Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Bigger Problem

Category: Sports Rant

Indiana University's now ex-coach, Kelvin Sampson

Kelvin Sampson resigned on Friday (2/22) as the head basketball coach of Indiana University. He accepted a $750,000 buyout to step down amid allegations of NCAA violations. As he leaves, Indiana University is facing the possibility of being put on probation should the NCAA's investigation result in sanctions against the school.

Some would say that IU is getting what they deserve. After all, when they hired Sampson, he had the same charge -- inappropriate phone calls to recruits -- hanging over his head when he left Oklahoma University.

However, I think the bigger problem is not so much the fact that IU hired Sampson knowing he had baggage, but rather the NCAA rules that allow the coaches to freely move from one university to another with no penalty for their wrongdoings.

Flash back to 1988, when Eddie Sutton was head coach for the University of Kentucky. Under his tenure, Kentucky was nearly hit with the "death penalty" because assistant coaches sent money to recruits. While Kentucky and the innocent players and fans were hit with NCAA penalties, Sutton waltzed off to Oklahoma State, where he found a new job while Kentucky was banned from appearing on television.

What the NCAA needs to do to put an end to the problem is PUNISH THE GUILTY. In this case, if Sampson is guilty of violating NCAA rules, then he should be banned from getting a job as a coach for two years. IU and their fans -- and, most importantly, the student athletes that the NCAA claims to care so much about -- should NOT be made to suffer for Sampson's sins. If a player runs afoul of the NCAA rules, then he/she should be penalized, not everyone.

There's a great deal about the NCAA I do not like (e.g., the basketball "field of 65" -- how about letting FOUR teams play in instead of just one? And, if that game is theoretically #64 vs. #65, shouldn't the winner be playing the #1 team in the entire tournament?), and a million things I believe they need to change. All talk of a BCS playoff, however, and other petty things needs to be put aside until the penalty problem is resolved. It is just plain WRONG for Kelvin Sampson, should he be deemed guilty, to be able to obtain a new job as a college basketball coach while the Indiana team bears the brunt of the NCAA's sanctions.

1 comment:

Sam said...

As an Indiana alum I am not looking forward to what the NCAA will do to punish the basketball program. Even with all of his faults at least Coach never had these problems anywhere he has been. (anyone who is a fan of IU basketball knows all you have to call him is Coach and you know who I mean).

I agree that the major problem is that the NCAA allows the guilty party to just walk away and get a new job. That must stop and then maybe they could slow some of this down.