You want to rip Kelvin Sampson a new one for his repeated transgressions with the telephone? Fine, it's the chic thing to do, everybody who's anybody is doing it, so jump on the bandwagon. But, here's two suggestions, for your sake, before you do so:
- Know what you're talking about
- Take a good, hard look at your own program, first
First, it's important to note that the first round of phone calls made at Oklahoma were ruled by the NCAA as a Secondary Violation. There's more information that can be found, here:
While 577 phone calls certainly seem excessive, 233 by Sampson himself, keep in mind that this was over a 4-year period (2000-2004). So we're really talking about ~58 extra calls per annum over the period in question. Now, I don't mean to totally diminish this, but I've had girlfriend's who make 58 extra calls in a 4-day span.
Now, with the most recent issue, Sampson was involved in 13 prohibited 3-way calls last year:
Now, keep in mind that these calls are not actual NCAA rules violations, but a violation of Sampson's probation, as noted:Although permissible under NCAA rules, three-way recruiting calls involving Sampson were in violation of the stricter, NCAA-imposed sanctions which were in effect on the IU staff last year from May, 2006 to May, 2007.
And it's also important to note that Indiana has imposed serious penalities, which Sampson has fully agreed to:As penalties, Greenspan has imposed a second year of restrictions on recruiting calls tighter than is permitted by the NCAA, reduced Sampson's off-campus recruiting opportunities and taken away a basketball scholarship for 2008-09. The basketball staff will also have one less coach available for recruiting during the 2007-08 recruiting year. Sampson also voluntarily agreed to forego a $500,000 compensation increase this year.
That's fairly significant versus being a slap on the wrist, when's the last time you've kissed off $500 Grand? And note, the University has also submitted these violations as Secondary Violations, in good faith:"Through extensive and lengthy discussions with our legal counsel, it was concluded that these violations are of a secondary nature because they represented isolated instances. They provided little, if any, recruiting advantage and did not involve any extra benefits," Greenspan said.
Okay, so now we all know what has reportedly happened. Keep in mind these are Secondary Violations and no one at Indiana or within their fanbase thinks this is okay. Sampson's been punished and we need 100% compliance out of him and our Program as a whole.
But let's also look at this for what it is, Secondary Violations. Has a coach ever been so lambasted by the media for Secondary Violations? Has a Coach ever been deposed for Secondary Violations? Not to my knowledge.
Secondary Violations run rampant in College Basketball, almost as common as missed Shaun Pruitt free throws, which is incredibly common. Before you throw Sampson under the bus, I recommend you look at your own program, in order to avoid playing the role of hypocrite, because no one likes a hypocrite.
Let's look at a few different cases. We'll start with Illinois. I've noticed a lot of Illinois fans referring to Sampson as Sampscum and Sanctions over this, but is your Program and Coach any cleaner? Have a look at Self's history at Illinois:
Now, in the same spirit I'm taking about with Sampson, I'm not sure how big of a deal these 20 Secondary Violations really are but the point is that they exist, and as in Sampson's case, a Secondary Violation is a Secondary Violation.
And speaking of Bill Self, what's he up to these days at Kansas? Well, a little more of the same:The basketball violations occurred from 2002 through 2005, spanning from Williams to current coach Bill Self, who will be starting his fourth season with Kansas next month.
I don't mean to pick on Bill Self alone, but I find it curious as to how the media and fans are giving all of these coaches free passes while they're burning Sampson's name in effigy.
Perhaps the most humerous conversation I've recently had on the subject was when an Oklahoma State fan referred to Sampson as a cheater and claimed Eddie Sutton has never been a cheater. Eddie Sutton is one of the most infamous rules violators in the history of NCAA Basketball, he was involved in a scenario where his players at Kentucky (late 80s) were being paid to play!
You can read about it here, if you like:
In the end, none of this is a-okay, but before you trash the bejesus out of Kelvin Sampson, come to terms that these are Secondary Violations and have an understanding that your Coach and Program probably has recently committed Secondary Violations as well.
After that, fine, throw Sampson under the bus. Just make sure you leave room for your Coach and Program, because I'll be placing them there shortly.
Can you hear me now?!