Monday, February 25, 2008

On Kelvin Sampson

A sad day for Hoosier fans has come and gone. Kelvin Sampson recently was suspended as the Hoosier's head coach and remains under investigation for recruiting violations. For the first time, the Indiana basketball program has been tainted.

It is sad at a number of levels. I became a Hoosier fan during the 1970s and 1980s, during the heyday of Bobby Knight's reign. As problematic as Bobby Knight was at a variety of levels, he was a great coach, won basketball games, most of his players loved him, and he ran a clean program. These are four things which are difficult to achieve in college basketball. He was followed by Mike Davis. Admittedly, Davis was probably not prepared for the pressure of being a head coach at a program like Indiana, but I felt that many Indiana fans treated him shamefully. Alumni refused to support him and help with recruiting, fans turned their back on the program, and the program (after a surprise appearance in the NCAA finals) sank.

Enter Kelvin Sampson. A good coach but one with a tarnished reputation. It is just ridiculous that he did follow the recruiting rules, particularly when he was fresh from a previous violation. I hate to say "I told you so" to the Davis haters, but...

It seems like the players are dealing with the situation maturely--I just hope that most of them stick around, as IU should have a good team for several years with these players. As far as the next coach? It is too early to speculate, but Dakich would not be a bad choice. I just hope that they focus on integrity.

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