Indiana Mulls Basketball Coach's Fate
from The Associated Press
February 21, 2008, 04:50 pm ET ∑ Indiana could have a new head coach when the 15th-ranked Hoosiers travel to Northwestern on Saturday.
School officials met Thursday to consider the future of embattled coach Kelvin Sampson, who has been accused by the NCAA of five major recruiting violations over improper telephone calls to high school players. The university was reviewing the allegations and had set a Friday deadline for a report and recommendation on action.
University spokesman Larry MacIntyre and members of the board of trustees denied reports Indiana had decided Sampson's fate and would make assistant coach Dan Dakich the interim head coach.
"I don't believe the athletic director has even given the recommendation to the president yet," said trustee Patrick Shoulders.
Trustee Philip Eskew Jr. told The Associated Press he had been notified by e-mail that Indiana would have an announcement on Sampson's status Friday but did not have details.
An NCAA report released last week accused Sampson of providing false and misleading information to university and NCAA investigators about the phone calls and failing to promote a high standard of honesty and an atmosphere of compliance in the program.
Sampson has said he never intentionally provided false or misleading information to NCAA investigators.
A report by the university in October detailed more than 100 impermissible recruiting calls, most of them by assistant coach Rob Senderoff, who has since resigned. At least 10 of them were three-way calls that Sampson had been patched into, a violation of NCAA restrictions imposed on Sampson for previous telephone improprieties while he was coach at Oklahoma.
The university has contended the violations were secondary, not major.
Dan Dakich, 45, a former Indiana player and assistant coach and former head coach at Bowling Green, took Senderoff's spot on the coaching staff in early November.
Dakich, who was hired as IU's director of basketball operations in June, is subject to the same restrictions the university imposed on Senderoff, who was banned from calling recruits and making off-campus recruiting visits for one year.
The NCAA has scheduled a May 8 hearing on the accusations. Proven major violations come with penalties that include teams being excluded from postseason tournaments.
Following the release of the NCAA report, athletic director Rick Greenspan, university counsel Dorothy Frapwell and faculty representative Bruce Jaffee were asked to run the investigation and then recommend by Friday what steps the university should take.
"I fully understand the desire for us, by many people, to move quickly in bringing this situation to resolution," university president Michael McRobbie said. "We intend to do just that."
Indiana did not practice Thursday.
Players attended a regularly scheduled NCAA compliance meeting but declined to comment as they left Assembly Hall.
According to the contract signed in April 2006, Indiana pays Sampson an annual base salary of $500,000. The contract runs through the next five seasons.
Sampson's deal includes termination clauses for violations of university or NCAA rules that eliminate the payments.