Indiana signs Crean to contract extension

BLOOMINGTON - Indiana athletic director Fred Glass opened the season Friday night with an announcement Hoosiers fans had been waiting to hear.

   Coach Tom Crean is under contract through the 2019-20 season.

   Glass made the announcement in front of a sold-out crowd at Assembly Hall, just moments before the season-opening game started and the reception brought the crowd to its feet.

   "It reminded me a lot of the political theater I used to be part of," Glass told The Associated press at halftime. "They did enjoy it, and he deserves it. He's done a great job."

   Nobody can quibble with the results Crean now.

   After winning just 28 games in his first three seasons in Bloomington, the Hoosiers went 27-9 in a magical 2011-12 season that put the program back on the national map. The Hoosiers reached the regional semifinals for the first time in a decade, and with all five starters back from the tournament run, Indiana earned the No. 1 ranking in the preseason poll for the first time in 33 years.

   Glass didn't give an exact timeline for how the deal came together.

   But with Crean getting a salary increase of more than $500,000, it didn't take long to work out the details.

   Crean's base salary will go from approximately $2.52 million per year to $3.16 million. The deal also includes performance bonuses based on Academic Progress Rate scores, Graduation Success Rate scores and the team's GPA. If all standards are met, Crean's salary could increase by as much as $55,000 per year.

   The buyout, Glass said, would cost $8 million over the next three years, then drops to $1 million in Year 4 and drops again to $500,000 over the final four years of the deal.

   School officials said additional contract details will be announce when the deal is formally signed.

   "I think it demonstrates we feel confident in him," Glass said. "We wanted him to stay and I think we'll have more continuity as we move forward."

   Glass only has one regret -- that Indiana didn't hire Crean sooner.

   Instead, when Mike Davis resigned, the Hoosiers named Kelvin Sampson as its new coach and less than two seasons into Sampson's tenure, the Hoosiers were in trouble with the NCAA. The phone-call scandal led to a gutting of the program and left Glass with only two returning players, both walk-ons, in 2008-09.

   "I thought he was right guy from the beginning," Glass said. "I thought he was the right guy when we hired Kelvin. As it turned out, I ended up here and ended up hiring him."

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