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€
[5:10 UPDATE] I’ve just added a few paragraphs with Meyer’s response to the calls he made to Crawford. His response to the NCAA discusses them.
Jordan Crawford is the only player left on the Indiana basketball roster who was recruited by Kelvin Sampson and his staff.
It appears as though Crawford, who will be a sophomore next season, was also one of the recruits involved in impermissible calls made by former assistant Jeff Meyer.
According to the NCAA enforcement staffâ€™s case summary, released to the media by IU on Thursday, Meyer made two calls to Jordan Crawfordâ€™s mother in the fall of 2006 that violated terms of the sanctions that the staff was operating under at that time.
As punishment for impermissible calls made by Sampson and his staff at Oklahoma, the Hoosiers staff was limited to one call per week to prospects after August 1st of their senior year (instead of the usual two.)
Meyer made a call from his home â€” even though he regularly signed a sheet that said he did not use his home phone for recruiting â€” on Sept. 30 to Sylvia Crawford, Jordanâ€™s mother. That call, which lasted 14 minutes, was impermissible because Meyer had already spoken to Sylvia Crawford on Sept. 26 for 15 minutes.
Meyer also made two calls the Crawford family the next week. He spoke with Jordan Crawford for nine minutes on Oct. 1, then to Sylvia Crawford the next day for four minutes.
The Herald-Times was able to identify Crawford and his mother as the recipients of the calls because the words â€œCrawfordâ€™s motherâ€ and â€œCrawfordâ€ were mistakenly not redacted in part of the document. However, five other instances where the word â€œCrawfordâ€ or â€œCrawfordâ€™sâ€ presumably appeared were redacted in the same chart. IUâ€™s lawyers are only required to redact the names of current students.
In Meyerâ€™s response to the NCAAâ€™s letter of allegations, he admits to making the calls to Crawford and his mother. He said he was trying to bring Crawford to campus for a visit and find out information about his academic standing.
â€œAll that to be said, obviously made a call â€” Iâ€™m looking at this â€” that violated the sanctions,â€ his response quotes him as saying. â€œI can assure there was no intentional trying to violate an NCAA rule to get an advantage there.â€
Meyer also said he did not remember the specifics of the calls, only that he placed them with the mistaken assumption that he still had a call to use on Crawford that week. The response, prepared by Atlanta-based lawyer Stuart Brown, argues that Meyerâ€™s impermissible calls are â€œmitigatedâ€ by the fact that they did not violate NCAA bylaws and came late in the recruitment of Crawford, who would sign with Indiana in November.
Indiana officials declined comment Friday. It is extremely unlikely that Crawfordâ€™s eligibility will be endangered, but the NCAA could use the fact that he received impermissible calls and then signed with IU to show that the Hoosiers gained a significant recruiting advantage through the calls, which is one of the reasons that the NCAA has decided to classify the violations as major instead of secondary.
4:45 p.m. UPDATE: Andrew Means just said in a telephone interview that he plans to play summer baseball for a Reds’ affiliate, but be back with the Hoosier football team this fall.
Means said that this morning, before he was drafted, he had a deal worked out with the Reds that would allow him to sign with the MLB team, yet also play another season of football for IU. He said that doing it that way may have caused him to have been picked lower and cost him some bonus money, but it was worth it to get to play another season of football.
He said there’s still a possibility of the Reds’ offering him more money not to play football, and him accepting that offer, but he’s expecting to be back on the field at Memorial Stadium this fall.
He did not disclose how much bonus money he will receive from the Reds as it stands now.
In football, Means is the top returning Hoosier in receiving yards with 559 last season.
Besides Means, IU baseball recruit Blake Monar was also picked today, by the Yankees in the 26th round. That will leave the Hoosiers waiting to see if Monar, a lefty pitcher from Rockport, Ind., decides to play college baseball next season or turn pro right away.
In addition, Indiana junior pitcher Tyler Tufts was taken by the Rangers in the 32nd round.
The Cincinnati Reds have picked Indiana’s Andrew Means in the 11th round with the 329th pick of the 2008 MLB draft.
Means, a centerfielder, has said that he expects to be back to play football for IU next fall, but was also keeping his mind open to the possibility of signing with a pro baseball team.
â€œIâ€™m so happy for Andrew,â€ IU baseball coach Tracy Smith said in a news release. â€œItâ€™s a great day for him and his family – every kid dreams of playing professional sports and heâ€™s in a wonderful position to decide whether he wants to return to IU or further his career at the professional level.â€
There was no information immediately available about Means’ thoughts on whether he’ll sign with the Reds and whether he expects to return to IU next season. If he signs with the Reds, he could still choose to play football next season, but his Hoosier baseball career would be over.
Means led the Big Ten with 72 runs and eight triples scored and finished third in the conference with 33 stolen bases. He also hit .357 with two home runs, 11 doubles and 32 RBIs. He was the only Big Ten player to be named Player of the Week twice in 2008.