|Indiana pushes forward after NCAA alleges Sampson violated recruiting call restrictions|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 14 February 2008 00:08|
Things could be getting a lot worse.
Sampson's future at Indiana was in doubt Wednesday following the release of an NCAA report that says he committed five ``major'' violations.
According to the report, Sampson and his assistants provided false and misleading information to university and NCAA officials.
The allegations stem from a phone-call scandal that occurred while Sampson was still under recruiting restrictions following a similar episode at Oklahoma. The NCAA ruled in May 2006, less than two months after Sampson took the Indiana job, that the Sooners coaches made 577 illegal calls between 2000 and 2004.
The NCAA banned Sampson from calling recruits and making off-campus visits for a year.
In October, however, new allegations surfaced after an internal review.
ana investigation found Sampson's staff made more than 100 impermissible calls, and that Sampson had participated in at least 10 three-way calls that were prohibited as part of the sanctions during his probationary period.
Sampson read a statement following the 13th-ranked Hoosiers' 68-66 loss to No. 15 Wisconsin.
``The allegations that I knowingly acted contrary to the sanctions that occurred while I was at Oklahoma are not true,'' he said. ``I have never intentionally provided false or misleading information to the NCAA. I intend to work within the NCAA process on this matter, and I look forward to my opportunity to do so.''
He said he would not comment further until after an NCAA hearing in June. Sampson repeatedly refused to answer additional questions.
``You guys all do a great job, and I know you have a job to do, but I just can't talk about this,'' Sampson said. ``I hope you understand my situation.''
Senior forward D.J. White refused to blame the loss to Wisconsin on the allegations against Sampson, who received a mixed reaction from fans when he was introduced before the game.
``There has been nothing outside affecting the team,'' said White, who scored 17 points. ``We are a family. We stick together through whatever.
``Tonight had nothing to do with anything, we just didn't win. That is the bottom line.''
called the infractions secondary, although he said additional NCAA infractions could lead to Sampson's firing.
Following the release of the NCAA report, Greenspan would not say whether the school planned to impose additional sanctions, but acknowledged Sampson's contract contains a clause in which he could be fired for cause if the NCAA rules Sampson committed major violations.
Indiana has already forced Sampson to forfeit a $500,000 pay raise and one scholarship next season.
The NCAA saw the infractions as more serious than secondary violations.
The report said Sampson and his assistants 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.
Greenspan promised Wednesday the university would cooperate with all NCAA requests.
Indiana has until May 8 to provide a written response. The report says Indiana officials will appear June 14 in Seattle at a hearing before the Division I infractions committee.
Sampson could be subjected to more recruiting restrictions and the imposition of a show-cause report, which would require any school that hires him to explain to the NCAA why he should be hired.
The NCAA reaffirmed some of Indiana's findings, that Sampson had engaged in a series of three-way calls that are permissible under NCAA rules but prohibited as part of the coach's previous NCAA punishment.
It also says Sampson was present when his staff called recruits, had assistant coach Rob Senderoff call a prospect and hand him the phone and knowingly participated in three-way calls with at least three recruits. Sampson contended he was aware of only one three-way call last fall. The report said Senderoff, who has since resigned from the staff, initiated those calls.
The NCAA also said Sampson failed to monitor his staff's phone call documentation, and Senderoff was accused of committing two of the most egregious infractions - lying to the university's enforcement staff and NCAA investigators and failing to abide by the NCAA's expected ethical standards.
He is accused of enabling the three-way calls, allowing Sampson to speak with recruits on a speaker phone and lying when he signed monthly statements denying use of his home phone for recruiting purposes. The NCAA found Senderoff made at least one recruiting call from his home phone during three months in 2006 and from February through July 2007.
Major violations of NCAA rules can carry significant punishments, including postseason bans.