My intention was to watch the video on the BTN website and comment on it, which I still hope to do in the near future, but Sunday morning greeted all of us with the emotionally derailing news of the rules violations and self-imposed sanctions. Since then I’ve been trying to figure out a.) what actually happened, b.) how serious of an infraction this is, and c.) how I should feel about this. So, here’s what I have put together in the past few days. Taking these parts in order. Also, here’s an article that explains in a happy little side bar, the nuts and bolts of the thing
A.) While he was still on NCAA recruiting sanctions from making nearly 40,000,000 illegal phone calls to recruits, Kelvin Sampson was involved in 10 3-way phone conversations with recruits, which he was forbidden to do under his punishment.
Also, his assistant coaches made 35 impermissible calls, in which Sampson played no direct role. I don’t exactly know what made them wrong. I think they were just over the number you are allowed to make.
B.) It seems that these infractions are pretty small potatoes. By way of comparison, paying recruits, buying them cars, fixing games. Those are like murder. Capitol offenses that carry with them severe penalties. Extra phone calls are like speeding tickets, maybe like excessive speeding style reckless driving. 20 miles over that kind of thing. Something that is relatively common, that most people do on occasion, but that can cause some serious problems.
What makes these infractions much more serious, is that they’ve got a name for people like Kelvin Sampson. That name is recidivism. REPEAT OFFENDER!
That means one of three things. Neither good. Either Kelvin Sampson thinks this still isn’t a big deal and is like Rudiger and does what he feels like. He’s kind of dumb, and doesn’t get what got him into trouble in the first place. Or, and I think this is more realistic, this was a mistake. I bad, one as it makes the other two options look plausible, but a mistake, none the less.
A bad one, too, as it increases the severity of the penalties to be imposed.
C.) Indiana has already imposed it’s own sanctions on the program, which in light of the severity of infraction (again, small compounded by repeat) seem strong. But, they need to be strong to show the NCAA that the university takes these things seriously.
So, here’s how I’ve decided to feel about all of this. I’m sad and disappointed that we aren’t doing things the right way. Something all IU fans have always felt great pride in.
I’m also choosing to look at this as a mistake, and not something to launch the doomsday device over. It’s also strike 2. If it was a major offense, that would be it. Pull the plug at the end of the season. But, if this type of thing happens again, all the good will is gone and it’s time to move on. As for now though, don’t jump off of any high objects.
I don’t want to see that happen as I’m excited about this team and the future for the first time in years, but the IU community simply can’t sit by and accept success at the price of our integrity.