IU Practices Without 6 Players; Sampson Decision Expected

Assistant Leads Session As Media Awaits Probe Results

Indiana assistant men's basketball coach Dan Dakich led Friday's practice -- which six players did not attend -- as the news media awaited an expected announcement about the future of head coach Kelvin Sampson, whom the NCAA accused of committing major violations.

Senior captain D.J. White, Armon Bassett, Jordan Crawford, Jamarcus Ellis, DeAndre Thomas and Brandon McGee were not on the court during Friday's practice. IU is scheduled to play at Northwestern on Saturday.

During the practice, assistant coach Ray McCallum was meeting with IU athletic director Rick Greenspan, 6Sports Director Dave Furst reported.

Sampson was expected to meet with the team Friday night to encourage them to play Northwestern on Saturday, Furst reported. The team is scheduled to fly to the game Saturday morning.

The school's president had directed Greenspan to finish a probe of the NCAA's allegations by Friday. The NCAA accused Sampson of five major violations for allegedly making improper phone calls to high school players, then providing false and misleading information to investigators from both the university and the NCAA.

Greenspan met with Sampson Friday morning. Afterward, Sampson walked down a ramp with his wife, Karen, according to The Associated Press. Players, managers, assistant coaches and the coach's son, Kellen Sampson, then gathered in the locker room for what appeared to be a team meeting. No one would comment to reporters when the meeting broke up at about noon.

IU is expected to make an announcement about Sampson on Friday. Reporters were given access to a room at IU's football stadium, where the announcement would be made, but as of 6:20 p.m., no announcement seemed imminent.

As of Thursday, Sampson was preparing for the Hoosiers' game Saturday against Northwestern. University officials denied news media reports that the decision had been made that day to let Sampson go and make Dakich the interim head coach. One official called those reports "pure science fiction," according to ESPN.

University officials discussed the situation late into the night, according to the AP.

IU President Michael McRobbie on Feb. 15 gave Greenspan a week to investigate the NCAA's allegations that Sampson and/or some of his assistants committed five major rules violations.

A news conference about Sampson is expected to be held Friday.

Sampson's contract, signed in April 2006, includes termination clauses for violations of university or NCAA rules. If the school decides to fire him, under terms of his contract he would be suspended without pay and be given a chance to appeal.

IU self-reported some of the violations last year, saying they were minor. But the NCAA alleged the violations were major and said Sampson misrepresented the extent and nature of the violations to both the school and governing body.

Major violations of NCAA rules can carry punishments including postseason ineligibility. The NCAA has asked IU to reply to the allegations in writing by May 8 and to send officials to a June 14 hearing by the Division I Committee on Infractions.

Sampson has said he never intentionally provided false or misleading information to NCAA investigators.

Indiana, 22-4 overall and 11-2 in the Big Ten, is coming off a win over rival Purdue.

In the days leading to Friday's deadline, the basketball team's fan base seemed simultaneously thrilled by the program's resurgence as it garnered a top 15 ranking and appalled by the contention that their coach had not been forthright with the university.

Details Of Allegations

The NCAA has alleged that, among other things, Sampson and two assistants didn't comply with telephone recruiting restrictions that had been imposed because of Sampson's previous violations at Oklahoma. The NCAA also alleged Sampson and one assistant misled IU and/or the NCAA during an investigation.

IU self-reported some recruiting violations last year but claimed they were minor and that there was no indication that Sampson or his staff intentionally sought to circumvent the rules.

IU in October imposed its own sanctions on Sampson -- making him forfeit a $500,000 pay raise and one scholarship next season. Assistant coach Rob Senderoff also was punished by forfeiting any bonuses or salary increases for one year and later resigned.

However, the NCAA report, which was sent to IU two weeks ago, said those and other alleged violations were major -- not minor -- and said Sampson gave "false or misleading information" when investigators probed the situation.

The allegations in the NCAA report are:

  • That Sampson, assistant coach Rob Senderoff and assistant coach Jeff Meyer failed to comply with sanctions imposed on Sampson for impermissible recruiting calls he made while he was a coach at Oklahoma -- sanctions that followed him to IU when he took the job in 2006. Sampson and Senderoff are alleged to have jointly participated in telephone calls at a time when Sampson was prohibited from being present or taking part when staff members made recruiting calls. Senderoff and Meyer are alleged to have made about 100 calls that exceeded the sanction limits. Senderoff resigned his position Oct. 30.
  • That Senderoff and Meyer placed at least 25 telephone calls to nine potential recruits that exceeded NCAA limits even if no sanctions had been in place.
  • That Sampson acted contrary to the NCAA principles of ethical conduct when he knowingly violated recruiting restrictions imposed by the NCAA Committee on Infractions, and that he failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standard of honesty normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics by providing the institution and the NCAA enforcement staff false or misleading information, and that he failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance within the men's basketball program and failed to monitor the activities regarding compliance of one or more of his assistant coaches.
  • That Senderoff acted contrary to the NCAA principles of ethical conduct when he knowingly violated recruiting restrictions imposed by the NCAA Committee on Infractions, and that he failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standard of honesty normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics by providing the institution false or misleading information.
  • That Sampson and Meyer engaged in an impermissible recruiting contact during a two-day sports camp held at Assembly Hall on June 30 and July 1, 2007, and that Meyer provided the potential recruit with an impermissible benefit -- at least one T-shirt and drawstring backpack.
  • Stay with 6News and TheIndyChannel.com for updates.