Report details impermissible Indiana recruit calls Print
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Wednesday, 31 October 2007 12:04
NCAAB Headline News


 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Indiana basketball coaches attended regular compliance meetings. They logged recruiting phone calls each week. They signed forms monthly attesting they didn't call recruits from home phones and received regular compliance memos and newsletters reminding them of NCAA rules.
Yet the university said coaches still made more than 100 calls in violation of NCAA rules or sanctions imposed on the program because of previous impermissible calls. When the calls were discovered, coaches told school officials they were confused about the rules, forgot to record calls, or thought reports were formalities.
``Indiana University is troubled by this disregard for university policies and procedures,'' the school wrote in a report to the NCAA's infractions committee.
On Tuesday, The Associated Press obtained the 300-page report, prepared by Indianapolis-based law firm Ice Miller, through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The recruiting scandal has already cost the Hoosiers one basketball scholarship for 2008-09, coach Kelvin Sampson forfeited a $500,000 pay raise and assistant coach Rob Senderoff - who made a majority of the impermissible calls - resigned Tuesday. The university said he received a severance package worth $46,000.
Athletic director Rick Greenspan addressed the report during a teleconference Tuesday, saying the school sanctions more than compensate for the extra phone calls. An IU spokesman said Wednesday that Greenspan would make no further comments on it.
The NCAA is investigating the new violations outlined in the report, which could lead to further penalties, and there is no timetable for a decision.
The problems with recruiting calls started before Sampson began at IU in March 2006. He was prohibited from initiating calls with recruits for a year after the NCAA ruled in May 2006 that he had made 577 impermissible calls over four years while coaching Oklahoma - sanctions that followed him to Bloomington. He was still allowed to receive calls from recruits.
His off-campus recruiting visits also were strictly limited, although he could talk to recruits on-campus.
On Oct. 14, just weeks before his second season, Greenspan announced that Sampson's staff had violated the NCAA's sanctions by patching through at least 10 three-way calls, legal under the NCAA's standards but prohibited under his previous penalties.
The university's report, which doesn't accuse Sampson of any direct NCAA violations, details 111 impermissible recruiting calls, most of them by Senderoff. At least 10 of them were three-way calls that Sampson had been patched into - four at his home.
One call came less than a week after the NCAA issued its May 25, 2006, report on the sanctions against Sampson and his staff, a document in the report showed.
Sampson has said he wasn't aware that nine of the 10 calls were three-way connections. The one he knew about was done to clear up questions from a recruit who had already committed to making an on-campus visit, he said.
Some of the three-way calls occurred because a recruit's call to Sampson was dropped, the report said. Senderoff would then help the person reconnect with Sampson by using impermissible three-way calls. The report noted that Sampson's home is several miles outside Bloomington and that his cell phone reception there is ``spotty at best.''
However, included in the report was an e-mailed memo dated June 13, 2006, to Sampson, Senderoff and other coaches from Jennifer Brinegar, IU assistant athletics director for compliance.
In it, she included a clarification of the infractions committee on the penalties. The fourth item listed stated, ``The assistant coaches may not bring Coach Sampson in on a 3-way call with a prospect, parent or coach, even if the call originated from the prospect, parent or coach.''
It also states that Sampson isn't allowed to return dropped calls.
Yet less than a week after that memo was issued, Sampson participated in another three-way call, the report showed.
Senderoff told investigators he would get the recruit or other person on the phone, then patch in Sampson's phone. Senderoff would remain on the line, but did not say anything, serving as an ``operator'' allowing two people to have a conversation, he said. Senderoff said he thought this was a ``gray'' area in regard to sanctions and that he used poor judgment in not asking for clarification.
But the report notes that at least two people - a recruit and the mother of a recruit - said both Senderoff and Sampson were involved in the conversation throughout the entire call.
The report also said Senderoff, who made 101 improper calls, failed to report using his home phone for recruiting calls despite signing forms that said he made no calls from his home.
``He admitted that this practice was sloppy and/or careless,'' the report states.
Assistant coach Jeff Meyer made 10 recruiting calls from his home, four of which were impermissible, the report found. Meyer said he didn't list his home phone on the monthly reporting forms because he did not yet have a home phone immediately after he was hired. He didn't change the forms later to indicate that he used his home phone.
``Meyer stated he thought the forms were only a formality and thus did not change what he previously reported,'' the report states.
The report pointed out that the men's basketball coaching staff is involved in more than a thousand recruiting calls a month.
``The University is disappointed and does not condone the actions of the involved coaches, but it is important to place this issue in context,'' the report states.
 

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