NCAA finds major recruiting violations by Sampson, Hoosiers

By U-Wire

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana men’s basketball coach Kelvin Sampson lied to university and NCAA investigators about his role in recruiting violations, according to an NCAA report released Wednesday by IU.

The NCAA’s investigation into illegal recruiting phone calls Sampson and his staff made revealed five “major violations” by Sampson and his staff.

Sampson gave “the institution and the NCAA enforcement staff false or misleading information,” the report reads.

The NCAA specifically alleges Sampson was lying when he told investigators that he did not know he was participating in impermissible three-way recruiting phone calls.

Sampson and IU athletics director Rick Greenspan were not made available to the media Wednesday, though the university did release a statement.

“We are extremely disappointed in these new allegations regarding coach Sampson,” Greenspan said in the statement. “To say the least, we view these allegations with grave concern and will cooperate fully

with the NCAA as they adjudicate these charges.”

Three-way phone calls are permitted by NCAA rules, but Sampson and his staff were prohibited from making them. The NCAA sanctioned Sampson and his staff for excessive phone calls made while he coached at Oklahoma.

IU and Indianapolis-based law firm Ice Miller had previously characterized the three-way phone call violations as “secondary,” or less serious.

Sampson is responsible for two major violations allegations because of his role in the impermissible phone calls and because he “failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standard of honesty normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics,” according to the NCAA report.

IU has until May 8 to submit its response to the NCAA’s findings. The NCAA Committee on Infractions will meet June 14 in Seattle and has requested Sampson, Greenspan and IU president Michael McRobbie be present. A ruling on the matter is expected this summer.

IU spokesman Larry MacIntyre said the university could not speculate yet as to what will be the outcome of the situation.

“The president and the athletic director are very familiar with the allegations,” he said. “They have discussed the matter privately and will do so more in the future.”

In addition to Sampson’s violations, the NCAA alleges the IU men’s basketball staff committed three other “major” violations.

– The NCAA alleges that assistant coach Jerry Meyer and former assistant Rob Senderoff made at least 25 impermissible phone calls to nine different recruits, previously classified as secondary by the University.

– Like Sampson, Senderoff acted “contrary to the NCAA principles of ethical conduct” by engaging Sampson in three-way phone calls.

– Meyer and Sampson impermissibly recruited high school player Derek Elston, who is verbally committed to IU, during a summer camp and Meyer gave Elston two impermissible gifts: a Hoosiers T-shirt and a drawstring backpack.

In October, IU self-reported recruiting violations it uncovered during a routine audit in the summer. The report outlined 10 three-way phone calls, which violated the staff’s sanctions. In the report, Sampson said he was unaware he was involved in three-way calls with recruits, though one recruit and the mother of a different recruit said they recalled Sampson and Senderoff speaking at the same time.

During a news conference on Nov. 1, Sampson denied allegations that he lied about his role in the violations.

“I know what I know, and that’s all I need to say on that,” Sampson said. “What I said . was the right answer.”

IU Student Association president W.T. Wright said in the coming days and weeks IUSA plans to meet with members of the athletic department, gauge the reaction of the campus and find out more information about the case.

“IUSA will take a stance on this,” he said. “It’s our job to explain what the campus is thinking.”