NCAA Throws the Booklet at Indiana

November 26, 2008

It was pretty obvious that Kelvin Sampson broke NCAA rules while recruiting high school players when he was the Indiana Hoosiers basketball coach. When Sampson left the Hoosiers and went on to be an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks, he left IU holding the bag and Hoosier fans worried that the NCAA would lower the boom on their beloved program, sending it further down the road into basketball obscurity.

It seems that the NCAA realized that Sampson was the person responsible and not so much the school, which means that even though the Hoosiers only forfeit one scholarship and are on three years of probation, Sampson cannot recruit players until 2012, and then only in a limited fashion. This is designed to keep Sampson out of college basketball for at least five years.

Of course, I have to bring up the fact that Sampson already ignored recruiting rules, and he apparently lied to the NCAA, so if he landed another coaching job before the five years is up, what’s to really prevent him from breaking the rules again?

The best part about all of this is Sampson’s official reaction, a statement which said he was “deeply disappointed” by the NCAA ruling and “things that happened on my watch and therefore I will take responsibility.” Uh…yeah, ok. You made phone calls to recruits. That’s a far cry from ‘happened on my watch’ and it’s even farther from ‘take full responsibility’. Taking full responsibility means admitting that you, Kelvin Sampson, repeatedly called players when you weren’t supposed to, even though you knew the rules. It means admitting that you not only knew the rules, but you did it because you thought it would help you land those players. It means admitting that you cheated, you knew you were cheating, and you did it anyway, and you shouldn’t have. That’s taking ‘full responsibility’.

All Sampson is doing is what has become common in the United States culture: break the rules, break the law, and then, even when caught, admit nothing. Then, go on about your life as though nothing ever happened and wait for people to forget.

Although I honestly don’t know how seriously making extra phone calls really ranks on the ‘rule breaking’ scale, it bothers me more that Sampson can’t even admit to this minor offense.

ACC Basketball Recruiting Roundup, 6/17/2008

June 17, 2008

So lots of stuff to get into…

Emmanuel Negedu, Memphis dunkasaurus session

Emmanuel Negedu (6’7″, PF, 2008 ) is expected to make his decision this week. So far the quietest visits were Tennesee and Georgia Tech, but lots of writers chimed in on his Indiana and Memphis visits. The consensus from the outside looking in has been that Indiana did not impress him as much as they wanted but the Memphis visit went well. One highlight of the Tiger visit was Negedu showing off his dunkability:

After the practice was over, Negedu stepped on the court and demonstrated his jumping ability. I had heard a rumor that he could stand underneath the basket, jump up and touch his forehead on the rim. While I did not see him do this, I can say that I think it is very possible. Negedu, while wearing flip flops, showed off a variety of windmill and backwards dunks.

Okay, flip-flops? I am equally impressed and worried that he would slip and fall, probably tearing his ACL in a season ending collapse. I seriously hope the ‘flip-flops’ weren’t those flimsy shower slippers and maybe something with a buckle? I mean, windmill dunks in flip-flops…who are you, Evel Knievel? (for all you kids out there, Mr. Kneival was a daredevil motorscylist from way back in the day…)

Meanwhile, Adam Zagoria has spoken to Negedu’s prep schoool coach, who plays it close to the vest…but this should all be over this week.

John Henson and the national team

So it turns out John Henson (6’10”, SF/PF, 2009, UNC) wasn’t snubbed for the US basketball U-18 team:

One of the fastest-rising prospects in recent years, Henson was asked to compete for a spot on the national team but didn’t want to miss Nike’s LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron from July 5-9.

So Henson just decided to go a different way, NOT USA Basketball ignoring him.

image courtesy

Doron Lamb’s ‘dream school’

Meanwhile, it looked like Doron Lamb (6’4″,SG,2010) a Duke, Maryland and Georgia Tech target, was favoring Louisville, but now he says there is no leader although Syracuse is his ‘dream school’. Looks like it will be tough to get him away from the Big East. Maybe, if that that’s true, Maryland has the best shot?

Dante Taylor

Our boy Alex Schwartz is the man when it comes to talking to some of the best prospects in the East. Check out this awesome interview with offensive stud Dante Taylor (6’8″, PF, 2009), who is a Maryland target. Although it seems like he’s gettin’ a lot of Big East love, Maryland needs an inside scorer in the worst way.

Jeremiah Rivers to Indiana

May 29, 2008

A few Wolfpack fans emailed me a while back and asked if I knew anything about a rumor that Jeremiah Rivers might transfer to NC State. At that time all I had heard was Indiana was an option. Turns out it will be Indiana, and Rivers will play there after sitting out next season.