Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bring Me the Head of Kelvin Sampson

Fire him, NOW.

Everyone knows how I feel about Bobby (and I did want to write something about his retirement, but work has been a mother recently) -- and many of my friends have been critical of my of my devotion to him. But this latest from Sampson illustrates why Bobby was indeed so great and so special.

Coach Knight, for all his imperfections, ran a clean program the right way. Indiana is a program that represents a team -- not individuals. I am proud that no Indiana jersey bears a player's name. I am proud that no jerseys hang from the rafters at Assembly Hall. Rarely did we have the most talented team in the conference, let alone the nation -- yet Coach Knight was able to deliver three national titles to Bloomington in addition to a slew of Big Ten crowns.

But Coach is gone and never coming back.

However, this does not mean we have to become like so many other major programs in America; essentially NBADL teams from which the pros can take their picks. I could not have cared less if we landed Eric Gordon -- he'll be gone after this year and then what? I want IU to field a team of good players who will grow into good men that graduate from college. It is far more important to run a team with honor and less-talented players than it is to win at all costs.

Sampson's actions have further degraded IU Basketball and he should be removed from his position immediately. To hell with the rest of the season -- IU Basketball is far greater and more important than one season lost.

This is not about Bobby. This is about restoring IU's tradition -- not just of winning -- but of playing basketball as a team and building up young men to become leaders, not cheaters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to agree with you, for the most part. I'm not certain about the necessity of immediacy. It seems to me that the only advantage of haste in this situation is one of public relations. As a fan of Indiana Basketball, but also of justice, I would prefer not to sacrifice due process for the attempted salvaging of image. Let us rather be patient, and give Sampson an opportunity to defend himself against the allegations.

Assuming, however, that he has no credible defense, I agree that Sampson should be dismissed. I also have taken pride in the apparent virtue with which the program has been run - excepting of course the... you know what, I'm not going to get into that - and am sad to see the image tarnished.

Here's hoping that the allegations are groundless, and Sampson will be vindicated. In all likelihood, however, the best I feel that I can hope for is that the university's administrators demonstrate that they have zero tolerance for cheating, and that our next coach takes that lesson to heart.

Aaron Davis - long-time listener, first-time poster