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Larry MacIntyre
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, November 25, 2008

IU officials respond to NCAA decision on men's basketball

Nov. 25, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie and senior officials in the Department of Athletics said that for the most part they are satisfied with the conclusions contained in the final report of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, which was released today (Nov. 25).

"From the very beginning of these proceedings, we cooperated fully with the NCAA and, in fact, imposed severe recruiting penalties on our men's basketball program," McRobbie said. "Although I still believe the failure to monitor charge was unjustified, I am glad that the NCAA has accepted our self-imposed penalties with no further sanctions except a three-year probationary period."

Tom Crean

Coach Tom Crean said, "I am happy that the NCAA has accepted our self-imposed sanctions, and it now appears that we will be able to put this unpleasant chapter behind us and move IU basketball forward in a positive way."

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McRobbie said the committee's decision clears the way for Coach Tom Crean to proceed at full speed with his rebuilding program without having to worry about any further sanctions or penalties being imposed by the NCAA.

In its report, the Infractions Committee said it took into consideration the fact that IU had already imposed significant recruiting penalties on the basketball program, including loss of a scholarship.

"Until this case, the institution had an almost 50-year record free of major infractions, of which the institution was justly proud and for which it deserves commendation," the report stated.

"It is time to move on and put this episode behind us," McRobbie said. "We have a new coach and an almost entirely new team, and they should not have to worry about being penalized for things that happened before they were even here."

McRobbie also noted that the Department of Athletics has taken several actions to strengthen its compliance monitoring program for all sports.

"This was a one-time deviation from a half-century record of having no major NCAA infractions," McRobbie said. "The coaches who were directly involved in this are no longer employed by Indiana University. And, we are very determined never to allow anything like this to happen again."

Coach Tom Crean said, "I am happy that the NCAA has accepted our self-imposed sanctions, and it now appears that we will be able to put this unpleasant chapter behind us and move IU basketball forward in a positive way."

IU Athletic Director Rick Greenspan said, "We are grateful that the NCAA concurred with our assessment of the previous coaches' actions and intent, and the significance of our thorough investigation and very strong self-imposed penalties. Based on this decision, it appears that anything less than monitoring perfection in this particular case would have triggered a 'failure to monitor' finding.

"For Coach Crean and current and future players, we are pleased that they will be able to pursue their competitive goals unencumbered by further restrictions and limitations," Greenspan added. "The Indiana University basketball program will emerge from this adversity and return to its rightful place of winning championships with honor."

The committee found that former Head Coach Kelvin Sampson and his assistant Rob Senderoff had acted contrary to NCAA standards of ethical conduct by intentionally violating telephone recruiting restrictions and providing false or misleading information. Both have since resigned from their positions at IU.

The committee also found that the Department of Athletics had "failed to monitor the men's basketball program in terms of the heightened monitoring required by the prior infractions history (at Oklahoma) of the former head coach."

IU disputed the failure to monitor charge and argued that the compliance program in place when Sampson arrived was more comprehensive than many other peer institutions.

The Infractions Committee decision conceded that IU's compliance program "exceeded" that of other comparable institutions, but said an even higher standard of monitoring was required from the outset of Sampson's employment because of his prior history.

Under the terms of probation, which runs through Nov. 24, 2011, IU will be required to continue to develop and implement a comprehensive educational program on NCAA recruiting and eligibility rules for all coaches and their staffs and report annually to the NCAA on progress and participation.