NCAA needs to get rid of Sampson

By Kevin Spitz

There are three entities at fault in the recruitment malfunction that was Eric Gordon, and Gordon himself is not one of them. I forgive Gordon for doing what he did. It is extremely tough for a lot of students to choose a college even without the pressure of a basketball scholarship.

But when it comes down to it, Kelvin Sampson is immoral, Indiana shouldn’t have hired him and the NCAA should not let him continue to coach.

From May 2006 to May 2007, Sampson was restricted from calling recruits and participating in off-campus recruitment. He was first put under these restrictions because of infractions at Oklahoma where he made 577 knowingly illegal phone calls. But despite the penalty the man could still text, email, write letters, talk to the recruits on campus, and get his assistant coaches to go meet with them.

According to Theo Rabinowitz of NBADraft.net, when Sampson was hired at Indiana, he added two good friends of Gordon’s father and Gordon’s old AAU coach. Interesting! Though Sampson couldn’t go off campus to recruit, he could use two close friends of Gordon’s father and Gordon’s old coach to do it. The rest is history.

But back to Sampson. It’s possible he made a mistake when he made those illegal calls. The NCAA recruitment bylaws are confusing. There are hundreds of pages of rules with all sorts of exceptions to these rules. So you screw up once, fine, forgive the man; twice, okay bad judgment. 577? He breaks a rule 577 times and the NCAA infractions committee makes comments about the incident stating they were “calculated,” “deliberate non-compliance,” and a “willful action” and he only gets a slap on the wrist. Way to go NCAA, great restriction. Way to go Indiana, you sure hired a winner.

The thing is – Sampson showed little remorse. I picture a press conference with Sampson standing there saying to reporters, “If I knew I was going to be caught, I would have never done it.”

As I said before, Indiana is almost as much to blame. The University knew he had broken a rule 577 times before they hired this man. So, despite the fact that Sampson broke the rule, there were never any qualms about hiring this man. The Indiana Trustee’s Vice President Patrick Shoulders said, “Obviously, we anticipated some type of sanction, and this one seems to fit these minor infractions.”

Minor infractions? I wouldn’t say that cheating for five years is a minor infraction. Indiana University claimed to be so pure and moral for firing Bobby Knight, and then a couple years later hires a man whose job is to lead college students.

Furthermore, Sampson shouldn’t have been able to coach anywhere. Am I the only one getting fed up with cheating in sports? NCAA, take a stand and actually suspend the man from coaching. One of your head disciplinarians said that he willingly broke a rule hundreds of times and your response was to put him on a quasi house arrest? It’s time the NCAA gave a meaningful penalty that actually sent a message to coaches that cheating shouldn’t be tolerated.

Let me give an example. Very few people in this day and age know about Southern Methodist University football. This is because in 1986, the NCAA gave them the death penalty. Their entire 1987 season was cancelled. They lost all home games in 1988.

They were banned from going to a bowl game until 1990, and they lost 55 scholarships over a four-year period.

Southern Methodist’s infractions were a bit more serious than illegal phone calls. Players at SMU allegedly were getting paid to play. But still, this infraction hurt SMU to the point that they are no longer a factor in big time football.

It’s time the NCAA took a course of action such as banning coaches who cheat from working in the NCAA. NCAA, do what you’re supposed to do and actually penalize people and schools who break the rules of fair play.

Indiana, hire someone who has some class. Sampson, congratulations, you pulled a fast one on the entire nation.

Free Throws

Illinois versus Michigan State was pitiful.

Illinois shot under 37 percent from the line, but they rebounded great against Purdue.

For once their free throw shooting was not the reason for the loss as they shot 30-for-41. Overall for this week Illinois shot 61 percent.

Our shooter this week was Alex Sammet, sophomore in FAA.

He took the Illini down, going 8-for-10 from the line. Congratulations Alex! If you want to be a part of the contest e-mail me at [email protected]

Kevin Spitz is a senior in engineering and can be reached at [email protected]