IU fines, punishes Sampson for illegal calls
By Terry Hutchens
October 14, 2007
Indiana University announced today that basketball coach Kelvin Sampson is being fined and punished for participating in phone conversations to recruits during the time the NCAA prohibited him from doing so.
Sampson will lose $500,000, a scholarship for next season and the use of one of his assistants on the road for recruiting.
IU athletic director Rick Greenspan said a two-month review determined that on approximately 10 occasions, an assistant coach initiated three-way calls that connected Sampson into an on-going recruiting conversation with prospective student-athletes, their parents or coaches.
Greenspan said he convened with the school's senior administrators before punishing Sampson. He said the coach's missteps did not warrant Sampson's dismissal.
"We considered all the facts," Greenspan said. "We determined these sanctions are significant and severe and appropriate."
The NCAA likely will weigh in on the matter in the next few days.
Sampson came to Indiana under NCAA sanctions for a large number of illegal phone calls to recruits while he was the coach at the University of Oklahoma through the 2005-06 season. He was not allowed to recruit off campus or make phone calls to recruits from May 25, 2006-May 24, 2007.
"We determined that the impermissible calls occurred because some staff members did not fully comply with the sanctions they were operating under,’’ Greenspan said in a news release sent by the university. "We are addressing the problem, and we are voluntarily extending these limitations on recruiting for another season to ensure that the full effect of NCAA restrictions or recruiting is realized."
In the announcement, Greenspan revealed that Sampson has voluntarily agreed to forego a scheduled $500,000 raise for the 2007-08 season, and that assistant coach Rob Senderoff will be prohibited for a year from making recruiting phone calls and from recruiting off campus. In addition, Senderoff will not receive a bonus this season or a salary increase next year.
The university announced that Greenspan and Sampson will be available to the media through a teleconference at 1 p.m. today.
According to the press release, Greenspan commissioned the Collegiate Sports Practice of the Indianapolis law firm of Ice Miller to conduct a full and independent investigation. The results of that prompted Greenspan to take the actions that were announced today.
The review found that of all the recruiting calls made during the year, the majority of those that were found to be contrary of the sanctions were made by Senderoff. Only two calls were attributed to Sampson.
“Those were just a small fraction of the thousands of allowable phone calls that were made and received during this time,”Greenspan said. “However, Indiana University expects full and complete compliance with all NCAA rules and sanctions. That is why I am imposing a new round of recruiting restrictions and sanctions on Coach Sampson and his staff. I want to send a strong message that nothing less than complete compliance with the NCAA is the standard by which we operate.”
This story will be updated.