IT IS a familiar story: A college basketball coach gets into hot water with the NCAA, leaves town with a lucrative payday, then moves on while the program he disgraced falls apart. The latest coach to act out this narrative is Kelvin Sampson (below), who resigned under pressure from Indiana in February after the NCAA charged him with five major rules violations. When Sampson, who took over the program in 2006, accepted a $750,000 buyout with five games left in the regular season, the Hoosiers were a Final Four contender. Three weeks later, the dispirited team was eliminated by Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
This is an article from the May 12, 2008 issue
Sampson has since done well for himself: Last week he signed on as an assistant to new Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles. Meanwhile his replacement at Indiana, Tom Crean, is trying to rebuild a program in chaos. Last week Crean cut three players—DeAndre Thomas, Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis—for violating team policies and watched as another, freshman center Eli Holman, transferred. (While informing Crean of his decision, Holman inexplicably threw a tantrum and reportedly flung a potted plant in Crean's office, prompting Crean to call campus police.) The Hoosiers also lost freshman star Eric Gordon to the NBA, leaving them with four returning players. Said Crean, "We need the Hoosier Nation to rally around this program as we go through these stages."