|Indiana AD meets with Sampson; Friday announcement expected|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 22 February 2008 09:24|
The university was expected to make an afternoon announcement on whether Sampson would keep his job in the wake of an investigation that concluded he committed five major NCAA recruiting violations.
University president Michael McRobbie was at IUPUI in Indianapolis on Friday for a visit by the Chinese ambassador to the U.S.
Athletic director Rick Greenspan met briefly with Sampson. A few minutes after Greenspan left the coach's office, Sampson walked down a ramp with his wife, Karen.
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, including senior captain D.J. White. The meeting broke up about midday.
Late into Thursday night, university officials discussed what to do about allegations Sampson made improper phone calls to high school players, then provided false and misleading information to investigators from both the university and the NCAA. The Hoosiers have not been guilty of a major NCAA infraction since 1960.
Players also met Thursday with Greenspan, but left as a group without commenting. Greenspan remained in his office late into the night, and his family brought him a pillow.
The question was whether Sampson will still be coaching No. 15 Indiana when the team faces Northwestern on Saturday night, and some on the university's board of trustees were unaware of a decision.
``I don't believe the athletic director has even given the recommendation to the president yet,'' trustee Patrick Shoulders said Thursday.
University spokesman Larry MacIntyre and trustees continued to deny reports Thursday that Indiana had decided Sampson's fate and would make assistant coach Dan Dakich the interim head coach.
Trustee, Philip Eskew Jr., told The Associated Press he had been notified by e-mail Indiana would have an announcement on Sampson's status Friday but did not have details. MacIntyre said late Thursday afternoon nothing had yet been scheduled but called an announcement likely.
President Michael McRobbie had a meeting with university counsel Dorothy Frapwell and faculty representative Bruce Jaffee in the president's office. Frapwell and Jaffee were two of the three people asked to conduct the school's second investigation into the allegations.
Sampson spent Thursday morning in his office, presumably looking at tape of Northwestern before leaving the building about mid-afternoon.
Last week the school released the NCAA's report alleging Sampson also failed to promote a high standard of honesty and an atmosphere of rules compliance in the program.
Sampson has said he never intentionally provided false or misleading information to NCAA investigators.
With speculation sweeping the campus, the images rekindled scenes reminiscent to the prelude and aftermath of Bob Knight's firing in 2000. Reporters spent hours staking out the hallway of the administration building and the lobby of Assembly Hall, waiting for word on whether Sampson would still have his job this weekend.
According to the contract signed in April 2006, Indiana pays Sampson an annual base salary of $500,000. The contract runs through the next five seasons.
Sampson's deal includes termination clauses for violations of university or NCAA rules that eliminate the payments, but two Indianapolis attorneys have told The Associated Press that firing Sampson now could still force the school to pay at least $2.5 million or face a potential lawsuit.
The second-year coach came under scrutiny for his newest round of alleged NCAA infractions in October when an internal investigation found Sampson made more than 100 impermissible recruiting calls, most of them by assistant coach Rob Senderoff, who has since resigned. At least 10 of them were allegedly three-way calls that Sampson had been patched into, a violation of NCAA restrictions imposed on Sampson for previous telephone improprieties while he was coach at Oklahoma.
The university called those secondary violations. The NCAA, however, used the term major when it accused Sampson of lying.
If Sampson isn't coaching Saturday, the likely successor for the rest of this season is Dakich, a 45-year-old former Indiana player and assistant coach and former head coach at Bowling Green who was once considered a possible successor to Knight. Dakich took Senderoff's spot on the coaching staff in early November, before any of the alleged rules infractions.