Montana Tech to name court after Sampson, despite violations

Updated: February 24, 2008, 6:44 PM ET
Associated Press

BUTTE, Mont. -- Montana Tech has no plans to change the name of its new basketball court, despite recent allegations against its namesake, former Indiana men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson, athletic director Joe McClafferty said.

A recent NCAA investigation found Sampson committed five major rules violations, leading to his resignation Friday.

Sampson, who started his college coaching career at Tech, donated $50,000 toward the cost of renovating the school's physical education building. His signature was embossed on the gym floor.

McClafferty said Sunday he couldn't speculate on the allegations against Sampson but noted that Montana Tech still supports him.

"We're not a big school, but we're extremely loyal, and we're not going to get caught up in that whole game," McClafferty said. "Our court will stay Kelvin Sampson Court. We still love the guy, and if he wants to come back and coach here, we'd sure take him."

Sampson guided the Orediggers from 1981-85.

"He came here, thought he was taking a job for $1,100 a week, and it was actually $1,100 a year," McClafferty said. "He took over a program in shambles and within one season he turned it into a winning program. He's molded young boys into fine, upstanding men."

McClafferty said Sampson is a "great person" who did a "tremendous amount" for Tech.

"For me, especially as a player here, I learned life lessons from him I'll never forget," he said. "He'll always be someone I think of fondly in my heart."

According to an NCAA report, Sampson and his assistants provided false and misleading information to university and NCAA officials.

Sampson agreed to Indiana's offer of a $750,000 buyout Friday, waiving his right to sue the university for further damages, and turning the program over to interim coach Dan Dakich.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press