Indiana responds to NCAA, thinks its sanctions enough

Updated: May 13, 2008, 8:08 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University told the NCAA on Monday that its own self-imposed penalties should be enough keep the organization from having to punish the school for improper phone calls made by Kelvin Sampson before he resigned as basketball coach.

Sampson said he had been judged before he had a chance to present his side to the NCAA.

The Hoosiers still face a hearing in front of the NCAA's infractions committee. Sampson resigned late last season, and new coach Tom Crean inherited a one-year extension of recruiting restrictions on phone calls and the loss of one scholarship for the 2008-09 season.

The Documents

• Indiana University issued a 750-page response to NCAA allegations of violations involving former coach Kelvin Sampson. Take a look at the document. Indiana response (pdf)

• What exactly did the NCAA allege happened? Take a look at what the NCAA sent to the president of Indiana University. Notice of allegations (pdf)

•  In a statement that runs more than 70 typed pages, former Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson responded to the NCAA's allegations that his staff committed violations. Sampson response (pdf)

Indiana also limited Crean to 10 off-campus recruiting days before July 31.

"In light of the fact that the University had decided to impose significant sanctions that more than compensated for the number of impermissible phone calls and any recruiting advantage that may have been gained, Indiana University determined these calls did not warrant the imposition of additional penalties," the school said in a 750-page response to the NCAA.

"Further, since the University now has a new coaching staff that was not involved in any way with these phone calls [or the other allegations] and since this staff already has to serve the remainder of the self-imposed penalties, the University continues to believe additional penalties are unnecessary."

But in a statement that runs more than 70 pages that was released by his publicist Monday night, Sampson said the most serious allegations against him were "not substantially correct."

"I have been judged by many in the media and public to be a cheat and a liar, and I have lost my job -- all long before I will have had an opportunity to present my case to you [the NCAA] and without Indiana University conducting a meaningful investigation into the allegations," Sampson said in the statement.

Sampson also questioned why Indiana's compliance staff didn't alert him to the allegations sooner.

"I told my staff repeatedly that I never again wanted to go through an experience like I had in the Oklahoma case and that we as a staff needed to completely buy into the monitoring systems implemented by Indiana's compliance program," the statement reads.

Saying that he was "stunned" to learn of possible violations, Sampson continues: "First, I could not believe that if in fact the records showed violations, some since my staff's earliest days at the University, the matters had not been detected and brought to the attention of Mr. [athletic director Rick] Greenspan and myself much earlier so they could have been addressed in a timely fashion. And second, given how strongly and frequently I had communicated to my staff that I expected 100 percent compliance -- I could not believe that NCAA rules and Committee on Infractions' imposed restrictions had apparently been disregarded."

Sampson took the Indiana job in March 2006 and two months later was penalized by the NCAA for making 577 impermissible phone calls between 2000 and 2004 when he was the coach at Oklahoma. A second wave of charges emerged last October when an IU investigation found Sampson and his staff made more than 100 impermissible calls while still under the earlier recruiting restrictions, and that Sampson participated in at least 10 three-way calls, another violation of the NCAA's punishment.

In the response, the university agreed that Sampson "provided false and misleading information" to Indiana and said it had done everything possible once the improper calls became known.

It said "numerous inconsistencies" were found in Sampson's interviews with the university, as well as "his direct contradiction of credible statements by individuals who had no motivation to provide inaccurate information."

Greenspan called the violations secondary and imposed the one-year extension of the NCAA's restrictions. However, an NCAA report released Feb. 13 by Indiana claimed Sampson provided false and misleading information to investigators from both the university and the NCAA, failed to meet the "generally recognized high standard of honesty" expected in college sports and failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the program.

Sampson denied intentionally providing investigators with false information, but he accepted a $750,000 buyout nine days after the NCAA alleged he committed five major recruiting violations. Indiana is scheduled to appear before the infractions committee June 14 in Seattle, and a decision is expected within 30 days after that.

Sampson, who is going to be an assistant coach with the NBA Milwaukee Bucks, and Crean are both expected to attend the hearing.

In the response to the NCAA, Indiana said most of the calls made from the home phones of former assistants were permissible under NCAA rules.

"However, it was determined that a significant number of calls were contrary to, or resulted in other calls being contrary to" the earlier sanctions.

Indiana also said that it had accepted the earlier sanctions, but former assistant coaches Jeff Meyer and Rob Senderoff said they were not aware the sanctions applied to phone calls to recruits before a committee report in May 2006.

"Indiana University is troubled by the disregard for University policies and procedures that is reflected by these impermissible calls," the IU response said, "particularly as the assistant coaches' failure to notify the compliance office about the use of their home phones for recruiting calls and their failure to report the calls made from home prevented the compliance office from effectively monitoring these calls and identifying these issues earlier."

Sampson acknowledged that he had "unknowingly" been involved in a secondary violation involving an alleged recruiting contact at a team camp.

Assistant Dan Dakich coached the team the rest of last season, and Crean was hired in April to succeed Sampson. Senderoff was just hired at Kent State as an assistant. Another former assistant, Ray McCallum, got the head coaching job at Detroit.

Meyer and Dakich are the only former members of the staff who aren't currently employed.

The Hoosiers have only three returning scholarship players for next season after freshman Eric Gordon declared for the draft; D.J. White and Lance Stemler exhausted their eligibility; DeAndre Thomas, Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis were dismissed; and Eli Holman was allowed to transfer. Crean is adding newcomers, however, with the count already up to six. Georgetown transfer Jeremiah Rivers recently visited IU's campus and might end up in Bloomington.

Information from ESPN.com senior writers Andy Katz and Pat Forde and The Associated Press was used in this report.