What is the big deal you ask? I mean it’s the NBA, and a fairly insignificant NBA team at that. But the assistant were talking about here is Kelvin Sampson. Today the NCAA charged Sampson, who has seemingly inauspiciously drifted to the league’s sidelines, barring him from coaching in college for the next five years.
Sampson, you probably remember, was the big hire intended to help Hoosier country suppress all thoughts of Mike Davis. Those fans welcomed Sampson to campus with open arms, emphasizing his consistent body of work at Oklahoma, while at the same time neglecting to acknowledge the fact he was bringing baggage with him–in the form of past recruiting violations. Those illegal tactics continued in Bloomington, and after only one-and-a-half seasons the NABC Ethics Committee–the same committee Sampson was once the president of—put together a report that outlined numerous phone calls to recruits that fell outside the lines of what was allowed. Sampson was given a buy out deal, right in the middle of Big 10 conference play, in a season that started with IU envisioning a deep tournament run. Dan Dakich was moved to interim head coach, and managed to get IU a 7 seed, where they lost in the first round to Arkansas.
Sampson’s name now carries more than baggage, it carries a stigma and he’s made a mockery of two BCS schools. One has recovered, and one is in a terrible mess that Tom Crean will work tirelessly to rectify. Basically, it would be better for the game if Sampson left college alone for good.
In addition, there were no additional penalties brought down on the Hoosier program, as the NCAA deemed Indiana University’s self-imposed sanctions (one lost scholarship for this season, and restrictions on Sampson’s favorite hobby-phone calling) were appropriate. This means that IU will not face any postseason bans, although were going to make a safe assumption that would take a few years to actually matter.