Kelvin Sampson should be terminated.
By Scott Tibbs, October 16, 2007
I read the coverage of Kelvin Sampson's recruiting violations with disappointment. There were questions surrounding Sampson when he came to Indiana University a year and a half ago because of similar (and more severe) recruiting violations at Oklahoma. As both a Hoosier fan and an Indiana University alumnus, I was willing to allow Sampson a chance to prove that his misbehavior was behind him. He broke that trust.
In and of themselves, Sampson's recruiting violations do not seem to be all that bad. Had former IU coach Mike Davis committed these violations, it would be a different story. However, in the context of Sampson's past misbehavior this new scandal makes him look like someone who does not care about playing by the rules. Sampson needs to be held to a higher standard than someone who has not shown a prior willingness to break the rules.
IU President Michael McRobbie told the Indiana Daily Student "we will not tolerate any sort of carelessness and inattentiveness that might give the public cause to doubt our commitment to the rules." If that is the case, Mr. McRobbie, you should have terminated Sampson as soon as these new violations came to light. If you do not tolerate breaking the rules, why are you keeping a head coach that is known for rule breaking? Unless followed by actions, your words mean nothing.
As an Indiana University alumnus and IU Basketball fan, the most important thing to me is not winning. While I want to win, the most important things are honesty, integrity and sportsmanship. All three of those are in question with this head coach. I would much rather my team lose four of every five games and play by the rules than have an unbeaten season and cheat. Even if we do not have a "W" to celebrate, we can at least take pride in the fact that our players and coaches are good men who will not embarrass this University.
Sadly, Sampson's latest violations are another example of the win-at-all-costs mentality that saturates college basketball. We had people clamoring for Mike Davis to be terminated for his disappointing win/loss record, so IU went and hired a coach with a proven record of success but a poor record when it comes to honesty and integrity. With universities grabbing for a handful from the huge pot of money that is college basketball, it is not surprising that coaches under pressure to win now would cut corners. Indiana University cannot simply pass the buck to Sampson, because the buck has to stop with IU Athletic Director Rick Greenspan and President McRobbie.