Tom Crean apologized for his heated exchange with former Hoosier assistant Jeff Meyer. (AJ Mast/Icon SMI)
Indiana basketball is back on top, a point Tom Crean wanted to make sure Michigan assistant and former Hoosiers assistant Jeff Meyer noted.
After Indiana narrowly defeated Michigan 72-71 Sunday night to claim its first outright Big Ten championship since 1993, the Hoosiers coach confronted Meyer, who served under former Indiana head coach Kelvin Sampson.
"You know what you did," Crean told Meyer after spotting him and walking up to him at midcourt after the game. "You helped wreck the program. You helped wreck our program."
An Indiana staff member then escorted Crean away from Meyer and off the court.
The NCAA found Sampson guilty of making 550 impermissible phone calls while head coach of Oklahoma and then said he and his staff violated the recruiting restrictions imposed for the impermissible calls and lied to the NCAA while Sampson was head coach of Indiana. He was forced to resign in May 2008, and the NCAA handed Indiana three years of probation. The NCAA cleared Meyer of any wrongdoing, though Crean clearly still had some frustration with the assistant coach.
The Hoosiers suffered losing seasons during each of the three years of probation, Crean's first three years as head coach.
Crean later apologized to Meyer over the phone for "the professional misunderstanding" and said on the Big Ten coaches teleconference Monday that he wished the confrontation hadn't happened.