NCAA Allegations Has Sampson Under More Fire

By Josh Herwitt - February 13, 2008


What is going on in the sports world these days?

Between Roger Clemens' continual denial about his use of performance-enhancing substances and now Kelvin Sampson's reoccurring recruiting violations, it's been scandal after scandal these days in sports, whether at the professional or collegiate level.

After all, on Tuesday night, it was Indiana who was receiving a list of alleged violations from the NCAA after school officials learned earlier this season that Kelvin Sampson and his staff made several impermissible phone calls during 2006 and 2007.

"There won't be a hearing till this June," Indiana University trustees president Stephen Ferguson told The Associated Press. "It's just been reviewed, and I think everyone is analyzing it now."

Sampson, who was placed on NCAA probation in May 2006 after making 577 impermissible phone calls from 2004 to 2004 at Oklahoma, has been found by a university investigation to have made more than 100 phone calls at Indiana.

During his probationary period, the 52-year-old native of Laurinburg, N.C., was prohibited from calling recruits and making off-campus visits for one year. Part of those provisions included a ban from participating in three-way phone calls, which the university found Sampson to be involved in on 10 different occasions.

While the NCAA does not prohibit coaches from making three-way calls, Sampson's particular sanctions did, leaving Indiana to impose its own punishment upon the second-year coach, including the forfeiting of a $500,000 pay raise and the loss of one scholarship next season.

"It is regrettable, to say the least, that we are in this position, to respond to the allegations that have been made about several of our basketball coaches," Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan said. "I'm personally, professionally and profoundly disappointed with even the hint of inappropriate behavior."

While IU has until May 8 to respond in writing to the report filed, it won't meet with the NCAA until June 14 in Seattle to discuss Sampson's fate, three months after the 2007-08 season will come to an end in San Antonio at the Final Four.

"The report came out in October, the university filed its response and there's really not been anything happening [on the board] in the last five months," Ferguson explained. "There have not been any discussions."

Of the five major violations that Sampson is being accused of, two of them are particularly grave, including lying to the university's enforcement staff and NCAA investigators and failing to abide by the NCAA's ethical standards.

But ultimately, the decision about Sampson's future in Bloomington, Ind., will come from Indiana President Michael McRobbie.

"There have been discussions from me to the people I report to about what the next step is and that is to digest the implications of this," Greenspan added. "On the issue of personnel, my position has almost always been to make a recommendation to the president and ultimately the decision rests with the president. None of those decisions have been made."

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 11:15 AM on February 13, 2008
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