NCAA: Sampson misled IU about calls
By Mark Alesia
Indiana University men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson "repeatedly" provided "false or misleading information" to the school and NCAA investigators, according to a list of five major violations the NCAA is alleging against IU.
The "notice of allegations" sent to IU president Michael McRobbie on Feb. 8, and obtained by The Star today through a public records request, alleges that Sampson knowingly violated telephone recruiting restrictions and then lied about it. The restrictions were imposed because of the coach's NCAA violations while at Oklahoma.
Sampson "failed to deport himself … with the generally recognized high standard of honesty" and "failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance within the men's basketball program," according to the allegations. The cover letter was signed by David Price, NCAA vice president for enforcement.
IU has until May 8 to provide a written response. The letter says it's anticipated IU will be required to appear June 14 in Seattle at a hearing before the Division I Committee on Infractions.
According to Sampson's seven-year contract, signed in April 2006, if IU fires him for "just cause" it would owe him nothing beyond his regular compensation through that month. Among the definitions of "just cause" in Sampson's contract is "a significant, intentional, repetitive violation of any law, rule (or) regulation" of the NCAA.
Another definition is "Failure to maintain an environment in which the coaching staff complies with NCAA ... regulations."
The contract says IU is allowed to use its "sole judgment" to determine if Sampson's conduct "reflects adversely upon the university and its athletic program."
Major violations of NCAA rules, as opposed to "secondary" violations, can carry punishments including postseason ineligibility.
IU has a strong record in NCAA compliance, with no major violations since 1960.
School officials were not immediately available for comment. A statement is expected this morning.
Assistant coach Jeff Meyer, who was involved in several of the allegations, issued a statement today through an attorney.
“In my twenty-nine years as a college coach, I have tried to maintain a reputation for integrity, fairness and good sportsmanship – values shared by Indiana University and the NCAA," the statement read. "I regret that I may have made mistakes that are causing my and IU’s conduct to be examined by the NCAA."