville) knowing her Hoosier career is right around the corner. She has shared this sentiment with future Hoosier walk-on Daniel Moore, a member of the Indiana Boys All-Stars, as the pair have been traveling back and forth to Bloomington while completing freshman orientation and getting enrolled in summer classes, then squeezing in practices for the All-Star games.

The younger but taller sister of former Hoosier point guard Leah Enterline (2004-07), Lindsay can’t wait to hit the floor for Coach Jack with her three incoming classmates as a hybrid guard-post.

“They talked to me about being kind of a floater player whether I’m in with three posts and playing a guard position or I’m in the short lineup playing the post,” she said. “That’s kind of floating back and forth, which I feel like that’s the best position to be in because you always have an opportunity to be out there wherever they need you.”

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Moore…Or Less…IU Hoops

By   |   Saturday, Jun. 14, 2008 - 2:31 AM   |   6 comments

Moore PT Please!

I’d say it’s a safe assumption one cannot judge the potential of future Hoosier walk-on Daniel Moore, a Carmel product, on Friday’s Indiana-Kentucky All-Star game held at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Here’s his line from the 83-82 Indiana victory: 2 points, 2-2 free throws, 1 turnover, 0-0 field goals, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 0 fouls…But here’s the kicker: 2 minutes.

An All-Star game in Indy, a Hoosier-to-be, and coach Rick Baumgartner (Muncie South) plays him 2 minutes??!! Maybe he’ll get a tad more court time during Sunday’s game in Louisville. But then again, maybe he won’t.



Hearing begins…..(with updates)

By   |   Friday, Jun. 13, 2008 - 1:08 PM   |   31 comments

[9:50 UPDATE]

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.

[8:45 UPDATE]

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.

[5:38 UPDATE]

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.

[4:00 UPDATE]

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?”

[3:20 UPDATE]

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.

[2:50 UPDATE]

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.

[2:00 UPDATE]

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.

[1:45 UPDATE]

A few photos from today:

Hotel Deca

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.

Here are some of those boxes.

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.

Jeff Meyer makes his way into the conference room.

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 Rick Greenspan

That’s Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan. He walks alone.

Tom Crean’s pants.

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.

[1:30 UPDATE]

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.

[1:13 UPDATE]

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.





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