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Note Of Caution From Indiana ...

Normally I don't wade into stories concerning other major basketball programs (especially if it is not in the Pac-10). However, the Sampson/Indiana story has been on my mind. If you have been completely out of the loop on this here is Pat Forde from ESPN with a reset:

The serial phone dialer might have cheated his way out of one of the premier jobs in college basketball. Once NCAA Enforcement sent its official letter of inquiry last Friday charging Indiana with five major rules violations on Sampson's watch -- adding to the rap sheet he earned previously at Oklahoma -- his dismissal/resignation became a very real possibility.

Perhaps sooner rather than later.

Sampson read a statement after Wednesday's game that refuted some of the NCAA allegations and indicated the coach would rather fight than quit.

"The allegation that I knowingly acted contrary to the sanctions imposed on me for violations that occurred while I was at Oklahoma is not true," Sampson said. "I have never intentionally provided false and misleading information to the NCAA. I intend to work within the NCAA process on this matter, and I look forward to my opportunity to do so."

Sampson answered no questions on the matter before exiting a crowded media room with his wife, Karen, and two children, Kellen and Lauren. Behind the scenes, he has been working on a public-relations campaign aimed at burnishing his reputation, but that campaign faces tougher odds than Mike Huckabee's.

Athletic director Rick Greenspan -- whose own job would seem to be on the line, after he took a chance and hired Sampson -- said Wednesday afternoon that he expected his man to coach against Wisconsin. He offered no ironclad assurances beyond that, saying Sampson would coach "for the foreseeable future."

"What that means to me," Greenspan said, "is that we have work to do."

That work will center on how to address these very serious allegations, and how vigorously to defend the coach and his assistants who are accused of them. The coach and his program have arrived at a high-stakes crossroads. How they go forward from here likely will affect Indiana basketball for years to come.
If you want to thoroughly catch up on the story go over to Inside The Hall, a great Hoosier blog, which predictably is all over this story and has a lot of relevant links here. I don't really care one way or another, what Indiana decides to do at this point. That's their business. Although it will be interesting if there is an opening in Bloomington. Because I think that would be a perfect set up for a talented coach like Tony Bennett.

Going back to the UCLA angle, the obvious reason I am posting this story is to remind once again how careful Coach Rick Neuheisel has to be with his once in a life time opportunity at UCLA.

Yes we know CRN made mistakes early in his career at CU and at UDub. And he left UDub not because of recruiting or any NCAA violations but because of those two institutions stepping over the line to cover up their incompetency.

That said once again CRN needs to understand he has to be more than careful at UCLA and abide by all the guidelines and operate within the parameters set up by the compliance department Morgan Center. He has no other choice. And if we ever see these kinds of allegations resulting in charges of major rules violations by the NCAA, we will be looking for accountability (and facts) instead of just circling the wagon.

Also, one has to wonder if the NCAA could be so swift and decisive wrt to Indiana, what exactly is taking them so long wrt to you know ... Southern Cal and Reggie Bush.

Anyway, back to our regular programming.