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Bloomington Herald-Times Articles

February 18, 2008

IU Basketball
McRobbie's statement at news conference
H-T Report
February 15, 2008

IU President Michael McRobbie read this statement at today's news conference:

Thank you for coming here today.

I have a brief statement regarding the allegations brought by the NCAA against our men's basketball coach.

Afterward, I will take a few questions, but I do not intend to engage in speculation or respond to hypothetical questions.

First, let me say, I am deeply disappointed by these allegations -- and I share that disappointment with all those who love and support Indiana University. I fully understand the desire by many people for us to move quickly to bring this situation to resolution.

And, we intend to do just that.

Over the past week, I have carefully examined all of the allegations contained in the NCAA's report. I have discussed them in great detail with Athletics Director Rick Greenspan, our vice president and general counsel, Dorothy Frapwell, and others. I am grateful for their input and advice.

Let there be no doubt. These are serious allegations of misconduct.

As president, I believe the most important measure of our success in intercollegiate athletics is not in the win-loss columns.

Rather, it is in how well we measure up to our own high standards for good sportsmanship, academic success, the welfare of our student-athletes, and playing by the rules.

It is my responsibility to take whatever actions are necessary to ensure that our men's basketball program lives up to the high level of integrity that has always been its hallmark, and I am determined to do just that.

Therefore, today I am announcing that I have directed the athletics director to oversee an immediate investigation of these new allegations and make an assessment as to whether they are credible and accurate.

I have given him seven days as of now to complete this task.

At my direction, the athletics director will be assisted by Dr. Bruce Jaffee, professor of business economics and public policy and faculty representative on the Athletics Committee, and also by Vice President Dorothy Frapwell. They will be further assisted by outside legal counsel from the firm of Ice Miller.

In making this decision, I have attempted to balance our desire for a swift and prompt resolution of this situation with the equally important need for fairness and due process.

When this investigation is completed, the athletics director will use the findings to guide him in making a recommendation to me as to what our next steps will be.

I want to make it clear that all of us are going into this with no presumptions. I do not know what conclusions the investigators will come to regarding these new allegations.

In closing, I would like to note that we have arrived at this painful situation because the athletics director and his compliance staff did their job. They diligently monitored recruiting operations within the men's basketball program and quickly and fully reported the irregularities they found. The system Indiana University has established for enforcing compliance worked, and I take confidence in that.

We must now move on to the next step of resolving these allegations against our men's basketball program.

That concludes my statement, and I will now take a few questions.

Indiana University Basketball
IU investigation of NCAA allegations against Sampson to be completed in seven days
McRobbie charges athletic director with leading investigation, making recommendations about IU coach's future in job
By Zak Keefer 331-4353 |
February 15, 2008

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie announced Friday that Athletic Director Rick Greenspan will head a seven-day investigation to determine whether recent allegations by the NCAA against men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson are "credible and accurate."

Greenspan will have until next Friday to complete the investigation and recommend to McRobbie what further actions should be taken. He will be assisted by university vice president and general counsel Dorothy Frapwell and Bruce Jaffee, an IU professor of business and faculty representative to the athletics committee. Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller will offer additional legal advice.

"I am deeply disappointed by these allegations — and I share that disappointment with all who love and support Indiana University," McRobbie said. "I fully understand the desire by many people for us to move quickly in bringing this situation to resolution. We intend to do just that."

McRobbie said that he has not spoken with Sampson since the allegations were made public.

"Let there be no doubt," McRobbie said, "these are serious allegations of misconduct."

He added that he fully expects Greenspan's assessment to be completed in seven days, and from there, he will decide whether Sampson will remain Indiana's coach.

"In making this decision, I have attempted to balance our desire for a swift and prompt resolution of this situation with the equally important need for fairness and due process," McRobbie said.

When asked if he had considered suspending Sampson during the investigation, McRobbie said the only mention of suspension in the head coach's contract is if there is a recommendation for termination.

McRobbie was asked how the new investigation would be conducted. He said he will leave that to the three investigators he has appointed.

According to the NCAA, Sampson and his staff committed five "major" infractions. The NCAA also alleges that Sampson misled both Indiana University officials and NCAA investigators. Indiana has until March 8 to file a response to those charges.

After Wednesday night's 68-66 loss to Wisconsin, Sampson read a brief statement saying that he never intentionally misled or provided false information to the NCAA and that he was looking forward to working with the NCAA on the matter.

Sampson declined to be interviewed Friday. Greenspan attended the McRobbie news conference, but was not available for comment.

Indiana University
'Clearly, this has hurt our image'
By James Boyd 331-4307 |
February 16, 2008

As Indiana University President Michael McRobbie grapples with the decision on what to do with men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson, with each passing day come more opportunities for pundits and critics to chastise the university.

It will be the university's fourth straight day in the media limelight, after allegations surfaced this week that Sampson lied to IU and NCAA investigators looking into phone calls to recruits.

McRobbie publicly acknowledged the situation for the first time Friday, reading a terse statement on the allegations and answering questions from the media in short, succinct sentences. He said a seven-day investigation would commence immediately into whether the allegations levied by the NCAA hold any merit. It will be conducted by Athletic Director Rick Greenspan, university counsel Dorothy Frapwell, Kelley School of Business professor Bruce Jaffee and the Ice Miller law firm.

IU must, McRobbie noted, act quickly, while ensuring Sampson receives due process.

"Clearly, this has hurt our image," IU spokesman Larry MacIntyre said. "That's why we're trying to move as quickly as possible."

But the publicity nightmare doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

ESPN's GameDay crew will be on hand broadcasting from Assembly Hall beginning at 9 a.m. today, 12 full hours before IU tips off against Michigan State.

Many in the national media have called for the university to fire Sampson immediately. They say Sampson was already on probation for making impermissible phone calls while head coach at the University of Oklahoma and, as the saying goes, once a cheater, always a cheater.

But jumping to conclusions could be risky, and costly, even in the presence of damning evidence.

MacIntyre said the university has to operate within the bounds of its contract with Sampson, which has no provision allowing the university to suspend him at this time.

The contract does allow IU to fire Sampson "for just cause" and continue to pay him only through the end of the month if IU can show he committed violations that do not comply with his contract terms.

"We have to cooperate with his contract," MacIntyre said, "but we also have to be concerned about our image. This is not what we want to be known for."

Indeed, the university that hasn't endured a major NCAA violation in nearly 50 years now finds itself at the epicenter of a sports environment where baseball stars appear before Congress and grand juries, and football coaches have to apologize for cheating.

As the headline on CNN/Sports Illustrated's Web site said Friday morning: "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."

Underneath was a picture of Sampson.

And after surviving the downfall of Bob Knight and ho-hum support for Mike Davis, the university now has a coach who has fractured one of college basketball's most loyal fan bases.

"If he lied or whatever, they've got to take action," sophomore Marc Jackson said Friday. "I know people are proud of the season he's having. But if he broke the rules, then they've got to release him."

For Josh Tucker, the situation can't get much worse. He said he was threatened with arrest for wearing a shirt to Wednesday night's game that simply said, "Bring Back Bobby."

"This is making them look bad," Tucker said. "(The IU administration) is handling this the way they handled my situation. They're too busy doing what they can do, and not worrying about what anyone else thinks. I'm disappointed in the university."

The situation could come to a resolution as early as the end of next week. That will be welcome news for most.

"We've had a long history of pretty high standards, not only in athletics, but also in academics, and that's what we want to be known for," MacIntyre said.

Our opinion
Basketball problems weighing down McRobbie
President has better things to do than burn energy on allegations against coach, program
February 16, 2008

Michael McRobbie has big plans for Indiana University. Basketball keeps getting in the way.

From the week in October that he was inaugurated as IU's 18th president, he's had to deal with allegations of misdeeds by basketball coach Kelvin Sampson.

First, it was an internal investigation by the university that turned up problems that were reported to the NCAA. This week, it's been the making public of the NCAA's own followup investigation, which found what it called "major" violations of sanctions already against Sampson from breaking rules before he came to IU. Perhaps even worse, the NCAA investigation also concluded that Sampson made false statements to and misled both the NCAA and IU, his employer.

So four months after having his inauguration week tainted by the initial allegations against Sampson, McRobbie had to meet the media about basketball again Friday. He was direct with his remarks and short with his answers. It was clear he would have rather been talking about IU's mission of educating students, its role in the state's economy, its commitment to discovery, or its initiatives in international programs, the arts and culture or diversity.

IU basketball must feel like a medicine ball to McRobbie, and he must be tired of carrying it around. He gave athletic director Rick Greenspan, university counsel Dorothy Frapwell and faculty member Bruce Jaffee until next Friday to investigate the NCAA's allegations and determine whether they are credible. He wants a recommendation about whether to fire or retain the basketball coach. He will act swiftly after he gets one.

One week is lightning quick in the life of a university. But the quicker all eyes stop focusing on Indiana University because of a troubled basketball program, the quicker the important initiatives the university president wants to promote will be back at the top of his agenda.

Recruits named by NCAA in report on Kelvin Sampson
February 18, 2008

DeJaun Blair: Received two impermissible phone calls from Senderoff in July of 2006. Also was reported to have participated in a three-way call with Sampson and Senderoff, and an incident where Senderoff called Sampson and gave the phone to Blair to allow the two to have a conversation. Blair is currently a freshman for Pittsburgh.

William Buford: Reported to have been involved in a three-way call with Sampson and Senderoff. Buford will attend Ohio State.

Ayodele Coker: Reported to have participated in a three-way call with Sampson, and to have been handed Senderoff's phone in order to speak to Sampson. Coker, originally from Nigeria, signed his letter of intent to play for St. Johns over Indiana, Kentucky and Pittsburgh.

Devin Ebanks: Ebanks mother, Yvonne Jackson, was reported to have participated in three-way calls between Sampson and Senderoff from May 31, 2006 through May 1, 2007. Ebanks, the No. 13-ranked player in the Class of 2008 according to, has signed his letter of intent to play at Indiana.

Derek Elston: Reported to have been impermissibly recruited by Indiana assistant Jeff Meyer and Sampson, who met with him during a camp in Bloomington on June 30 before the camp had ended or Elston had been "dismissed," making it an illegal contact. Meyer has also been accused of giving Elston a t-shirt and backpack during the camp, which is against NCAA rules. Elston has verbally committed to Indiana but won't be able to sign a letter of intent until November.

Kenny Frease: Reportedly received a call from Senderoff, who then handed Sampson the phone even though Sampson was not allowed to be present during recruiting contacts made by his assistants. Frease, a 6-foot-11 center from Massillon, Ohio, signed his letter of intent to play for Xavier last November.

Yancey Gates: Reported to have been involved in a three-way call with Sampson and Senderoff. Ultimately decided to play for his hometown Cincinnati Bearcats.

Robbie Hummel: Received six impermissible calls from Meyer between June 29- July 10, 2006. He is now a freshman at Purdue.

Philip Jurick: Received three impermissible calls from Senderoff from March 26-April 15, 2007. Jurick committed to play for Bruce Pearl and the Tennessee Volunteers on April 25, 2007.

Demetri McCamey: Received three impermissible phone calls from Senderoff in May 2006 while at St. Joseph's High School in Westchester, Illinois. Also allegedly participated in a three-way call with Kelvin Sampson and Senderoff. Now is a freshman at Illinois and had a career-high 31 points against IU in Champaign.

Jonathan "Bud" Mackey: Received 22 impermissible calls from Senderoff between March 1 and July 17, 2007. Senderoff also allowed Mackey's mother, Erica, to use his phone to speak with Sampson. Mackey, who originally gave an oral commitment to Indiana, had his scholarship offer withdrawn this past October after he was arrested for cocaine possession in his native Georgetown, Ky. He's currently playing at Harmony Prep in Cincinnati with the player who took his scholarship, Terrell Holloway.

Scott Martin: Received one impermissible call from IU assistant Jeff Meyer on July 18, 2006. Martin eventually chose to play for Purdue.

Markieff and Marcus Morris: Markieff received an impermissible phone call from Senderoff on June 29, 2006. Twin brother, Marcus, allegedly participated in a three-way call between Sampson and Senderoff. Both Morris brothers signed their letters of intent to play for Kansas next year.

DeAndre Thomas: Reportedly participated in three-way calls with Sampson and Senderoff. Thomas is currently a forward for the Hoosiers.

Evan Turner: Received two impermissible phone calls from former IU assistant Rob Senderoff on May 11, 2006 while at St. Joseph's High School in Chicago. Now a freshman at Ohio State averaging 7.9 points and 3.7 rebounds a game.

Chinese ambassador to speak Friday at IUPUI
By James Boyd 331-4307 |
February 18, 2008

With the 2008 Summer Olympic Games just around the corner, ongoing human rights protests and the ever-changing roles China plays in the world economy, a visit from the Chinese ambassador to the U.S. should shed some light this week in Indianapolis.

Zhou Wenzhong will visit the University Conference Center on the IUPUI campus Friday. His visit is being sponsored by the IU Kelley School of Business.

His talk is open to the public, but La Vonn Schlegel, with the Center for International Business Education and Research, said the venue is already at full capacity with RSVPs.

Zhou is expected to address China's relations with the U.S., and to take questions from the audience.

Three IU experts weighed in on what Zhou's visit means to Indiana.

Schlegel: "It's important when we host dignitaries from another country's government. We're bringing the world to Indiana. A lot of business folks are starting to see the opportunities in working with China, specifically, and the more our university can make those kind of real connections, to the politics, to the culture, then the better off we'll be."

Dan Smith, Kelley School of Business dean: "China is clearly one of the most important centers of economic activity in the world today. An understanding of Chinese business practices is critical for all leaders, regardless of their current level of engagement with China."

Scott Kennedy, professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures: "Right now, on the whole, U.S.-China relations are pretty solid. We've got a very good economic relationship with China. One part of the ambassador's mission is going to be highlighting the positive-sum relationship between China and the Midwest. Indiana is one of the few states that is a primary target for the Chinese to invest in for manufacturing. There's an opportunity to bring jobs here, and that's something (Zhou) may highlight."

Zhou was scheduled to visit Indiana last November but had to cancel.

With IU and Bloomington being home to a large Tibetan cultural presence, Zhou's visit could be of interest to many locals. IU President Michael McRobbie visited China last December, and has pledged to increase IU's ties with other universities and businesses there.

"I think that's a really important part of what President McRobbie is doing. It's critical that we understand how to make the world a little smaller," Schlegel said.

"I think he's going to emphasize the positives," Kennedy said of Zhou's visit. "Human rights is going to be mentioned wherever he goes. I think the Olympics have been a good opportunity for the Chinese to implement some reform and to improve their infrastructure in and around Beijing."