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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Go in peace, Hoosiers

So, Eric Gordon Jr. has gone back on his "oral commitment" to Illinois and will play basketball for IU. This was either an agonizing decision, finally made by the young man for a number of reasons,

Reasons for choosing Indiana included proximity to home, the chance for his family (including his grandfather Earther Gordon) to see him, the large number of high school friends who will attend IU (future teammate A.J. Ratliff is a former Mr. Basketball from North Central) and the fact he had grown up a Hoosier fan.

Or it was just another slimy trick by Coach Kevin Sampson, who was hired by IU for that very slime:

The Hoosiers knew what they were getting. They know he knows how to play the game.

This is what he said when the NCAA ruled against him: ''I have learned an invaluable lesson, and I hope that this reinforces to other coaches the importance of every aspect of NCAA compliance.''

I have to wash my hands.

Sampson was punished, too. He can't make phone calls to recruits or make off-campus visits. How long do you think it took him to realize that text messages were the way around the ban?

So he hired Gordon's dad's college coach as an assistant. Then he is said to have hired Gordon's AAU coach in some capacity that allowed him to slip around rules limiting contact with players.

Sampson earned this.

Sampson, meanwhile, got a reception by the fans that would have been worthy of Jesus Christ, or even Bobby Knight:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Kelvin Sampson tried to speak quickly and loudly, but needed help. With 13,000 fans hooting and hollering, Sampson eventually had to yell into his microphone "Sshhh!"

I became an IU fan a long time ago. I stuck with it through the final Bobby Knight years, even after there were no more excuses for his angry outbursts, and the Mike Davis years, when you couldn't tell from game to game whether the great team or the incompetent team would show up. This is probably the year when I give up calling myself a fan of the Hoosiers.

And give up on following college sports in general, come to think of it. Eric Gordon, most people think, will turn pro after his freshman year. That's how much all this nonsense has to do with education. Let's just pay these guys as the pros they are, commensurate with the money they bring to the universities, and stop pretending otherwise. Or would that dry up all the money from the alumni, who want to believe they are somehow supporting the good name of their alma maters?

It was a wild start to the Sampson era at Indiana University.

"I can't imagine what you guys will do when we win a championship," the new Hoosiers coach finally blurted out, drawing even louder cheers.

Posted in: Hoosier lore, Sports


Mon, 10/16/2006 - 2:13pm

You are a pathetic disgrace to the IU fan base. It is so called 'fans' like you that bring down the IU basketball team. The ones that don't come to games and cheer them on becuase you don't like the coach. The smae kind that don't show up for the football games. If you proclaim yourself a fan you should be there for the team through thick and thin. Through great and glorious coaches to rediculously bad coaches (which Sampson is obviously not i.e. 2-time National Coach of the Year). Go ahead! We don't need your kind of fan!

tim zank
Mon, 10/16/2006 - 2:46pm

Lighten up Eric, some of us have been through a lot with our beloved I.U.!

We all need to vent a little once in a while, and you gotta admit, Sampson does "push the envelope" just a fuzz.....and Leo has a very valid point about all college basketball programs becoming a lot less about education and a lot more of a lay-over to the pros....

That's one of the reasons I loved Bobby Knight, he could be crazy as a loon at times but he NEVER let grades take a back seat to basketball.