|Indiana supports most NCAA findings|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 05 June 2008 11:58|
The revelations were made in a 96-page case summary detailing the NCAA's four major accusations against Sampson, his staff and the Hoosiers. The report was sent to the school last week and was released publicly Thursday after The Associated Press made a Freedom of Information request.
University officials agreed with most of the facts the NCAA outlined although they only acknowledged there was enough evidence to support the charges of providing false and misleading information to investigators and contended some of the violations should be classified as secondary.
Athletic department officials declined comment Thursday through spokesman J.D. Campbell. Campbell has said nobody from the university will comment until after Indiana's hearing before the infractions committee next week in Seattle.
The report provides new details into the allegations that rocked the Hoosiers' men's basketball program. Among the evidence cited is a series of interview transcripts from recruits, their parents or coaches, that paint a picture of how the calls, which Sampson contends he was unaware were three-way calls, worked.
``I don't want to give you misinformation, but I believe, uh, uh, uh, I would believe that coach Senderoff called me, you know, and that's when they started to flop the phones, you know,'' recruit DeJuan Blair told NCAA investigators on Dec. 11. ``They were both on the phone, I'm, they both was on the phone talking, we all was on the phone.''
Sampson has repeatedly denied any intentional wrongdoing and sent his own response to the NCAA last month, arguing he was never given a fair chance to make his case.
He and his staff are accused of making more than 100 impermissible calls, and Sampson has continued to say he was forthcoming with investigators. He accepted a $750,000 buyout to leave the school in February and is now an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Former Indiana assistants Rob Senderoff and Jeff Meyer, who also were implicated in the scandal, are no longer at the school, either, and Sampson's other two assistants, Dan Dakich and Ray McCallum, also have left Indiana.
At least seven different recruits told NCAA investigators they knowingly participated in three-way calls with Sampson. The mothers of two other players said they also participated in the three-party calls, which were banned as part of Sampson's punishment for a previous phone-call scandal at Oklahoma.
Recruits, their parents and coaches all told investigators that Senderoff, now an assistant at Kent State, initiated the calls before putting Sampson on the phone. In some cases, they said, Senderoff would hand off the phone so Sampson could speak. Other times, the calls came from Bloomington.
But either way, the story was pretty much the same.
``I was talking to the assistant coach at first and he called the head coach and put him on three-way,'' William Buford Jr. said in his interview. ``Yes, he (Senderoff) let him know who I was.''
Throughout the report, Sampson questions the veracity of the interviewees by citing mistaken dates, timelines and events that were discussed.
In a Jan. 29 interview with NCAA investigators, Sampson was asked specifically about one of the recruits. He responded: ``I was not involved in a, uh, conversation with a recruit with coach Senderoff.''
But the NCAA dismisses Sampson's arguments by citing additional interviews that corroborated the original statements, others who were present during some of the calls and saying there was no reason for the witnesses to fabricate stories.
One of Sampson's own former staff members at Indiana, Jerry Green, even told the NCAA in January he believed this was more than just a series of bad mistakes.
``I see absolutely, uh, no way, uh, that that could've been an accident that they, it had to have been done purposefully because there was too much information that was given to the coaching staff to, uh, in my opinion, to keep them from making a major mistake,'' Green said. ``They were informed, maybe not the first day, maybe not the first month, but after it got going, everybody, in my opinion knew the process, what we needed to do and I, I don't see any way that it, could have happened, uh, legally.''