ESPN reported last night that the NCAA has a .50 caliber weapon with the words MAJOR VIOLATIONS written on the side of it aimed directly at the Indiana basketball program and more specifically coach Kelvin Sampson. And if there is anything we know about the NCAA it is they are a bit like the Feds sans the subpoena power and cool agents with sunglasses. If they drop a letter on your desk using the words “major violations” the odds they are going to nail you with them are better than UNC beating Clemson in Chapel Hill.
In case you are not up to speed, Kelvin Sampson was hired from Oklahoma as the savior of the Indiana program, which had fallen from grace after firing Bobby Knight and Mike Davis in succession. Sampson came with baggage in that he had already been tagged at Oklahoma for making impermissible phone calls to recruits and was placed on probation. Upon arriving at Indiana he violated that probation by making phone calls his sanctions said he could not make and also some that were against the rules anyway. In this case he penned it mostly on an assistant who was shown the door but in committing the violation Sampson forfeited a half a million dollar raise. The Hoosiers self reported Sampson and his staff’s abject stupidity to the NCAA and were awaiting the hammer of Thor when the NCAA served up a list of major violations which include the aforementioned deviance from NCAA policy but also lying to NCAA investigators and giving impermissible benefits to a recruit. Needless to say, things are going to get really, really nasty in Bloomington with the dreaded “lack of institutional control” label being dusted off for application on AD Rick Greenspan’s rear end.
What is even more interesting is the speculation I have read on the message boards concerning the timing of Bobby Knight’s resignation from Texas Tech which left the door wide open for him to coach again and this letter from the NCAA which stands to send Sampson packing. Consider this for a moment. Sampson is fired for NCAA violations and the NCAA nails them to the wall with a two year postseason ban and reduction of scholarships. Indiana then rehires Bobby Knight to come back in to cleanup the mess and restore Indiana to proper standing in the world. In turn Knight gets return to Bloomington as some kind of savior and then retire after he has reestablished the program. He is replaced by his son who built his resume and experience as head coach at Texas Tech. And they all lived happily ever after.
Either that or they get Gene Hackman to coach the team.