Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Friday, February 29, 2008

Firing Sampson over allegations was unfair

The segment of the IU faithful who wanted Kelvin Sampson gone got their wish. Sampson was given $750,000 and told to leave Bloomington stemming from five alleged major recruiting violations that included making improper phone calls to recruits.

Resigned? Give me a break.

Despite published reports I think Sampson was forced out but it was sold to the masses as a resignation. He was canned because of allegations, not violations. The NCAA hadn’t found him guilty of anything up to this point. IU had until May 8th to make a final determination on Sampson’s fate but they couldn’t wait to act.

So much for due process.

Getting rid of someone who can win a Big-Ten title and make a run at the National Championship is beyond me, especially over some allegations.

In my opinion the administration found nothing that could be substantiated with facts. The IU hierarchy simply didn’t care for Sampson. That’s certainly not true of the players.

After struggling to beat a weak Northwestern team Eric Gordon summed up the feelings of him teammates by stating, “He wasn’t just like a coach. He was more like a father to us. We just miss him.”

At least somebody wanted Sampson around.

The players were angry their leader was forced out-many skipped a practice and planned to boycott the Northwestern game. They should have. Showing solidarity as a group would have sent a loud message to the administration.

When a deed is strong enough words are not necessary.

The players were told to remain silent by IU officials so they could put the finishing touches on Sampson’s ousting. The players make millions for the university due to their athletic prowess yet are silenced when wanting to express their collective concerns.

Hypocrisy.

On the court the players are embraced as young men yet treated like children at day-care when wanting to voice their displeasure over something that affects them.

IPFW’s mens basketball coach Dane Fife has been where the current IU players are. As a junior at IU he was the spokesperson after Brand fired Bobby Knight in 2000. With the General gone the team wanted to the assistant coaches retained and preferred to play for Mike Davis. When asked if the administration didn’t comply Fife stated, “If they don’t then IU won’t have a team next year and as everybody knows that could be costly.”

In regards to Knights dismissal he added, “We just totally feel that coach Knight has been treated really unfairly and I think we have to make that known. The administration wimped out.”

Fife and his crew got Mike Davis by standing tall and speaking up, not remaining silent while sitting down.

With Sampson gone the players wanted to play for Ray McCallum but told to settle for someone from the Knight tree in Dan Dakich. Had players voiced their collective concerns perhaps could have gotten McCallum instead of Dakich.

The greasy wheel gets the grease.

The IU administration has the authority do what they want but the players have power too.
The fans come to see the players play, not some middle-aged men sit in the stands.

I don’t think Sampson should have been let go over allegations. Sampson didn’t throw a chair across the court during a game, choke a player at practice, head butt someone on the bench, or kick his son during a timeout did he?

Yet after less than two years Sampson gets let go for some alleged phone calls?

Give me a break.

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